Give ‘unutilized’ gadgets to teachers and students, DICT urged

To help ease the deficiency in devices for education, a group on Sunday, Aug. 14, urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to distribute to teachers and learners the “unutilized laptops and tablets” discovered by the Commission on Audit (COA).

(Photo from Unsplash)

“It is frustrating that while gadgets for education are extremely lacking, there are gadgets that only gather dust in DICT storage, and there are outdated gadgets that are bought at exorbitant prices,” Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines Chairperson Vladimer Quetua said.

Quetua was referring to the 866 laptops and 12,482 worth P92.968 million. In the publicized 2021 audit of the DICT, state auditors noted that the said gadgets might become “obsolete” if they remain “undistributed and unused.”

Only ‘10% of teachers' use government-issued laptops

Citing ACT’s survey on the labor situation of teachers last April 2021, Quetua highlighted the big deficiency of the government in providing laptops to teachers.

The online survey, which was participated in by 6,732 public school teachers nationwide, showed that 69 percent of teacher-respondents from the National Capital Region (NCR) use personally-owned laptops, among which 24 percent are still paying for the laptops on an installment basis.

“In regions outside the NCR, 77 percent of teacher-respondents are using their personally acquired laptops, with 23 percent of them still paying for the gadget,” ACT said.

Survey findings also showed that only a “small portion” of the teacher-respondents are using laptops from the DepEd: six percent (6%) in other regions and four percent (4%) in the NCR.

ACT noted that only two percent (2%) in the regions use laptops provided by the local government units while six percent (6%) of teacher-respondents from the NCR use LGU-provided laptops.

“Still 6% of teacher-respondents in other regions and 4% in the NCR said that they have no laptop to use for teaching and other duties,” ACT added.

Overall, Quetua pointed out that only around 10 percent of teachers are using laptops from the government despite teaching under distance learning in the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

ACT has been demanding the provision of a laptop for every teacher since the start of the implementation of distance learning in 2020.