Poe: Gadget loan to give students better shot at online learning, but reliable internet is a must too

Poe: Gadget loan to give students better shot at online learning, but reliable internet is a must too

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Sen. Grace Poe urged students in need of electronic gadgets to avail of the loan program offered by the Land Bank of the Philippines to have a better shot at online learning.

“Telcos should also step up so that connectivity will not continue to be a stumbling block to our children’s education,” she added. (AI/MTVN)

“For many families, the leap to digital has become prohibitively expensive. We must enable them to obtain devices as an investment for their children’s education,” Poe said.

The senator said she hopes the guidelines and implementation of the loan program will be friendly and simple, especially to poor families.

“The less complicated the processes are, the higher the likelihood we can draw more interest into this program,” Poe said.

According to the state-run bank, a loan of up to P50,000 per student will be made available to purchase learning gadgets such as laptop, desktop, or tablet for online learning.

The amount can be included in the maximum loanable amount of P150,000 per student or P300,000 per parent-borrower to cover payment for tuition or enrollment-related fees under Land Bank’s I-STUDY (Interim Students’ Loan for Tuitions towards Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth) Lending Program.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned smartphones and tablets from luxury to must-haves as classes in the country shifted online, prompting many low-income families to scrape together money to buy cheap or even used devices.

In the face of online education, internet access has also become a necessity for children to keep up with lessons—even if this meant scaling roofs and mountains for some to get a signal.

Poe then emphasized that fast and reliable internet connection is a must as well to make full use of any digital device for online education.

“A laptop, tablet, or smartphone will only be useful tools to the students during online classes if they can connect to the internet,” she said. (AI/MTVN)

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