/ 20 August 2021

ACT TEACHERS Partylist Rep. France Castro was alarmed over a recent study that showed teachers were spending their own money to buy gadgets and internet services to facilitate blended distance learning.

The study was conducted by the Department of Science and Technology’s National Research Council of the Philippines.

The lawmaker said that the Department of Education could have provided better support to teachers had the agency utilized the funds under Bayanihan 1 and 2 properly.

“The DOST-NRCP study further proves that our public-school teachers are highly undersupported in the Department of Education’s blended distance learning program,” Castro said.

She said the study revealed that most of those surveyed used their own personal money to acquire devices such as laptops, mobile phones, printers and internet connection services to fulfill their duties and facilitate blended distance learning.

“Lalong nakababahala ang mga datos na ito lalo na matapos lumabas ang findings ng COA na nagsasabing may nakita itong lapses sa utilization of funds na umaabot sa P3.2 bilyong piso sa ilalim ng Bayanihan 1 at 2 at may mga hindi mapatunayan na validity at propriety ng paggastos sa Learning Continuity Program na umaabot sa P4 bilyon,” Castro said.

The lawmaker further said that teachers had long been demanding for better budget prioritization especially as they continue to face another pandemic school year.

“We echo the recommendation of the DOST-NRCP study for an additional budget for internet allowances of teachers, equip our teachers with the technologies they need and support for their students,” Castro said.

“Hindi maitatawid ang nakaraang pandemic school year kung hindi dahil sa sakripisyo at abono sa pondo para sa blended distance learning ng ating mga guro. Dapat lang na dagdagan ang pondo para maibigay ang sapat na suporta para sa mga guro at mag-aaral,” she added.