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Ensuring Philippine Education Continuity in the Pandemic with Internet-capable Equipment

The Department of Education (DepEd) announced that it plans to deliver 40,000 laptop computers to teachers, personnel, schools and field offices across the country this month to support education frontliners for the upcoming school year. “The provision of Internet-capable equipment to DepEd offices, schools, and teachers is great news for the education sector. This would go a long way in our continued implementation of our Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan and in providing technical support to our field offices nationwide,” the DepEd Secretary said in a statement.

The provision of Internet-capable equipment to DepEd offices, schools, and teachers is great news for the education sector. This would go a long way in our continued implementation of our Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan and in providing technical support to our field offices nationwide.

With the lockdown in place, the use of these digital devices is critical for learning and teaching to take place. The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting many colleges and universities to adopt online learning, remote work, and other activities to help contain the virus’s spread. Over the last decade, institutions have recognised the value of advising, early alerts, degree planning, and other services in assisting students to achieve their academic goals in a cost-effective and efficient manner. A range of new applications and technologies to aid student success are now available, and they may prove invaluable in assisting students in adapting to fully remote learning.

The procurement of the laptops through the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) was made possible by the government’s second stimulus package to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Our direction is to provide laptops for each teacher and our DepEd offices. The Department recognises that teachers who use their own devices bought these out of their own expense. It is still the responsibility of the state to provide government-issued laptops,” said the DepEd Undersecretary for Administration.

Under the Administration Strand, the mandatory recipients for division and regional offices are Implementing Units (UIs), Public School District Supervisors (PSDSs), Alternative Learning System (ALS) Mobile Teachers, and Regional and Division Coordinators. The laptops will be delivered directly to the regional offices by the supplier. The regional supply officer will then identify the final list of recipients and be in charge of releasing the school’s division offices’ allocated units.

Moreover, the names of beneficiaries will be submitted for reference to the respective regions and divisions by the CO-based concerned offices. As per the DepEd, regional and school division offices may organise simultaneous laptop unboxing and training via online webinars or face-to-face sessions if the required health protocols and social distancing are strictly followed.

OpenGov Asia reported, technology has advanced to the point where it now drives business growth. As a result, businesses use this to improve their performance by hiring tech-savvy candidates who can contribute to their businesses. In accordance with this, school is an excellent training ground for future professionals. It can assist these children by incorporating technology into their system via materials, facilities, rooms, and even modules. On the other hand, today’s children are digital natives. Using technology for their daily studies can benefit them more than it can harm them.

This has been the advocacy of the Philippines’ leading telecom and non-profit organisation, ensuring that no learner is left behind in their pursuit of achieving their dreams and being the best they can be in the future. In correspond, to support this advocacy, Philippine’s network solution and provider, joined hands and pledged support to reach last-mile schools starting with the portable digital classroom, ‘School-in-a-Bag’ turnover. The network provider had donated 17 Smart School-in-a-Bags to the organisation. These contributions will benefit the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Last Mile School Programme.

Governments, on the other hand, must reflect on the major challenges that students, parents, teachers, and school principals have faced in adapting to this phase of massive online learning and intervene to better harness the potential of online learning. Governments should first expand infrastructure, ensuring that no one is excluded from online lessons, and then assist students and teachers in making effective use of online tools and technologies.

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