MANILA — The local government of Manila on Wednesday turned over thousands of laptops, tablets, and pocket WiFi devices to the city's school division office as the education system shifts to distance learning in the coming academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The school division office will begin distributing the gadgets to teachers and students starting September 1, the Manila Public Information Office (PIO) said.
The local government is eyeing to give each household a tablet and each teacher a laptop, the Manila PIO said.
Some 11,000 laptops with pocket WiFi will be given to teachers while 136,950 tablets and 296,000 data SIM cards were allotted for students.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno earlier said he would allocate over P1 billion gadgets for distance learning.
Education officials in Manila have exceeded their target enrollment rate for public schools, hitting 100.46 percent in early July.
In-person classes remain suspended to avoid exposing students and educators to COVID-19, which has infected over 197,000 in the country.
The DepEd has downloaded funds to its regional offices to help schools shift to distance learning but acknowledged that these may not be enough to cover all expenses.
Aside from the downloaded funds, local government officials can help shoulder costs through the Special Education Fund, which is collected from one percent of real property taxes, the DepEd said.
-- Report from Jeck Batallones, ABS-CBN News