MANILA (Mabuhay) – Lawmakers have filed a bill mandating the installation of solar panels in public schools in isolated places in the country without electricity to improve the learning capabilities of students in the areas.
Reps. Mariano Piamonte and Julieta Cortuna (Party-list, A TEACHER) filed House Bill No. 4715 in consonance with the policy of the State to improve the quality of education in all areas nationwide.
Piamonte said in far-flung areas of the countryside where electricity is not available, public school classrooms are also without electricity.
“This fact simply demonstrates that public schools in some areas could not be provided with computers as a learning support tools because of the absence of electricity,” Piamonte stressed.
Piamonte said it is logical to conclude that students who came from these schools could not learn much of the basics in today’s information technology age.
“Because of the absence of electricity in some areas, the students in public schools suffer from educational content gap – an important content at that,” Piamonte stressed.
Cortuna said when electricity is not available, support technology for a quality education could not be delivered.
Cortuna noted that the installation of 200 watts solar panels in selected classrooms or facilities will ensure that all schools nationwide will have power to energize basic teaching tools such as computers, printers and other laboratory equipment, enabling them to deliver the same degree of quality teaching as other schools to improve the quality of education.
Under the measure, the Department of Education (DepEd) is mandated to ensure that all public elementary and high school buildings nationwide which cannot be connected to the grid shall be installed with solar panels with a capacity of at least 200 watts.
The solar panels that will be installed in school buildings shall include system components which include but not limited to charge controllers, inverters and batteries for it to generate at least 200 watts of alternating current (AC) at a standard voltage of 220 volts.
Covered in the solar panels installation are public elementary or high school buildings not smaller than the size of three classrooms in barangays where electrical line installation is not available.
Also covered is the school laboratory or educational support facility of any size located in barangays where electrical line installation is not available.
The DepEd shall cooperate with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to address the technical requirements. (MNS)