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Gov’t launches P700-M internet connection project for 7,000 public schools

 

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government has launched a P700-million project to provide internet connection for 7,000 public schools, President Duterte said in his latest report to Congress.

The President said the Department of Education (DepEd) has started to procure internet connection for public schools to increase the number of educational institutions with internet access.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries during the 36th ASEAN Summit video conference at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on June 26, 2020. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOS

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOS / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The target completion of the project, which costs P700 million will be in 10 months,” Duterte said in a report to the joint congressional oversight committee on the implementation of the Bayanihan law.

The education department has pushed for blended learning methods such as online and distance learning in lieu of face-to-face classes due to the threat posed by the coronavirus disease. President Duterte had earlier frowned on the resumption of physical classes until a coronavirus vaccine became available.

In preparation for the alternative learning method, the President said “DepEd Commons,” an online platform for public school teachers to support distance learning modalities, is now operational. He said the program is free for anyone accessing it though mobile data.

He said public school teachers have also been allowed to bring home DepEd-bought devices for use in distance learning. The latest decision was reached after survey results showed the availability of devices is a limiting factor to technology-based approaches to learning.

Duterte said a new government committee has been created to ensure the availability of good quality learning resources in preparation for the opening of classes in August. He said the Learning Resource and Platforms Committee created by DepEd will also make sure the printed, digital, television, and radio platforms or technologies are made available “in a timely and efficient manner.”

The guidelines on the health standards in schools and offices will also be issued to help learners, teachers, and non-teaching personnel across the country.

The DepEd has also developed a Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) to provide guidance on educational continuity in this time of crisis while ensuring the health and safety of teachers and students, according to the President.

“The key elements of the learning strategies that shall operationalize the BE-LCP are the streamlining of K to 12 Curriculum into the Most Essential Learning Competencies and the adoption of multiple learning delivery modes such as distance learning and blending learning,” Duterte said.

He said Self-Learning Modules (SLM) will be made available in print and offline/online digital formats to help learners, parents and teachers. Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) modules will also be converted into digital copies and audio and video recordings by the end of July.

He said capacity building of teachers and school leaders will be implemented to ensure seamless transition of the new learning delivery modes.
Schools are also expected to orient and help parents on the online technologies, TV programs, and instructions in the self learning modules.

Digital teachers training program

The President said the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is working with the University of the Philippines Open University and UP Diliman College of Education to develop and conduct a nationwide training program for teachers. The Digital Teachers Training Program is in line with efforts to build digital capacities of both teachers and students in response to the new normal.

The DICT will also pilot the Digital Learners Project in Pinaglabanan Elementary Schools in San Juan this August. The programs aim to provide gadgets, digital literacy training, and internet connectivity to teachers and students.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/30/govt-launches-p700-m-internet-connection-project-for-7000-public-schools/)

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