The Makati city government is recruiting jobless public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers, particularly those hard-hit by the travel restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, to work with its innovative educational platform, Mayor Abigail Binay said Wednesday.
In a social media post, Binay said the local government needs to hire manpower to run the “Makati Mobile Learning Hubs” in time when classes begin in October.
“Jeepney drivers in the city who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic will be our partners in running the Makati Mobile Learning Hub Project,” she said. “Their jeepneys will be outfitted to transport books and other learning materials, teachers and librarians, and laptops with an internet connection.”
The local government, she added, has been coordinating with the Makati Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (MJODA) to help them hire around 27 jeepney drivers.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for residents whose main livelihood as jeepney drivers has been abruptly cut short due to the pandemic. They, too, like the displaced teachers and tutors we have hired to operate the learning hubs, will have regular income to support their families,” she said.
The new educational project is aimed at addressing multiple challenges that are simultaneously experienced in the city due to the health crisis, Binay said.
“Not only will it help students and their parents cope with the new ‘blended learning’ approach in education, but will also provide much-needed employment to Makatizens,” she added.
The Makati government earlier announced the recruitment of teaching professionals who will be deployed to ensure the continuous learning of students within the city even during the pandemic.
The Makati Mobile Learning Hub Project targets to support the students and their parents to cope with the distance and blended learning modality under the new normal, Binay said.
It will also serve as a venue for learning and reading activities of the residents, book donation drives, and other events that promote reading in local communities, she added.
Meanwhile, Rita Riddle, program director of the Makati Education Department, said the local government will compensate each driver amounting to PHP2,000 as a daily rental for the jeepney.
She said they initially targeted 27 PUJ drivers for the recruitment.
“The number may still increase because the jeepney federation is proposing to do a rotation among its member-drivers. We are looking at 100 drivers per week eventually,” she added.
Riddle said the local government is also looking to hire around 54 teaching professionals including licensed teachers, teacher assistants or aides, para-teachers, and tutors who are tasked to provide tutorials to those residents who will request for their teaching guidance.
Each hub to be deployed is equipped with laptops and internet connection, and an array of books as well as supplementary materials that parents can borrow during the class sessions.
The local government said the city has already surpassed its 100-percent target enrollees for school year 2020-2021.
Nearly 83,000 students are already enrolled in the city’s public preschool and senior high schools. (PNA)