Jun 19, 2020

The Department of Education (DepEd) will unveil their new TV-radio modules on July 15 as a temporary way or “stopgap” measure to deal with the lack of internet access while face-to-face classes are banned, according to Senate Basic Education Committee chair Sherwin Gatchalia.

Gatchalian said that with the majority of students lacking internet access, the better and more affordable alternative would be to provide the students with radios as opposed to implementing an academic freeze.

“The solutions are not perfect. The outcome may not be perfect but we have to start from somewhere. We have to do something,” said Gatchalian. “Maiiwanan sila pero hindi ganun kalayo. They have a chance, a fighting chance to learn something decent as opposed to wala talaga.”

President Rodrigo Duterte declared last June 15 that he will provide radios to students in far-flung areas to help them aid them in distance-learning. 


No forcing students to go online

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said yesterday, June 18, that students should not be forced to purchase gadgets and go online to participate in distance learning. 

“We should not force our students to go online […] Alam natin ang public school natin caters to the poorest of the poor, marami tayong mga public school. Huwag natin pipilitin ang mga students bumili ng gadgets, bumili ng load, bumili ng laptop, tablets, kung hindi nila kaya,” said Gatchalian.

OPISYAL NA PAHAYAG June 18, 2020 – Noong Hunyo 17, naiparating sa amin ang isang nakalulungkot na balita kaugnay sa…

Posted by DepEd Philippines on Thursday, June 18, 2020

The official statement of DepEd read: “We are not blind to the reality that not every learner has the same resources. We are continuously setting up policies, plans, and processes that are inclusive and responsive to the realities to ensure no learner will be left behind during this crisis and beyond.”


Online struggles

Various organizations have opposed DepEd’s decision to continue with online classes due to the lack of internet access in far-flung areas.  Ang Probinsyano partylist Representative Ronnie Ong has denounced virtual classes, saying that they are not suitable for underprivileged students and their families. 

[READ: Walang signal: Davao de Oro public school teachers struggle to join webinar, camp upland]

Public school teachers have been affected by this shift to virtual classes as well. Recently, teachers from Davao de Oro were spotted camping by a highway in upland areas to find mobile signal in order to join a DepEd webinar.



Header photo courtesy of Frank Albrecht on Unsplash

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Read more:

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An alternative to online classes? DepEd eyes delivering lessons through TV and radio

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TAGS: deped education sherwin gatchalian students