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At least 102 SUCs in PH have internet connectivity — CHED

/ 01:02 PM June 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — At least 102 state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country have internet connectivity, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) reported Wednesday.

During the online meeting of the New Normal Cluster of the House of Representatives’ Defeat COVID-19 Committee (DCC), CHED Commissioner Perfecto Alibin said their office is currently conducting an inventory on the efficiency of the internet connection provided to various SUCs in the country.

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“There are 102 with Internet connectivity; no connectivity, only two. But this connectivity, I should say, is not that strong that we expect for them to deliver the required flexible learning systems that we envision to implement this school year,” Alibin said.

READ: No face to face classes until COVID-19 vaccine is available — DepEd

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CHED’s presentation before the House sub-panel covers 111 SUCs. However, CHED Director Nelson Cainghog clarified that their data only covers main campuses.

Based on the presentation, the two campuses without internet connectivity are the University of Eastern Philippines and the Batanes State College. Seven other SUCs have yet to provide a response to CHED.

The House sub-panel is discussing House Bill No. 6706 filed by Baguio City Representative Mark Go, which seeks to provide a recovery assistance package for higher education and technical-vocational education and training.

Among the proposed measures in the bill is the adoption of a flexible and bundled learning system that will utilize both digital and non-digital technology and other open distance learning modalities amid the pandemic.

“Currently, only around 20 percent of SUCs are ready for online learning, with the majority having limited ICT infrastructure. Given that purely online based instruction is not possible, even within the next two yeas, the CHED advises flexible learning arrangements,” Go said in the bill’s explanatory note.

Go likewise noted that most training and assessment programs offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have also been suspended due to the pandemic.

“The proposed Recovery Assistance Package seeks to provide assistance for the upgrade and rehabilitation of ICT infrastructure and connectivity of state-run [higher education institutions],” Go said.

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“Further, the package provides for complementing training programs for faculty members who will need to update their competencies not only in using alternative modes of instructions, but also in areas of curriculum development and research, as the schools and students navigate along the guidelines and restrictions in a new normal set up,” he added.

JE

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