Thanks, USAID, for the Educational Support for Our Kids

The Philippines will receive P126 million from the United States to implement its new education plan for the COVID-19 pandemic, as physical face-to-face classes remain prohibited.

Washington’s Agency for International Development (USAID) said on June 17 that it would provide assistance to Filipino teachers in the form of teaching strategies and learning materials created for both school and home learning. It will also aid the Department of Education (DepEd) in the developing and designing tools to gauge students’ skills once they go back to attending school in person.

Apart from helping students and educators, the USAID will also help devise activities that parents can use at home. It will also work with the private sector and local media to help children learn during the pandemic.

“The US government, through USAID, remains committed to ensuring young students have the opportunity to continue to learn despite the challenges that COVID-19 has created,” the agency's Mission Director Lawrence Hardy said in a statement.

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Around 700,000 teachers answered a DepEd survey and results revealed that only 87% have laptops or computers at home, while the remaining 13% have no access to such gadgets, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said.

Still, only 41% of those with gadgets at home have an internet connection, 49% have signal in their area but no internet subscription of their own, and 10% do not have signal and a subscription at all.

Teachers are not the only ones affected by this connectivity and technology problem, as students must also be connected via internet in order to have online lessons. The DepEd is also looking into the accessibility of online classes through a survey in enrollment forms.

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