The local government of Pasig City has raised P1.2 billion for the purchase of tablets, laptops, and other learning devices for elementary up to senior high school students and teachers in public schools, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said on June 17.
An estimated 2,500 students from the city’s Pamantasang Lungsod ng Pasig (PLP) will also be provided learning gadgets worth around P30 million.
Sotto knows there’s nothing quite like learning face-to-face, but given the health crisis, distance learning is the way to go.
"Syempre walang papalit sa face-to-face classes pero alam po natin na sa ngayon, medyo delikado pa at ayaw nating maging breeding ground ng virus ang ating mga paaralan, so magiging distance learning po talaga," he said in a live briefing.
Some students do not have access to devices and cannot afford to purchase their own units, but Sotto encouraged PLP students to enroll anyway, as he said quitting school would be a loss.
"Ito 'yung pakiusap ko sa inyo, mag-enroll po kayo, libre naman po... mag-enroll po kayo, 'wag kayong tumigil sa pag-aaral, 'yan lang po 'yung hinihingi ko sa inyo," Sotto said.
"Sayang po 'yung pagkakataon. Kasi 'yung iba nababalitaan ko baka mag-stop muna ng pag-aaral. 'Wag po. Wala kayong extra na gastos dito, papasok lang po kayo, mag-enroll lang po kayo tapos kami na po bahala sa distance learning," he added.
Apart from electronic devices for distance learning, Sotto noted that every resident would have internet connectivity.
"Sisiguraduhin natin na... lahat may access. So 'yung mga walang access sa internet sa bahay puwede po sila pumunta sa mga ibang point kung saan merong local network kung saan puwede i-download 'yung mga file," he said.
The purchase and distribution of electronic devices is meant to help students proceed with learning during the pandemic, but Sotto hoped for a better situation in the coming months.
"Sana po by second semester okay na tayong lahat at puwede na pumasok 'yung mga bata. Pero, again, lagi ko po sinasabi ang planning natin lagi po for the worst case scenario. Hope for the best, plan for the worst," Sotto said.
"Again, not ideal, but we will do our best, so that the education of our youth will not stop here in Pasig despite COVID-19," he added.