DepEd shuns cash donations for purchase of gadget for blended learning system

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2020 03:52 PM

DepEd shuns cash donations for purchase of gadget for blended learning system 1
Members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) hold a protest in front of the Department of Education (DEPED) headquarters in Pasig City on June 09, 2020. The groups raised concern on the accessibility of digital learning tools to both teachers and students with DepEd’s shift to online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday said it would not accept cash donations from individuals or groups seeking to fund the purchase of tablets, laptops and desktops for public school students and teachers.

The DepEd has an external partnership office to coordinate in kind donations, but the agency does not accept cash as a policy, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said during a Senate hearing.

"People receive letters of solicitation purportedly from me... [but] we do not accept cash donations," she said.

Individuals or groups who wish to donate in kind should coordinate with the DepEd as the agency knows "which regions are most in need" of assistance as the Philippines' education sector shifts to delivering lessons through online, television, radio and printed platforms, Briones said.

The DepEd chief also shunned tech companies lobbying for their products as the government beefs up the education sector's facilities and equipment.

"If you want to offer your products, dun kayo sa supplier, sa families [magbenta], hindi sa amin," Brioner said.

The DepEd earlier said that it expects to have 475,650 tablets and 634,877 desktop computers for 21.4 million public school students, and 190,574 laptops for public school teachers by the end of 2020.

"The direction is to provide a laptop for each teacher," Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said in a text messsage to reporters in May.

"The Department needs to recognize that teachers who use their own devices bought these out of their own resources. It is still the responsibility of the state to provide government-issued laptops," he said.