Pasig allots ₱1.3B for laptops, blended learning program implementation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 9) — The Pasig City government has set aside than around ₱1.3 billion to support the needs of teachers and students once the country's education system shifts to blended learning in October, Mayor Vico Sotto said Wednesday.

The fund will be used to purchase laptops of educators and tablets of learners from public schools as well as other equipment needed for the printing of self-learning modules, and provide educational institutions with internet, Sotto said in a briefing.

"Key words natin for this season are adaptability and synergy. Hindi po tayo papayag na nang dahil sa isang virus, ay matitigil ang pag-aaral at edukasyon ng ating kabataan," the Pasig mayor said, amid mounting calls for 'academic freeze' in the wake of COVID-19 crisis.

[Translation: We will not allow a virus to halt classes and education of our youth.]

"'Di po tayo magpapatinag sa pandemya," the local official added.

[Translation: We will not be cowed by this pandemic]

The Department of Education moved the opening of the 2020-2021 school year for kindergarten to high school to October 5 from August 24. This is to iron out logistical limitations for the conduct of remote classes. DepEd allowed some private basic educational institutions to hold classes before October 5 as long as these are limited to distance learning.

Lessons under the new normal in education will be delivered through digital platforms, radio and television broadcasts, and printed self-learning modules.

The Pasig mayor previously announced they set up a center where students who lack internet access could download DepEd's distance learning modules.

Over 24 million basic education students have so far enrolled for this academic year, according to DepEd data, with 22.2 million going to public schools. This equates to 87.5 percent of last year's enrollment figure, DepEd noted.