MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) is allocating P700 million to provide internet service to 7,000 schools nationwide, in preparation for the country’s shift from basic education system to online learning in view of the coronavirus pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte told Congress.
According to Duterte’s 14th weekly report to Congress, which was made public on Tuesday, DepEd is “procuring internet connection for 7,000 schools to increase the total number of public schools with internet access.”
“The target completion of the project, which costs PhP 700 million, will be in ten months,” the report read.
DepEd has been preparing for blended learning, which is a combination of online distance learning and in-person delivery of learning materials to the homes of the learners, for the reopening of classes on August 24.
Teaching with the use of radio and television will also be done for students who do not have access to a computer or the internet.
The President’s report also stated that the DepEd, through a memorandum, has allowed teachers to bring home DepEd-bought devices for use in distance learning.
This, after the department conducted a survey to “harvest issues and concerns on the opening of classes, including matters related to learning modalities and availability of resources that can be used in alternative learning delivery” and determined that “the availability of devices is a limiting factor to technology-based approaches to learning.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Information and Communications (DICT) has partnered up with “leading teacher education institutions” to develop and conduct a nationwide Digital Teachers Training Program in line with efforts “to build digital capabilities for both teachers and students as a response to the new normal,” according to Duterte’s report.
“Further, the DICT is piloting the Digital Learners Project in Pinaglabanan Elementary School in San Juan in August 2020, which will provide gadgets, digital literacy training, and internet connectivity to the teachers and students,” it added.