Free access for online educational resources sought
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is seeking out free internet access for online educational resources amid challenges faced by the educational system due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
CHED asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to give students “zero-rated” internet access which allows users to access certain websites or content without data charges, President Rodrigo Duterte’s eighth report to Congress said.
“To enable around three million higher education students to access educational resources on their own time as well as facilitate the shift to flexible learning, the CHED has requested the National Telecommunications Commission for zero-rated internet access to online repositories of educational resources,” the report stated.
The CHED has been considering “flexible learning” or the use of both digital and non-digital resources to foster education amid the threat of the coronavirus.
But CHED admitted the poor internet connection is a major obstacle hounding of online classes.
According to the President’s report, CHED is already coordinating with higher education institutions (HEIs) in discussing flexible learning arrangements.
“For this purpose, the CHED has tapped leading universities to share their expertise and experience in enabling the shift from conventional face-to-face learning to flexible learning,” the report said.
HEIs’ “connectivity preparedness, the requirements [for] enhanced flexible learning, and the deployment/implementation of learning management systems and online educational resources” are also being assessed, the report added.
Earlier, Malacañang said the resumption of classes in higher education will depend on the institutions’ “delivery mode.”
Colleges and universities who will tap full online education can open anytime while those using flexible learning may open classes in August.
Schools that will conduct face-to-face or in-person classes can open not earlier than September 1.
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