Gadgets, SIM cards for students, teachers arrive at Manila City Hall

The laptops, tablets, pocket WiFis, and SIM cards for public school students and teachers in Manila have arrived at the Manila City Hall and will be distributed next week, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso wrote on Facebook Monday night (Aug. 17).

These gadgets and connectivity devices will be used to equip students and teachers during the blended distance learning set-up amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Domagoso also said they aim to reduce the expenses of parents in terms of purchasing gadgets and access to the internet to equip their children in time for the opening of classes on Oct. 5. 

"This effort of your city government is to help every student and teacher to continue studying and adapt to the new normal of education," he said in his post.

"Ito ay tulong na rin natin sa mga magulang para maibsan ang kanilang hirap na mapaaral ang kanilang mga anak (This is also our way of helping parents to ease their burden in giving their children education)," he added. 

"Sama-sama nating kakaharapin itong tinatawag na blended distant learning. Hindi po namin kayo iiwan sa maliit naming kaparaanan at may awa ang Diyos, makakaraos din po tayo (Let us all face what they call the blended distant learning together. We will not leave you behind in our own little way, and with God's mercy, we will survive this)."

Over P1 billion was appropriated for the purchase of the equipment. Earlier, the Manila Public Information Office (MPIO) said they are targeting to buy 11,000 laptops with pocket WiFi devices for teachers, 136,950 tablet devices, and 286,000 SIM cards with 10 GB monthly allotment of bandwidth for students.
Data from the Division of City Schools-Manila showed that enrollment figures of public school students in the city spiked compared to the previous year. 

In June, the country's capital also led other cities in Metro Manila in terms of the highest number of public school enrollees for academic year 2020-2021, data from the Department of Education (DepEd) showed. 

The opening of classes was reset to Oct. 5 from the earlier scheduled Aug. 24, DepEd recently announced. Face-to-face classes are still discouraged amid the threat of COVID-19.

(Photos from Manila PIO)