‘Dyipni Maki‘: Makati hiring jobless jeepney drivers for mobile learning hubs
MANILA, Philippines — Aside from displaced teachers, jeepney drivers who have been unable to ply their routes due to the coronavirus pandemic will be hired by the Makati City government for its “Dyipni Maki” mobile learning hub project.
“Their jeepneys will be outfitted to transport books and other learning materials, teachers and librarians, and laptops with internet connection,” Mayor Abby Binay said in a statement on Wednesday.
The local government has been coordinating with the Makati Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association for the rental of at least 27 jeepneys that will be deployed to different barangays when classes begin in October.
According to Rita Riddle, the schools division superintendent of the Department of Education (DepEd)-Makati, the city will pay P2,000 a day for each jeepney.
“Our initial target is 27 drivers hired. The number may still increase because the jeepney federation is proposing to do a rotation among its member-drivers. We are looking at 100 drivers per week eventually,” Riddle said.
At least 54 teachers will also be hired for the implementation of the project, with a monthly pay of P20,000.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for residents whose main livelihood as jeepney drivers has been abruptly cut short due to the pandemic. They, too, like the displaced teachers and tutors we have hired to operate the learning hubs, will have a regular income to support their families,” Binay said.
“We are glad that we have come up with this project that addresses multiple issues simultaneously. Not only will it help students and their parents cope with the new ‘blended learning’ approach in education, [it] will also provide much-needed employment to Makatizens,” she added.
Venues for learning
Under the Dyipni Maki project, jeepneys repurposed as mobile learning hubs will be deployed to the city’s barangays. These will be equipped with laptops and internet connection as well as books and supplementary materials that parents can borrow. They will also serve as venues for learning and reading activities, book donation drives, and other projects that will promote reading in communities.
More than 43,000 jeepney drivers in Metro Manila have been jobless since March when a lockdown was declared, resulting in a ban on public transport.
Less than 8,000 were able to return on the road on July 3, but their trips were cut short when the capital reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine on Aug. 4.
Some 12,443 jeepneys, or about a quarter of the 55,000 jeepneys in the metropolis were expected to resume operations on Aug. 19 with the National Capital Region shifting back to general community quarantine.
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