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OVP assures public: Learning Hubs project were coordinated with DepEd

/ 05:40 PM October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has assured the public that its project, the learning spaces for students who may need gadgets and internet connection for online classes, are safe and have been coordinated with the Department of Education (DepEd).

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo, clarified on Wednesday that safety protocols are being implemented within the Community Learning Hubs, an initiative of OVP and its private sector partners.

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During the program’s formal launch last Monday, Robredo visited one of the Community Learning Hubs located in Pasig City.  Earlier, she visited another center, this time in Taytay, Rizal.

“Sa bawat hakbang ng ating Tanggapan sa paglulunsad ng programang ito, atin itong ipinaaalam sa pamunuan ng [DepEd]. At para panatilihin ang kaligtasan ng mga learners at tutors, sinisiguro ang striktong pagpapatupad ng safety protocols sa mga learning hubs,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

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(We have informed DepEd about every step our office has taken towards launching this program.  And to ensure the safety of learners and tutors, we ensure the strict implementation of safety protocols within learning hubs.)

He further explained that students who may need the learning hub devices do not have to go there regularly, as they can do it once a week.

“Walking distance lamang ang mga ito sa tahanan ng mga mag-aaral. Hindi rin sila required na pumunta sa mga hubs araw-araw,” Gutierrez noted.

(It is a short walk away from the houses of the students.  They are also not required to visit the hubs every day.)

“Bibisita lamang ang mga learners tuwing kailangan nila ng gabay sa paggawa ng kanilang mga worksheets. Sa bawat hub din, may mga itinalagang schedulers na magfa-facilitate ng oras at araw ng bisita ng mga learners,” he added.

(The learners can only visit every time they need assistance in doing their worksheets.  There are also assigned schedulers who will facilitate the time and date of our learners’ visits for every hub.)

After the government decided to use distance and blended learning modes to avoid possible coronavirus transmissions, students and parents have complained of unstable internet connections and lack of gadgets required for online classes.

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Groups also claimed that even in blended learning schemes, where students use modules that parents physically obtain from their children’s respective schools, would still require internet connection from time to time.

This prompted Robredo’s team to develop the learning hubs, which started when OVP sought donations of old but usable gadgets.

“Ang ideya sa likod ng mga hubs na ito ay para bigyan ng alternative learning spaces ang mga mag-aaral na kung saan may access sila sa mga mahahalagang learning tools at gadgets tulad ng computers, photocopying machines, at printers para magawa ang kanilang mga schoolwork at ma-print ang kanilang worksheets,” Gutierrez said.

(The idea behind these hubs is to give students alternative learning spaces where they have access to important learning tools and gadgets like computers, photocopying machines,and printers so that they can do their schoolwork, and print out their worksheet.)

“Sa bawat Community Learning Hub din, mayroong mga volunteer tutors para tutukan ang mga estudyante sa kanilang pangangailangan sa pag-aaral,” he added.

(Every Community Learning Hub also has volunteer tutors who would monitor the students’ needs for their classes.)

However, some observers questioned whether students and children would be safe inside — considering that some of the hubs were placed in areas still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, like Pasig and Caloocan — hence Gutierrez’ clarification.

According to OVP, here are seven pilot sites for the learning hubs: Pasig; Caloocan; Taytay; Himamaylan, Negros Occidental; San Jose, Camarines Sur; Balete, Aklan; Lucena, Quezon; Tabaco City, Albay.

Other hubs are currently being planned to ensure that students can comply with their current school year requirements. [ac]

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, Barry Gutierrez, blended learning, Community Learning Hub, COVID-19, COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning, Education, GCQ, general community quarantine, lockdown, nCoV update, Office of the Vice President, online classes, OVP, Philippine news updates, Vice President Leni Robredo
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