9,000 ‘last mile’ schools to be prioritized

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The education department will prioritize the connectivity of some 9,000 ‘last mile’  schools in the remote villages in the different parts of the country to allow the enrolled students to avail of the implementation of blended learning.

Education Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del B. Pascua said that the so-called ‘last mile’  schools are those that are located in far flung communities that do not have power and internet connectivity that is why enrolled students were only able to avail of the printed modules.

He disclosed that among the strategies that was embraced by the education department to allow students to have access to blended learning is for the installation of solar panels that will pave the way for the said schools to be connected to renewable energy and the establishment of a partnership with the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), and the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) for the use of the existing fibber optic lines and poles for the installation of state-of-the-art gadgets that will allow people to have wifi access.

The education official claimed that parents should not confine their children to the printed modules if they have television and radio sets and wifi connection because they could allow their kids to access the DepEd TV from 7 am to 7 pm where they could view and listen to the instructions while comparing the same to the instructions in the printed modules for them to clearly understand the lessons.

Further, Undersecretary Pascua stated that for those with internet connections but opted to avail of the printed modules, they could also download the same materials from the DepEd commons website for them to be able to constantly review and compare the same modules that will guide the students in being able to cope up with their studies through the implementation of the blended learning.

According to him, one of the major programs of the education department is for the putting in place of radio stations in the different schools in the country to serve as the agency’s vehicle in reaching out to their enrollees who availed of the blended learning for them to reach them through various types of modalities to prevent confusion on the part of the parents and students in answering their modules.

He emphasized that parents should guide their children to maximize the available modes of blended learning, especially those families that have available television sets and are connected to cable companies serving their areas and those with radio sets and internet connectivity, so that they will not be hard up in answering the questions in their modules as they could always replay the instructions until such time that they are able to understand the instructions for their lessons.

Pascua pointed out that the agency is doing its best to effectively and efficiently address the issues and concerns of the blended learning that cropped up right at the start of classes for the present schoolyear as education officials assigned in the different division and district offices are on top of the situation with the support of the school officials and teachers assigned in the different schools. By HENT

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