MANILA — The Department of Education has said it would give three months' worth of internet load to public school teachers as distance learning continued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said the department is procuring connectivity load that would provide 30 to 35 gigabytes (GB) worth of data per month to public school teachers. The distribution may start in June.
"We will begin to roll out siguro next month. We will be asking our teachers to register in DepEd Commons para mabigyan sila ng load sa kani-kanilang cellphone," Pascua said in a recent statement.
(We will begin to roll out this program probably by next month. We will be asking our teachers to register in DepEd Commons so we can give them load through their cellphones.)
Pascua said unused data allocation will be rolled over to the following months up to a year until the user fully consumes the 100 GB.
"Ine-expect namin na napakarami ng magagawa mo sa bandwidth na ito. Ine-expect namin na higit tatlong buwan hanggang anim na buwan magagamit ng teacher itong connectivity load," he said.
(We expect that teachers can do a lot with this bandwidth. We expect that our teachers can use this connectivity load for over 3 months to 6 months.)
Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said the department allocated P1.2 billion for the program.
Sevilla added that the data load would replace the DepEd's previous plan to give P450 load allowance to teachers.
There are over 800,000 public school teachers in the country, according to DepEd data.
Classes in Philippine public schools started last Oct. 5, 2020 through distance learning, where students studied from their homes via printed and digital modules, online classes, television, and radio. In-person classes remain indefinitely banned because of COVID-19.
Since then, many teachers have complained about shouldering costs related to distance learning, such as the printing of modules and buying internet load.