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Hontiveros urges DepEd to provide laptops, WiFi allowances to public school teachers

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Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to provide laptops or internet-capable devices and WiFi allowance to public school teachers if it plans to push through with the opening of classes this coming August 24.

Hontiveros made the remarls after DepEd’s announcement of “blended-learning” classes despite the lack of technological preparations made for teachers.

“Huwag nating piliting gumastos ang mga guro para makapagturo,” said Hontiveros.

“Responsibilidad at gastos dapat ng DepEd ang mga ito,” she added.

DepEd earlier revealed that it will be using a “blended-learning method” in which both students and teachers rely on various technologies such as online classes, and television and radio stations.

Hontiveros also questioned DepEd’s proposal to have teachers enter into loans with the Government Insurance Service System (GSIS) for laptops worth P20,000 or less—the payment of these loans will be debited from the teachers’ salaries.

“This is a non-solution that is grossly unfair and impractical. DepEd should find ways to provide for these laptops and allowance for free. Imbes na pautang, dapat libreng suporta,” she said.

Hontiveros stressed that the Special Education Fund (SEF) provided to LGUs could be utilized to provide Wi-Fi allowances to teachers and to loan necessary equipment to them for free

Hontiveros has acknowledged that the problem of education in a “new normal” goes beyond the internet.

Meanwhile, the Senator also appealed to DepEd to review the agency’s preparedness to resume classes in August.

“There shouldn’t be a ‘race to August’. Failure to properly execute education plans will further widen our inequality gap,” Hontiveros explained.

“DepEd must ensure that teachers and students are synchronized with each other for these changes to be effective,” she added.

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