‘No one left behind’: Pasig City’s scholarship program lauded as ‘epitome’ of distance learning

November 6, 2020 - 1:32 PM
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In this July 3, 2020 photo, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto delivers a speech for the 447th foundation day of Pasig. (Facebook/Vico Sotto)

(Updated 2:31 p.m.) Filipinos called the initiative of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto as the “epitome” of the “no one will be left behind” mantra of the education department as he considered students with different circumstances under the city’s chip-in beneficiaries program.

The local chief executive shared that the city held a Scholars General Assembly for the third batch on Wednesday where he mentioned that they have a total of 18,000 scholars under the program.

“The next leaders of Pasig are here. Maybe the next councilor or next mayor!” Sotto quipped on a Twitter post as he shared a picture of the virtual assembly.

He followed it up with another tweet where he mentioned that aspiring scholars who did not reach the grade requirement can still apply in the “chip-in” beneficiary initiative even if their grades are in the line-of-seven.

“Para sa mga ‘di umaabot sa grade requirements, puwedeng mag-apply sa CHIP-IN.. 500/month din ito, kahit puro 75 basta walang bagsak…” Sotto wrote.

“May mga iba masisipag pero nag-aalaga ng magulang/kamag-anak, may trabaho, o ‘di ganun kagaling sa academics. Deserving din sila,” he added, referring to other students with different circumstances.

Sotto reiterated in his Twitter thread that as long as an applicant has submitted the complete requirements and reached the program grade requirement, he or she may still be considered.

He also shared that the city can provide a tablet to a “non-PLP” student provided that someone could donate, referring to students who are not under Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig, the local university ran by the city government.

CHIP-in and Pasig City Scholarship programs

CHIP-in or Continuing High School Program for Education is a program started by Sotto’s predecessor Bobby Eusebio in the field of education in 2016.

It was conceptualized during the term of Bobby’s predecessor Maribel Eusebio to help indigent Pasigueño high school students with “saktong dunong” to pursue their studies. All of the beneficiaries of this initiative are required to attend school regularly and pass them.

Pasig City Scholarship Program, on the other hand, is a program for students who are residents of the city for five years. It requires academic qualifications such as at least 85 average and no final subject average below 80, no “failed,” or “dropped” or “incomplete” mark.

Below appears the list of requirements for Pasig City Scholars:

 

The academic school year for 2020-2021 opened last October under the distance learning initiative where students can learn from their homes through printed modules, online classes done by video calls or other means and through radio and television broadcasts.

Meanwhile, Sotto’s tweets, particularly his replies in his Twitter thread, earned the admiration from Filipinos who commented that the city’s initiative was the “epitome” of the Department of Education‘s promise that “no one will be left behind” under distance learning.

“Epitome of ‘no student left behind,'” a Facebook user wrote as she shared a screenshot of some of the mayor’s tweets about the initiative.

The Facebook user’s post has since gone viral with 25,000 likes and reactions and 20,000 shares on the social networking site as of this writing.

“Why are you like that Mayor Vico??? Nakakaiyak naman ‘yung statement mo. I hope everybody are like him,” another Facebook user commented with a crying emoji.

“SANA ALL DIBAAAAA,” wrote another online user as she tagged a friend.

“Changing my voter’s registration to Pasig na talaga! Pure selfless service!” a Filipino likewise exclaimed in response to the city’s initiatives.

“Solid scholarships, kahit passing grades pwede na,” another Facebook user commented with heart emojis.

Last September, Sotto gained admiration for prioritizing the needs for distance learning as social media users juxtaposed his initiative with a government agency’s “beach nourishment project” in Manila Bay that also gained traction at that time.

Distance learning concerns 

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in a virtual press briefing on Friday bared some of the issues that educators and students have been experiencing amid the distance learning setup.

Some of the concerns presented are the increased workload of teachers in terms of paper works and having “undue expenses” for technology needs in terms of working from home.

For students, asynchronous classes held during weekends—days traditionally dedicated for rest—have been experienced, as well as having to deal with heavier schoolwork from their respective educators.

ACT urged DepEd to hold an “objective and comprehensive assessment of the first month of classes” in order to fully address the concerns of the parties involved, especially since the system is new to everyone.

It also appealed for the agency to “stop the implementation” of distance learning in areas that were ravaged by Super Typhoon Rolly.

RELATED: Insensitive? DepEd chief hit for advice over soiled modules, distance learning woes after ‘Rolly’s’ onslaught

At the start of the academic year, Education Secretary Leonor Briones assured everyone that the department will “do everything so that no one will be left behind” in the distance learning setup.

“We will not give up on them. We will not give up on the needs of our learners,” she said in a virtual press briefing last month.