Teachers ask DepEd to hike cash allowance to support online teaching
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – A teachers’ organization has asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to increase their cash allowance known as “chalk allowance” to be able to meet the demand of technology-based teaching.
Basic education, while the country is still fighting COVID-19 will mostly be conducted through modules and online classrooms.
“With this drastic change in teaching and learning approaches, our teachers will need to upgrade their technological capacity and digital access,” Ildefonso Enguerra III, President of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC)-NCR said in a press release.
“The DepEd may consider the provision of gadgets like laptop computers or tablets and internet access to our teachers,” Enguerra added.
The DepEd earlier announced that the cash or ‘chalk’ allowance in the amount of P3, 500 will be released sooner.
The group, however, noted the amount was only equivalent to P16.00 a day.
“But again, with online tasks continuously growing, we may need more funds to cope-up,” Enguerra said.
He said a P1, 000 internet allowance per month may not be enough “but will be a great help for teachers.”
“Our experience in the first week of enrolment alone- where we were tasked to enlist the children online through social media, text messages and calls- shows that we will be needing more assistance to deliver the expected output of distance education,” Enguerra added.
The TDC and all its affiliates also persuade all their respective local school boards to divert funds from repair, maintenance, construction, and sports facilities and activities to the technological needs of both teachers and learners.
The group commends the local government units that pledged their help to teachers and students alike, particularly in Pasig, Taguig, Manila, Malolos, and Quezon.
However, they worry that some LGUs might be left behind in upgrading since most of the cities that pledged are highly urbanized and has the means to provide, unlike other areas.
“We appreciate all those initiatives, but we fear that if we leave it solely to the initiative of the LGUs, it will further widen the digital divide.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.
“The need for building may not be that urgent, even the sports activities are suspended. So it may be wise if we spend the money on digital needs. However, to be fair to all, the national government must step in,” Basas added. – Jim Mendoza, trainee
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