Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to distribute tablets amid shift to distance learning

Amid the shift to distance learning, the Pasig City government is set to distribute tablets to public school students starting October 1, Mayor Vico Sotto announced on Wednesday.

“Our tablets are scheduled for delivery to the city on or before September 30. Distribution sa mga mag-aaral simula (to the students starting) October 1,” Sotto said in a social media post as he provided updates on the ongoing efforts of the local government to support the needs of the education sector and the students amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

He said the supplier will be penalized if the tablets would not be delivered on time.

“We made the due date as far back as possible so that more suppliers would be able to bid. If a supplier delivers late there will be million-peso penalties,” he added.

Sotto said the local government is “moving quickly” to ensure a smooth blended and distance learning in the city.

The city’s education department, he said, is continuing the development of modules to be used for the blended learning methods.

He said various risograph machines have been delivered to the public schools for the printing of learner’s packets.

Sotto, meanwhile, said the provision of high-speed internet connections in public schools is now available and ready for use.

The city government has earlier built internet centers installed with high-speed computer network access to support the ‘new normal’ education set up in the city amid the health crisis.

Sotto said the internet centers can be used by the teachers and parents who do not have an internet connection at home, so they can download distance learning modules for students.

He said they can use the centers alternately every after two weeks to maintain physical distancing protocols and avoid overcrowding in the area.

Pasig teachers, he said, have undergone training for digital learning to prepare themselves in the opening of classes.

Sotto earlier said the city government will fund the initiatives pushing the distance learning method in Pasig.

On the other hand, Sotto said over 18,000 students are now part of the Pasig City scholarship program.

Scholars have already received their allowances via electronic payments, he added.

The local government has partnered with PayMaya to distribute the scholars’ allowances through a contactless method to ensure the minimum health standards to prevent the local transmission are observed.

Sotto said the city government has extended Pasig’s scholarship fund to cover 3,000 indigent students from the private schools.

“Extension of our scholarship program to private schools [students] that are having financial difficulties during this pandemic [the schools will identify a certain number of scholars each, totaling around 3,000 students],” he said.

Protocols amid crisis

The city government is set to conduct an online general assembly before the resumption of the classes.

The local government is also strengthening the schools governing council amid the pandemic, he added.

Sotto said the regular face-to-face stakeholders’ town hall meetings and summer reading camp for non-readers and frustrated readers should be postponed.

Pasig is also working on the major renovations and minor repair of some school buildings and educational facilities in the city.

Prioridad natin ang kaligtasan at kalusugan ng mga kabataan, ngunit ‘di tayo papayag na matigil ang kanilang pag-aaral (Our priority is the safety and health of the youth, but we will not let their education end),” Sotto said. (PNA)

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