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FREE TABLETS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS URGED

Acknowledging that “digital learning is here to stay” even after the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and face-to-face classes resume, an education party-list backed a bill in Congress pushing to provide tablets to all students of public schools and state universities and colleges.

“Digital learning is part of the new normal, and it is here to stay—in fact, this is the future of education. Government must ensure that Filipino students, especially poor students, are given the tools to access the wide array of knowledge that can be gleaned online,” said Marie Paz T. Abante, president and first nominee of the Philippine Educators Alliance for Community Empowerment Party-list.

The party-list also called for more urgency in addressing connectivity gaps especially in rural areas.

Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda filed House Bill 10405 or the proposed “One Tablet, One Student Act,” which seeks to provide a free tablet to each public school student.

Students who already have their own learning gadgets shall instead be given educational assistance in the form of an internet allowance.

Abante described the bill as an “urgent and necessary intervention.”

“Hindi pa naman tayo babalik sa normal sa mga susunod na taon. Kung walang ganitong uri ng tulong mula sa pamahalaan, maaaring tuluyan lamang na mapag-iwanan ang mga estudyanteng walang sariling gadget,” she added.

“Sana’y dinggin ng Kongreso ang panawagan na maglaan na ng pondo para sa programang ito sa panukalang 2022 national budget,” the long-time educator also said.

The party-list also called for more urgency in addressing connectivity gaps especially in rural areas.

“The provision of learning tools necessarily go hand in hand with developing our digital infrastructure to ensure cheaper, faster, and more reliable connectivity across the whole country.

“Mauuwi lang sa wala ang pagbigay ng learning tools kung wala namang internet,” Abante said.

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