The Department of Education recently released minimum specifications for people and organizations who are interested to donate electronic equipment and gadgets to be used by public school students and teachers for distance learning.
In a memorandum dated June 8, DepEd listed down the requirements that each laptop, desktop computer, tablets, smartphones and internet services should at least fulfill for the purpose of online classes.
It added that donors are not required to install Microsoft Office programs since the department has already entered a “special Volume Licensing Arrangement that allows the said software to be installed in all devices used in public schools.”
DepEd also said that they should write a deed of donation addressed to its division office or the chosen schools for record-keeping and accountability.
The ideal budget for minimum internet services for students cost P300 per month with a 6GB bandwidth while teachers need at least P500 per month for a 10 GB bandwidth.
Teachers are required to have at least a laptop that has a headset and optical mouse while elementary students could have a desktop computer. For those in junior and senior high, a 2-in-1 tablet PC is recommended.
Full details of the specifications are uploaded on DepEd’s website but it has also been uploaded by a volunteer-managed civic media platform on Facebook.
#LOOK DepED Secretary Briones said her department has set the standards for the specifications of the gadgets needed…
The department 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.
Alternative learning methods that are considered include online classes, giving out printed modules to students through pick-up method or delivery and teaching lessons through the use of television and radio.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology said that it will coordinate with DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), state universities and other educational institutions to accelerate the deployment of free Wi-Fi hotspots.
Meanwhile, the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo urged individuals to donate some of their unused but still functioning gadgets to help teachers and students who cannot afford to buy gadgets of their own.
Concerns on class resumption
While initiatives for online learning are underway, there are still some Filipinos who voiced their opposition against the opening of the school year, citing internet connection problems and its overall accessibility.
DepEd previously launched a survey on the continuity of online classes and shared that most schools had supposedly agreed for its resumption but its method was questioned since only those who had access to the internet managed to answer it.
The slowing down of this year’s enrollment rate also alarmed the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) as they said it indicated “millions” of students would be “left behind” with the planned alternative methods.
ACT said that there was a “33% slowdown” in the enrolment rate from 6.3 million students by June 6 to just an additional 4.2 million after a week.
It projected that if the rate continues to decrease, it would only result “to mere 15.2 million total enrollees in 4 weeks” which is “an alarming 44% drop from last year’s 27.2 million enrolment data.”
Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV earlier asked the DepEd and CHED to resume the school year in January 2021 for public schools “in light of uncertainties and anxieties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”