The Department of Education (DepEd) Palawan is calling for monetary support from its stakeholders to purchase tablets for some 252,000 early enrollees in Palawan.
According to the DepEd’s assessment, purchasing and distributing tablets to students is more cost-effective than printing and distributing self-learning kits or modules.
Assistant School Divisions Superintendent (ASDS) Loida Olivaria said during the 50th regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan July 13 that the department needs nearly P1-billion pesos to achieve a 1:1 tablet-to-student ratio. So far, the DepEd estimated only P166-million in pledged amounts and reallocated funds to supplement this endeavor.
“Prior to today (July 14), the DepEd has undergone partnership engagements with the municipalities,” said Olivaria. “We have made possible the realignment of budget [with the Local School Board]. We also have the provincial government pledge [P123,275,000].”
Olivario, through DepEd Information Technology (IT) officer Eric Quillip, explained that buying and distributing tablets are a more cost-effective approach rather than printing and distributing self-learning modules to each students’ house. DepEd’s assessment noted a nearly P3-million difference between printing and distributing models versus buying and distributing tablets to students.
“We have here the provision of learning gadgets from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Meron pong estimated budget needed na P1,171,335,000 para sa 252,239 para sa mga learners natin. Kung ico-compare natin ang reproduction of modules versus the provision of tablets, mayroong difference of P3,444,844,776,” said Quillip. The department’s estimated costs for printing and distributing modules are at P4,000,000,616.
Quillip further noted that tablets are also a safer way to facilitate learning because teachers do not need to go to each students’ house and risk the spread of COVID-19.
To buy some 252,239 tablets for the same number of students currently enrolled for the coming school year, the DepEd estimated a needed P1,004,733,939 to ensure that all 252,239 students will receive tablets. Olivario called upon DepEd stakeholders such as other government agencies, national officials, and non-government organizations (NGOs) to pledge their financial support.
“We are still lobbying for more support for our learners. We need full support and endorsements from the local officials to generous and supportive stakeholders, national officials, government agencies, and NGOs among others who can be partners of the Schools Division in providing the needs of learners when classes open on August 24,” said Olivario.
In case the DepEd is unable to reach the targeted amount, Olivario said that some students will share tablets between siblings. She also said that local government units (LGUs) will be in charge of distributing the tablets to students who need these most, and school heads will be tasked to identify which families are able to afford tablets so they can purchase these themselves.
Olivario also stated that students in areas without electricity will still use the printed modules.