Despite available Tablets, Teachers appeal for A4 papers
From the Desk
The promise of Mayor Vico to Pasig City have been met as tablets, computers among others were stowed in a central storing facility at the last part of September 2020. This is a fulfilment of his vision to ensure that Pasig students will continue their academic journey despite the threat of the pandemic.
Computers are for teachers, tablets for students – this has been the rallying cry of the city government as they continue to entice its young populace not to suspend their learning and sink themselves in the debilitating problems of the contagion. However, despite the hard work of the local government in the procurement of gadgets, teachers still appeal for A4 Papers – something which should have not been the case since tablets were procured to enable distance education to be paperless.
Countless reasons were gathered by the TPR from its sources but only three remained to be the most crucial to this appeal:
1. Electronic Gadgets only arrived in the city at the last days of September (Oct. 5 is the Opening of Classes for Public Schools)
2. Paper Modules are to be used in the first 2 weeks of the school year while tablets are yet to be distributed
3. Uploading of digital materials would be time consuming considering the number of students
Why last day of September?
The City Mayor already made mention of his interest to procure electronic gadgets for this school year sometime May - June 2020 or the early parts of the quarantine lockdown. A testament to this is how the government was able to find 1.2 Billion Php from its coffers. This is part of the effort to ensure that students will have access to education whatever the format may be in the upcoming year. The procurement of tablets, computers and other devices is a very meticulous task that fell on the hands of the Bids and Awards Committee of the local government. Their obligation is simple, to ascertain a fair and humane procurement process that is standardized and at par with the requirements set forth by the RA 9184.
The government is still lucky, as the DepEd decided to move the start of the school year from August to October if not, the students of Pasig would end up having no tablets for almost two months. The slow movement of the bidding process may be attributable to several factors which concerns the bureaucracy – a justified reason (this is an article to be published for another day). As of October 5, 2020, 7am, there are tablets in Pasig but stowed in gyms-turned-storages of the city.
Paper modules - still a need
As of writing, 40% of the tablets have now been delivered to schools and fewer than that is the percentage of students with the promised electronic devices in their hands. Distribution is a challenge to this kind of set up. As thousands of public students claim victory for the good intentions of the local government; giving them tablets for their scholastic needs – it would be advisable, as an old adage would put it “not to count chickens before they hatch” for the time being. The 2-week distribution frame is a rough estimate and could be sooner or hopefully not later as teachers are known for their systems and lesson plans which should be strictly implemented week after week. Delays in education for even a week would entail lost time for the pupils whose minds are at the developing stages. The good side of it is that teachers seemed to be perpetually prepared for every scenario. Their passion to teach allowed them to have a sensible foresight. Which is why they continue to seek donations of A4 papers for them to print out their modules so that students may still learn without tablets – for the time being.
How ready are the tablets?
How ready are the tablets? What modules are to be uploaded and how heavy? Synchronous? Asynchronous? May Internet ba? These are just questions that continue to haunt students and teachers alike. The first two days of this school year indeed is a test case as we saw the migration of learning from physical to virtual. Even teachers are at their learning curves while some are playing Socratic methods to students while doing chores or some other unnecessary things – not a good thing for it shows lack of empathy to the students and disinterest. There are even reports of teachers being gone/missing from the virtual classrooms at the second day of classes; it could be due to internet connection or some excusable excuse.
Inasmuch as students are needed to be helped, so are teachers. As modern day heroes of the society, this virtual class setting is a challenge as it defines the very thought of professing knowledge to pupils – something that should be done on sight and face-to-face. The time spent on uploading modules is an accepted fact by teachers who needs to be patient and with the number of students it is indeed a gargantuan challenge. Hence, physical handouts is still a need just to be sure that students would remain students. The plight of teachers and their need for A4 papers can be traced on the slow process of procurement; one cannot help but inquire why it takes them so long if the matter is of life and death.
Of course, many would wonder why teachers are appealing for A4 papers if the DepEd have been so astute as to boast on their preparedness.
With the ongoing distribution of tablets and devices to all public schools in Pasig, TPR appeals to interested individuals to please, answer the call of teachers; PLEASE DONATE A4 PAPERS. Helping them is a way of contributing to the future of our motherland that rests in the humble minds of the students they strive to teach.
The City Government of Pasig is indeed carving its own history right now. Fresh from the success of being the only local government that distributed the Supplemental SAP, the city is once again at the center stage as it proves once more its mettle in governance and accountability.
The content of the article is purely the opinion and observations of the writers and in no way did the Pasig Review impose any of its collective views. The article was printed with respect to the writers’ freedom of expression and in the best interest of the students. We are open to other opinions and perspectives that other writers would like to share. We are also open to a response from the institution so all sides may be presented.