42% of school-age Filipinos don’t use devices for distance learning — SWS | Inquirer News

42% of school-age Filipinos don’t use devices for distance learning — SWS

/ 09:58 PM March 02, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Around 42 percent of school-age Filipinos currently enrolled do not use any distance learning device, a survey from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

SWS said in its report dated Monday that it asked household heads during the face-to-face surveys conducted last November 21 to 25, 2020, whether their school-age relatives — or those aged five to 20 — were enrolled for the current school year.


Schools are also using either online lessons, modular learning, or hybrid learning systems to avoid possible COVID-19 transmissions.

According to SWS, data collected from respondents showed 58 percent of students use devices, which were specified as laptops, tablets, smartphones, television (TV) sets, or radios.


“The national Social Weather Survey of November 21-25, 2020, found 58% of enrolled school-age (5-20 years old) Filipinos using devices for distance learning.  These devices were either already owned (27%), bought (12%), borrowed (10%), given (9%), or rented (0.3%),” SWS explained.

However, the highest percentage of students using devices came from Metro Manila at 96 percent; meanwhile, just 64 percent of students use devices for the rest of Luzon, 43 percent for the Visayas and 41 percent for Mindanao.

Also, the number of households with devices before transitioning to online and modular classes was higher in Metro Manila and Luzon.

“Further, the percentage of those who use already owned devices is higher in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon (36% and 30%) than in the Visayas and Mindanao (20% and 23%),” SWS said.

“Only 4% in Metro Manila said they do not use devices for distance learning, much lower compared to more than half in the Visayas (56%) and Mindanao (58%), and more than a third in Balance Luzon (36%),” it added.

SWS also found out that among those who had never owned a device before the academic change, the most common form of gadget purchased or rented was a smartphone, with 79% purchasing or renting it.

An average of P8,687 was shelled out by each household per student — amid an economic crisis.


The research was done by the polling firm further showed the following numbers:

-80 percent or around 23.8 million of school-age Filipinos enrolled exclusively in modular distance learning;

-14 percent or around 4.3 million are enrolled exclusively in online distance learning;

-one percent or around 302,000 enrolled exclusively in face-to-face learning schemes;

-0.1 percent or around 38,000 enrolled and exclusively using TV/radio-based instruction

Meanwhile, four percent were found to have been enrolled in blended learning schemes, which consists the following:

-four percent or around 1.2 million use modular distance learning and online distance learning combinations

– 0.6 percent or around 178,000 use face-to-face classes and modular distance learning

Full-blown face-to-face classes in schools are also a big concern because of the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the vaccine rollout has only just begun.  Several officials, such as Vice President Leni Robredo, have urged the national government to explore the possibility of face-to-face classes in areas where there is no COVID-19 transmission.

On the other hand, parents and students have shown interest in physically going to schools; they find tutoring and other forms of distance learning difficult.

Just earlier, the Senate endorsed the safe opening of schools to kickstart face-to-face classes again.

READ: Robredo pushes anew for face-to-face classes in Covid transmission-free areas 

READ: DepEd renews call for school opening 

READ: Senate endorses ‘safe reopening of schools’, start of face-to-face classes dry run 

But even though several student groups have recognized the importance of resuming face-to-face classes soon, they remain wary of whether DepEd and other government agencies can actually prevent coronavirus infections.

Last February 19, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan asked DepEd if it could ensure students’ safety, given that many schools do not have the facilities to ensure physical distancing and proper sanitation the government allegedly did a measly job of tracing potential COVID-19 patients.

READ: DepEd asked: Can it keep senior high students safe from COVID-19 if schools open? 


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TAGS: blended learning, COVID-19 pandemic, devices, distance learning, gadgets, laptops, lockdown, modular learning, online classes, Philippine news updates, smartphones, Social Weather Stations, SWS
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