Tangub City adopts e-learning, distance education amid COVID-19 crisis
TANGUB CITY, Misamis Occidental, July 7 (PIA)–In promoting education and aiding students to continue their studies amid coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 contagion, the City Government of Tangub seeks ways to purchase gadgets for online and distance learning.
“We made our initiative first in Governor Alfonso D. Tan College (GADTC) where we met some of the providers. At first, we had a problem because the gadget is very expensive and we found out that if we pay for the internet subscription fee, nagiging libre ‘yung gadget ng mga bata at saka ng mga faculty (the gadget becomes free for students and faculty),” Mayor Jennifer Tan said.
The city government already requested such through the Social Development Council of the Regional Development Council (RDC). They also tapped the Commission on Higher CHED to shoulder the internet subscription fee in item number 14 where they can charge for distance learning.
“The initial plan was to give students the tablet for free, but because there’s no infusion of the budget from the national government, we sourced out our funds. We saw that we are still lacking in terms of the subscription fee; so the students must add P1,000 when they enroll and then we give them the tablet,” the mayor said.
Tan added that once CHED and the national government respond positively to such need for the next semester, the gadget can be given free to the learners.
Preparations for the opening of classes
During the daily Laging Handa Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Sec. Martin Andanar, July 6, Tan said they already had an initial meeting with their COVID-19 response team in preparation for those students arriving in Tangub and Misamis Occidental for the first semester of classes.
They agreed that students coming from places outside of Misamis Occidental will be undergoing a random rapid test. Also, they will not allow their students to go back to their homes within the first semester to diminish cross-contamination. “This is our way of making our communities safe,” Tan said.
In adapting to the new normal, the faculty of GADTC and Northwest Mindanao State College of Science and Technology (NMSC) are now undergoing training on e-distance learning.
On technology and connectivity
To pursue higher education in the midst of the health crisis, Tan said buying gadgets for online education is very expensive yet if one subscribes for an internet connectivity, the gadgets can be obtained for free. Thus, they proposed for an internet subscription to the RDC for appropriate action.
Tangub City also partnered with DICT and other private service providers for a student convergence area “para palakasin ‘yung internet provision for the barangay halls as a study area for students if ever they will not go to the school to listen or observe social distancing,” Tan said.
“We know the issues being raised at the ground level. We included this in the proposed bill in the House and Senate for the additional appropriation for the new normal,” CHED Chair Prospero “Popoy” De Vera III said as he addressed the mayor’s concern on the internet subscription fee.
De Vera hopes that funds for internet connectivity will be available in Bayanihan 2.
Furthermore, CHED proposed to use the higher education development fund for next year where internet connectivity will be added.
De Vera said they are seeking for efficient ways on how they can partner with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and universities in creating student convergence areas.
CHED has already approved certain universities to train other universities on flexible learning to boost online learning capabilities under the new normal.
The commission has also launched ‘Philippines CHED Connect,’ an online platform to provide school faculty members and students the best learning materials and tools for flexible learning. (SMRN/PIAMisamis Occidental)