Sun.Star Baguio

CAR finds means for distance educ

- Lauren Alimondo Sun*Star Reporter

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet- Learners and educators in the Cordillera Administra­tive Region ( CAR) are still challenged by either slow or no internet connection that paved to use of other ways for the conduct of distance learning.

To communicat­e with students, the use of hand-held radios or walkie-talkies had been observed in several provinces in the region, according to the Department of Education (DepEd) – CAR .

In the province of Ifugao, there are 44 schools using walkie talkie while there are 163 schools without signal according to Pio Ecuan, DepEd Ifugao assistant schools division superinten­dent.

Ecuan added some of the walkie talkies are provided by barangay officials, saying the gadget is used for monitoring purposes and for the provision of technical assistance since most of these schools do not have signals.

In the neighborin­g province, DepEd Kalinga schools division superinten­dent Amador Garcia also pointed out the same concern where there are many areas where there is no internet signal that is why schools in the province are using walkie talkies to follow up and monitor the utilizatio­n of the modules given to the learners.

Garcia said some of the students in Lubuagan, Pinukpuk, Balbalan do have walkietalk­ies but the number of gadgets is very limited.

“Ang ginagawa nila in certain sitio or certain community where there are group of learners, magbibigay na lang sila ng isa doon, isang gadget hawak ng teacher. So kung may mga concern sila then gagamitin nila iyong nasa barangay o nasa sitio. Hindi tig- iisa iyong mga bata, that’s why are they are requesting additional devices of two radio so at least majority of the students have the gadget,” he added.

To date, the province has 96, 398 enrollees from Kinder to Grade 12 and the printing of self-learning modules continues.

He said schools almost finished first quarter of the school year and they are preparing for the second quarter set January 2021.

Ginadine Balagso, assistant schools division superinten­dent of Apayao said with the same challenge of internet connectivi­ty, there are only three elementary schools and five high schools in the province using blended learning as most schools are using printed modules.

“We just get some reports that there is diminishin­g interest of our learners in going to the modules but somehow teachers are exploring modalities of DepEd TV, use of video clips produced by teachers,” she explained, citing Apayao have 166 elementary schools, 34 secondary schools, five private schools and as of this writing, there are no reported dropouts and leaves from learners.

Virgie Batan, DepEd Mt. Province assistant schools division superinten­dent also disclosed the same concern.

“We are still challenged by our internet connectivi­ty and so what we are doing is reaching out to our learners using offline materials through the use of digital storage like CD’s and flash drives for them to use,” Batan added.

Another challenge she added is the presence of Covid-19 cases and lockdowns that hamper their activities, stressing they are doing their best to rise up to the challenges.

In Abra, learning delivery modality utilized are printed self-learning modules, radio-based instructio­n and some schools also using the two-way radio.

In Baguio City and Benguet Province with the biggest number of students in the region, most learners are using self-learning modules, followed by radio and TV based instructio­n and some also used online classes.

Estela Cariño, DepEd- Cordillera regional director added schools division offices are allowed to procure tablet less than P15,000 and instead of printed, the modules can be placed in the tablet.

Acknowledg­ing the problem in internet connection, Cariño said the majority of learners are using printed modules but explained they are also not into continuous production of the printed modules and noted the DepEd Secretary on saying that once printed of modules continue, the forest will be denuded.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines