ILOILO CITY—Iloilo Vice Gov. Christine Garin pushed for the Department of Education (DepEd) to reinforce the regulation of students’ use of cellular phone during class hours.
In her privileged speech during the regular session of the Iloilo Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) last week, Garin said current learners need Internet, smartphones, iPads and other devices in the field of education.
She, however, said the society cannot discredit the harmful impact of the technology to studies.
“Some of our students or learners would rather go online and play games instead of studying their lessons. Some learners have become experts in interacting with others through social media but become reserved and awkward when speaking with others in person,” she added.
She said she had a meeting with Dr. Roel Bermejo, DepEd-Iloilo Division Superintendent, and was informed that numeracy and literacy rate in the province is also “highly affected because of the poor study habit of our students in school.”
In addition, the Program for International Student Assessment in 2018 of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed the Philippines ranked the lowest out of 79 countries on reading comprehension with a score of 340.
“There is currently no scientific study on the link of numeracy and literacy to the use of cell phone, but, somehow, technology has a prevalence effect on the study habit of our learners,” the vice governor said.
In an interview shortly after the session, Garin said the DepEd has put in place a department order in 2003 that regulates schoolchildren in elementary and secondary schools from using cellular phones during class hours.
She said the intent of the issuance of the DepEd Order 83 in 2003 is to help the students focus on their learning.
“We just want to reiterate and reinforce again to the teachers because there were some who enforced the department order and there were some who did not,” she said.
She said teachers could allot space to keep all the cellular phones during class hours.
Garin clarified that the communication and correspondence rights of the students will not be taken away because the move is to “regulate and not to prohibit.”
“In times of emergency and they need their phones, it will be allowed. The phones can also be used if it is needed in the lessons, especially in science, as long as its use is within the bounds of the classes,” she said.
After her privileged speech, Garin said she will pass a resolution urging the DepEd-Iloilo to carry out Department Order 83 to regulate the use of cell phones during class hours when necessary.
Image credits: PNA/Gail Momblan