/ 7 August 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian reiterated the importance of providing gadget to students as he pushed for a measure providing a laptop for all K to 12 learners enrolled in public schools.

Under Senate Bill 474 or the proposed One Learner, One Laptop Act, Gatchalian is seeking to ensure learners can receive quality digital education and distance learning at all times and under all circumstances.

The senator stressed learners struggled at the height of the Covid19 pandemic due to lack of devices and unstable internet connectivity when schools transitioned to remote learning.

“The intent of this priority measure is to ensure that all learners will be able to continue with their education even in the midst of emergency situations or disasters that could disrupt face-to-face classes,” Gatchalian said.

“Even if physical interactions are already in full swing, these devices would still be needed for any school work,” he added.

The measure mandates the Department of Education secretary, through the Bureau of Learning Resources, to formulate the policies, standards, and guidelines for the implementation and management of providing one laptop for every public school learner.

“Nakita natin nitong panahon ng pandemya ang napakahalagang papel ng internet at mga gadgets para sa pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon. Kaya naman upang matiyak nating tuloy ang edukasyon kahit sa panahon ng krisis, isinusulong natin na mabigyan ng laptop at maayos na internet ang ating mga mag-aaral,” Gatchalian explained.

The proposed measure also mandates the Department of Information and Communications Technology to accelerate the installation, deployment, and activation of free public wi-fi in all public basic education institutions.

The DICT is also mandated to escalate the building of national infrastructure for information and communications technology.

Learners will also receive subsidized data plans if their parents are listed as beneficiaries under the ‘Listahanan’ of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.