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HomeUncategorizedOne Tablet, One Student Act proposed in Senate

One Tablet, One Student Act proposed in Senate

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Senator Nancy Binay has proposed a bill to provide tablets or similar devices to all public school students in order to ensure quality education as the system transitions to blended learning or purely remote learning.

Binay has presented Senate Bill 2454, or the proposed “One Tablet, One Student Act,” which would provide a tablet computer to each public elementary and secondary student, as well as students enrolled in state universities and colleges, to “enable them to effectively participate in online learning.”

According to the bill, students who already own personal learning devices will be given educational assistance in the form of an internet allowance to cover the costs of their connectivity.

The One Tablet, One Student program will be implemented by the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education.

They will be required to create a comprehensive system for determining the eligibility of students who will be qualified for the program, as well as an efficient and expedited distribution system and guidelines for tablet usage, maintenance, and accountability.

The bill will require a budget of P200 billion pesos from the National Treasury for the initial implementation of the program. After the initial phase, the budgetary needs of the program will be included in the annual national budget.

Once enacted, the DepEd, CHED, in coordination with the local government units, through the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, will provide the implementing rules and regulations of the law not later than 30 days upon its effectivity.

Binay explained in her explanatory note that the shift to “digitally dependent learning models” used to protect students from COVID-19 “posed challenges to internet access and availability of computers or personal learning gadgets.”

According to a World Bank report, the health crisis “has starkly highlighted the inequalities in digital access and that ‘business as usual’ will not work for the delivery of education to all children.”

The World Bank went on to say that the emphasis should be on bridging gaps in digital infrastructure such as connectivity, devices, and software; human infrastructure such as teacher capacity, student skills, and parental support; and logistical and administrative systems to deploy and maintain tech architecture.

This will help to bridge “digital divides in education” and “leverage the power of technology to accelerate learning, reduce learning poverty, and support skill development.”

The lawmaker also mentioned another World Bank report on the Philippine Digital Economy for 2020, which stated that the digital divide in the Philippines is wide, with nearly 60% of households lacking internet access and thus unable to reap the benefits of digitalization.

“As a result, face to face interactions and analog practices largely dominate in the Philippines, making social distancing economically costly,” the WB report, as cited by Binay, said.

Binay stated that there are approximately 27 million elementary and high school students enrolled in the current academic year, citing data from DepEd and CHED. Meanwhile, approximately 1.6 million students are enrolled in SUCs as well as local colleges and universities.

“This staggering number of students who need tablets does not even include their teachers who are likewise in need of such devices,” Binay said.
"In line with the State's mandate to provide quality education at all levels, this bill seeks to aid students enrolled in public schools and SUCs by giving them tablets or similar learning devices,” she added.
REFERENCE/S:
One Tablet, One Student Act proposed in Senate|GMA

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