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DepEd urges donors to provide schoolkids with gadgets for distance learning

Instead of school supplies, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday encouraged donors to provide gadgets that students can use for distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Halimbawa 'yung programa natin na Brigada Eskwela na kung saan ang mga donor ay nagbibigay sila ng school bags, papel, ballpen, ang sabi namin kung kaya nila gadgets ang ipamigay saka tools para matulungan ang mga pamamahay sa mga gadgets," Education Secretary Leonor Briones said during a Senate hearing.

Citing a survey conducted by the DepEd, the Cabinet official said that many teachers in the country have their own laptops and desktops. Out of the poll's 788,000 teacher respondents, 687,000 said they have those gadgets, Briones said.

"Ang plano natin siguraduhin natin na lahat ng teacher magkaroon ng laptops para ma-contact nila 'yung kanilang mga estudyante," she added, noting that many of them also own mobile phones.

In areas where internet connection and mobile networks are weak or not available, Briones said radio and television may be maximized as alternative learning platforms.

The DepEd already announced that classes will officially start on August 24, employing blended modes of learning to protect the safety of learners, teachers, and parents amid the pandemic.

There are over 27 million basic education students in the Philippines, according to the department. — BM, GMA News