The Department of Education (DepEd) wants to give ‘load allowance’ for public school teachers and senior high school (SHS) students starting next year so that they can have internet connectivity for distance learning.
In a press release on Wednesday, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said that she has already requested the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to issue PhP 4 billion for the implementation of Digital Education, Information Technology, and Digital Infrastructure and Alternative Learning Modalities as stipulated in the Republic Act No. 11494 or also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
The requested amount shall cover the provision of connectivity load for the 3.2 million SHS learners and around 900,000 teachers nationwide.
“We recognize the importance of load allowance for our learners and teachers to deliver quality education despite these challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from our Congress and the DBM, we shall continue to push for more financial assistance to our stakeholders,” Secretary Briones said.
Once granted, teachers will receive PhP 450 load allowance while SHS students shall have PhP 250 per month for three months, which amounts to a total of PhP 3.6 billion.
“’Pag may connectivity load na, pwede na kayong magdownload ng [educational] videos or mas makausap pa ang inyong mga estudyante,” Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua said during a consultative meeting with school heads at Triangulo Elementary School in Naga City on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the remaining PhP 400 million will be allocated to expand production of learning materials in the DepEd Commons, DepEd TV and Radio (PhP 200 million); augment funds for printing and delivery of self-learning modules (SLMs) (PhP150 million), and establish 2,000 radio transmitters in the Last Mile Schools (PhP 50 million).
FREE access DepEd learning platforms
Undersecretary Pascua also appealed to school officials to remind parents and learners regarding the free-of-charge or even without load balance) downloading of educational videos and SLMs from the DepEd Commons.
“Learners can also watch DepEd TV live streaming for free at https://www.facebook.com/DepEdTVOfficial/,” he shared.
According to Usec. Pascua, the DepEd is exploring more ways to support distance learning by engaging telecommunication companies in the country.
During the consultative meeting, Usec. Pascua, alongside Undersecretary for Field Operations Revsee Escobedo, also answered issues and concerns of school officials on the repairs for DepEd facilities, as well as distance learning challenges brought by Super Typhoon Rolly.