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OPINION: Online schooling? Buy gadgets for teachers first

Earlier this week, a photo of some teachers in Davao de Oro searching for a signal at the side of a road to join an education webinar went viral—earning mixed reactions from netizens.

While some praised the dedication of the teachers, many also raised concerns on the lack of resources for educators in far-flung areas especially now that the country is planning to shift to ‘blended’ learning which would require more online resources.

For weeks now, the Department of Education (DepEd) has repeatedly flaunted its efforts for distance learning, saying it would ensure that all teachers are provided with enough resources for the shift.

But then time and again, we often see teachers like the ones in Davao de Oro, adjusting with the poor response of the government.

Before going on a media campaign about blended learning, the DepEd should first ensure that its teachers are well-equipped to respond to the demands of the upcoming school year.

So to DepEd, buy gadgets for teachers first.

Ensure that every educator in the country, be it in Metro Manila or as far as Davao de Oro, has enough capacity to fulfill his or her role as a teacher.

Provide teachers with laptops, internet allowances, and pocket WiFi to ensure that they have access to the resources that they need. Depriving teachers with these much-needed resources is like depriving our students of the education that they freely deserve.

In buying gadgets for teachers as well, DepEd should ensure that these are functional, and could be used as soon as classes start on Aug. 24.

The shift to blended learning is an opportunity for the DepEd to prove that it puts a high value on our teachers.

More than caring for the students, let’s not forget that teachers too are an important factor in the education system.

And they deserve all the support that the government, particularly DepEd, can give.


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