IN continuous support to teachers in administering blended learning, the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to distribute a connectivity load sufficient for three months to teachers by next month.
“With or without the pandemic, the Department has actively advocated for policies and programs that will further support our teachers. Through this connectivity allowance, we hope to continuously assist our teachers in their duties to deliver quality education to our learners amidst the situation,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
During the EduAKSYON press conference in Region XI, Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua said DepEd has started the procurement process of the connectivity load that will provide public school teachers with 30 to 35 GB data allocation per month.
“We will begin to roll out siguro next month. We will be asking our teachers to register in DepEd Commons para mabigyan sila ng load sa kani-kanilang cellphone,” he added.
Pascua noted that the 35GB per month is adequate for the teachers’ online teaching activities as the 1GB bandwidth a day can be used for eight hours of online webinars, downloading, watching of videos, among others.
In addition, the unused data allocation will be rolled over to the following months up to one year until the user fully consumes the 100GB.
“Ine-expect namin na napakarami ng magagawa mo sa bandwidth na ito, ine-expect namin na higit tatlong buwan hanggang anim na buwan magagamit ng teacher itong connectivity load,” Pascua said.
There is also a proposal to give teachers sim cards that could utilize the data connection for school works.
Meanwhile, Pascua said President Rodrigo Duterte’s envisioned Public Education Network (PEN), which aims to connect all schools and DepEd offices nationwide and enable school officials and teachers to push content without internet, is gaining ground.
“Pino-procure na rin po ngayon yung ilang libong laptop sa DBM-PS (Department of Budget and Management – Procurement Service) para maibigay din sa ating mga teachers at mga walkie talkie para dun sa mga lugar na mga walang cellphone signal. Ang gagamitin naman natin DepEd Radio through walkie talkie,” he said.
Through its partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology and Converge ICT Solutions Inc., DepEd has also started acquiring satellite connectivity for the Last Mile schools or those in far-flung places.
“So, in a matter of few months, ang ating mga Last Mile schools, mga dalawang libo po sila, magkakaroon sila ng satellite connectivity. They can now be connected,” Pascua said.
These efforts are spearheaded by the Information and Communications Technology Service headed by Director Abram Y.C. Abanil, under the Administration Strand led by Pascua and Assistant Secretary Salvador Malana III. It is part of the Public Schools of the Future Framework of the Administration Strand under the leadership of Briones.