The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be providing tablets, laptops, and units of pocket Wi-Fi to San Juan City to be used by students for online learning.
The initiative, called the Digital Teachers and Digital Learners Project, is part of the DICT’s Digital Education Program which aims to facilitate digital transformation in the education sector and help address challenges in the delivery of basic education in the K-6 during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project also targets to help the Department of Education (DepEd) in designing Alternative Delivery Modes (ADMs) as part of the blended learning approach.
The tablets will be distributed to all student residents of San Juan who are enrolled in the city’s public elementary and high schools, except for grades three to six students of Pinaglabanan Elementary School who will instead be given free laptops and pocket Wi-Fi.
All devices are pre-loaded with DICT and DepEd-developed teaching and learning digital content. Quick links to the DepEd teaching and learning portals (DepEd Commons, LRMDS), among others, will also be installed in all devices.
“We chose San Juan as the first recipient of this initiative because San Juan has a plan to improve the lives of its citizens. Most importantly, a plan to improve the level of education of our next citizens and leaders, our most precious resources — our children,” DICT secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.
Pinaglabanan Elementary School will be the pilot school and will serve as a showcase for the Digital Teachers and Digital Learners Project.
“Through this, we will be able to show the whole country and the whole world that if we can do it in San Juan, then we can do it nationwide,” Honasan said.
San Juan City mayor Francis Zamora said the learning gadgets will help public school students continue their education amid the disruption in the education system brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The gadgets will big a help since face-to-face learning are currently suspended and online learning is the alternative methods of education at present. How will students engage in online education if they have no tablets? … Sometimes, the lack of gadget even becomes as an excuse for students to stop schooling… That’s the problem we solved today,” Zamora said.
The DICT and San Juan City have signed a partnership in September 2019 for the deployment of free Wi-Fi sites in public places within the city through DICT’s Free Wi-Fi for All Program. As of the present, there are 36 locations in San Juan installed with Free Wi-Fi.