As the COVID-19 crisis forced people to stay at home to avoid contracting the virus, the Department of Education (DepEd) proposes that the upcoming school year will be achieved through ‘blended learning’.
This is comprised of online education and distance learning options such as providing printed modules to students or doing classes via TV and radio.
With everyone needing to adapt to this so-called ‘new normal’, the struggle of teachers to buy their own laptops has also been highlighted. But the DepEd said that based on the Survey on Teachers Readiness for Distance Education undertaken by DepEd’s Planning Service between April 16-30, 2020 that involved 689,329 teacher respondents, “only 77,631 or 11% of them do not have desktop or laptop computers at home”.
The DepEd currently has 847,467 teachers. Applying the percentage obtained from the survey, the DepEd announced that it estimates there are a total of 93,221 teachers who don’t have laptops.
Since there were 54,350 laptops procured last year that are now ready for distribution, the DepEd only needs quite a number of units provide the rest of the teachers with their own laptops.
However, Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua admits that the DepEd should recognize that the teachers who do have their own laptops now bought these out of their own resources. So, it would be a good idea to provide them with laptops.
“It is still the responsibility of the state to provide government-issued laptops,” Pascua said.
Pascua further explained that for the establishment of online learning, the teachers should have access to internet-capable equipment for the ‘new normal’ in education.
“That’s why I am happy to tell you that the Department will be giving away equipment like laptops, tablets, desktop computers and others to our learners and teachers for this,” he announced.
But providing all the teachers with laptops is easier said than done, the Undersecretary admitted.
“The direction is to provide a laptop for each teacher. About P27 billion is needed to make that dream a reality. How I wish we have the funds and that we can do it before August 24,” he mused.
Aside from this huge budget needed to provide laptops for teachers, the Education Department will also need more laptops or gadgets for the students.