QC Local School Board approves P2.9-B supplemental budget for ‘new normal’ in education

The Quezon City (QC) Local School Board, chaired by Mayor Joy Belmonte has unanimously approved a P2.9-billion supplemental budget for the implementation of its continuity plan to adapt to the new normal in teaching and learning with face-to-face classes indefinitely suspended.

The approved supplemental budget will fund relevant and appropriate learning materials such as gadgets, printed modules, and internet allowances for more than 430,000 expected enrollees in public schools in the city.

“We are adjusting our budget to ensure that our children will continue learning despite the sudden shift from traditional to alternative learning modalities,” said Belmonte.

The city government will provide tablets for 155,921 enrolled junior high school students and 19,810 enrolled senior high school students.

Modules, learning packets containing flash drives, and other additional printed materials will also be distributed, particularly to kinder to grade school students.

Belmonte likewise said a portion of the special education budget will fund the internet allowance for Kinder and Grade 12 public school teachers to address their concern about connectivity under the planned blended system of learning.

According to Aly Medalla, the City’s Education Affairs Head, the local government is also planning to use some of its special education funds to augment the gadgets that the Department of Education (DepEd) will provide for teachers.

“The city plans to assign gadgets to all public schools and other educational facilities that teachers can share through a shifting schedule,” said Medalla.

“We also intend to improve or increase internet connectivity in schools so more teachers have access to the Internet,” Medalla pointed out.

Earlier, the QC government announced the use of a blended system of learning for basic education to guarantee the safety of students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city government is working to improve school facilities, like wash facilities, water supply, water catchment systems, and installation of water pumps, before face-to-face classes resume.

School supplies and care packages, which include goggles, face masks, alcohol, and other necessary items that may protect students will also be provided.