The latest initiative of Vice President Leni Robredo to help the education sector in matters of distance learning as the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic earned laudatory remarks from some Filipinos.
The second highest ranking official in the government urged the public to donate any kind of unused gadgets in their houses or offices to be used for helping the students and teachers of impoverished communities.
Robredo said that interested people may give away their unused but still functioning smartphones, tablet computers, laptops or desktop computers that can aid those who cannot afford to buy gadgets for the imminent virtual classes this school year.
“Kahit hindi bago, ang mahalaga ay gumagana pa nang maayos at may basic programs ang gadget o computer. Makatutulong lalo kung maibibigay rin ang accessories gaya ng charger na kasama into,” part of her social media post reads.
“Ang inyong magiging ambag, ipaparating natin sa mga estudyante na walang pambili o access sa ganitong mga kagamitan, at sa mga guro na gagamit ng bagong medium upang magbahagi ng kaalaman,” she added.
Additional details such as minimum specifications of the gadgets will be released in the coming days.
Next on our list: a bayanihan drive for distance learning, to help students and teachers in poor communities. If you have extra gadgets lying around your homes or offices, we hope you'll consider donating. More details (i.e. minimum specs) in the coming days🤓 pic.twitter.com/5sretnhUrv
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) June 9, 2020
The Department of Education has halted physical classes until a vaccine for the coronavirus disease is made available to the public. Classes for the school year 2020-2021 are set to start on August 24.
DepEd will implement distance learning alternatives such as online classes, handing out printed modules or teaching through television and radio.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology said that it will coordinate with DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education, state universities and other educational institutions to accelerate the deployment of free Wi-Fi hotspots.
“A key factor for this is fast, reliable and secure internet. We are focusing on speeding up infrastructure buildup to address the expected surge in demand for connectivity in the education sector,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan said.
Latest data from DepEd indicated that around 6.2 million students enrolled in public schools during the first week of the month-long remote enrollment period.
‘Proactive on relevant issues’
The initiative of the vice president, meanwhile, was lauded by some Filipinos who claimed that Robredo was “focusing on real problems that need urgent solutions” such as distance learning.
“While everyone is else is busy with other stuff, VP Leni is out (there) working on real priorities. Let our response be, sana all,” a Twitter user wrote.
“SANA ALL PROACTIVE ON RELEVANT ISSUES,” another online user commented as he retweeted Robredo’s social media post.
“While the whole country is in chaos over the ATB (anti-terrorism bill) & whatnot, our VP is just silently keeping herself busy providing aid and assistance to people affected by COVID,” a Filipino observed.
“Isn’t it amazing how our Vice President is able to think up of useful ideas that don’t involve killing or arresting people?” Bob Guerrero, a sports writer at ABS-CBN, commented.
While the country grapples with a public health crisis brought upon by the coronavirus disease, Filipinos have witnessed the historic shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN and the urgent passage of the highly controversial anti-terrorism bill seen to stifle dissent.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been previously vocal in his opposition to renew the network’s legislative franchise that expired last month.
He has also fast-tracked the passage of the Anti-Terrorist Act of 2020 which had provisions seen to potentially stifle dissent and curtail constitutionally-protected civil liberties.
Some of these provisions include the legalization of wiretapping, granting of warrantless arrests without redress of grievances and having a vague definition of terrorism.
Meanwhile, experts have warned that COVID-19 cases in the country could reach up to 40,000 by the end of June if the government further eases quarantine protocols.