Photo: Facebook/VP Leni Robredo
After meeting on August 7 with teachers who expressed being ill-prepared for the new school year, Vice President Leni Robredo wrote to the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday to air the educators’ concerns.
Robredo noted issues such as the department’s “lack of clear operational directives” and how insufficient communication may have prevented educators from getting their learning modules, despite these already made available in DepEd Commons, a portal that provides access to educational materials. She shared reports her office received that only seven million learners have subscribed to the platform.
As the academe transitions to a distance learning and blended learning approach, Robredo also pointed out how 61 percent or 14 million households and 74 percent or 34,000 schools do not have the means to access the Internet.
“Perhaps it would be prudent for the government to devote significant resources in setting up Internet hubs in schools and communities so that the gaps would be addressed,” said Robredo.
As most schools will be left empty and unused, she further suggested that DepEd use its untapped 2019 funds and realign its P29.5 billion budget for the rehabilitation of schools to purchase needed learning gadgets and equipment.
Amid the threat of the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 pandemic, Robredo also recommended funding for teachers’ physical check-ups and medicine, personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizers, mass testing, as well as the timely release of hazard pay.