EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY. Cebu City North District Representative-elect Cutie del Mar (right) says in a media forum on Tuesday (June 7, 2022) that she wants elementary pupils and high school students to embrace technology and do away with carrying heavy books to school. She called for the provision of tablets for the learners, downloaded with learning applications. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)

CEBU CITY – Cebu City North District Representative-elect Cutie Del Mar on Tuesday said it is high time to consider full digitalization of learning modalities by providing a tablet for each learner instead of letting them carry loads of books from their homes to their schools.

Del Mar said allowing schoolchildren to embrace technology even while residing in hinterland villages where internet connectivity is usually poor, can be made possible by providing them with tablets that have pre-programmed applications.

“Online learning is not possible in mountain barangays due to challenges in connectivity. So how (can) you expect them (to learn) if they don’t have a signal. You cannot talk about the internet there. And hopefully, we can fund so kids can have tablets that have control so that they cannot play games, download social media, and they can have everything in there,” she said in a media forum.

With tablets, Del Mar said elementary pupils and high school students will not be burdened with carrying heavy books, citing its ill effect on their health.

Del Mar also said she believed that raising teachers’ salary grades will give a boost to the Philippine education system.

She lamented the low proficiency level of some teaching personnel due to the modest salary they receive in both the government and private educational institutions.

“Increase their salary (salary) grade from 11 to 14, then we will attract more teachers,” she added.

South District Representative-elect Eduardo Rama Jr., said amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, 90 percent of children have been found to have “learning poverty” as those who are aged 10 years and below have a hard time understanding a simple story.

“I agree with (Rep.) Cutie. We do need to increase the salary of our teachers. If we compare, teachers in the Philippines have the lowest salary among the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian) countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Del Mar said she will push for the opening of a branch of the Cebu Technological University (CTU) in the mountain village of Guba in this city, to cater to senior high school graduates who want to proceed to college and take up agriculture and other trade courses. (PNA)