The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated 25 laptop computers and 479 tablets to the Department of Education (DepEd) to help boost online learning in the Philippines.
The US Embassy in Manila on Wednesday said the donations were turned over last Sept. 6 to DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan and Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio.
“[D]espite the pandemic situation, we hope to promote learning among young children while at the same time support the innovative practices of teachers and schools in creating technology-aided learning experiences,” USAID Philippines Office of Education Director Thomas LeBlanc said.
The school equipment will be distributed to select schools in Bicol Region and Western Visayas, including those associated with the authors of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) interactive Primers developed using the Kotobee software purchased by USAID for DepEd last year.
The tablets will be loaded with eResources in an easy-to-use navigation system allowing for offline use.
The USAID will also test a model of teacher-directed continuous assessment supported by targeted resources for early reading improvement to be implemented in 2021 to 2022 school year.
“This gesture is a product of partnership that we have on learning continuity and contains both substance and the building of the learning spaces of this time. In this situation there are many learning gains, and this is what we must be able to harness and build for the future,” Malaluan said.
San Antonio, for his part, conveyed the agency’s gratitude to USAID, saying the donations “will definitely spell the difference between mediocrity and excellence in delivering basic education services.”
The latest assistance is part of USAID’s All Children Reading, a four-year PHP250-million project that supports DepEd in improving reading outcomes for early grade learners.
USAID focuses on impact, scale, and sustainability through provision of evidence and capacity building activities for the successful implementation of strategic early grade reading initiatives. (PNA)