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Government must urgently provide data allowance and laptops for teachers

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 Teacher Lanie Clemente on the opening of the school year on October 5, 2020, at the Rafael Palma Elementary School in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News


MANILA - A lack of modules and data allowance remains a problem for some teachers as the country's new school year begins Monday. 


Benjo Basas, chairperson of Teachers' Dignity Coalition, said some teachers had to print modules that they need to conduct classes. 


"It's like almost nothing changed because in October 2020 we saw problems in modules, and these remained up to now.”


According to abs-cbn.com, many have reported to us that they still don't have modules, to think it's the opening of classes. Teachers are still on it. Printing is ongoing in the respective houses of our teachers.


Government must also provide data allowance and laptops for teachers, according to Basas.


The Department of Education had given out data allowance last year by providing SIM cards, but most teachers have already availed of prepaid and postpaid plans, he said.


It also provided 40,000 laptops to teachers, but the number is still quite small for nearly 1 million teaching personnel, he added.


"Laptops should not come out of our teachers' pockets and it should not be given through a loan because the GSIS also suffered for laptop loans.”


Distance learning is implemented as the Philippines is one of the few remaining countries that have yet to resume in-person classes due to the pandemic.


Latest data from the Department of Education (DepEd) showed that nearly 22 million registered in basic education — including both public and private schools — this year, equivalent to only 83.6 percent of the 26.2 million students from the previous academic year, which saw around a million learners miss school.


This lack of equipment is causing teachers issues across SE Asia as many schools are hforced to teach online, and many poorer families do not have access to reliable internet.

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