MANILA - Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday said broadcasting platforms in the country should be used to augment the Department of Education's (DepEd) "continued learning" program, especially during the coronavirus crisis.
Using radio and television as learning platforms "would complement" DepEd's "online-based education" efforts as traditional media have a wider reach in the country, said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
"Bagama't patuloy ang paglaki ng papel ng internet sa pag-aaral ng mga kabataan, nananatiling malaking impluwensya ang telebisyon sa ating pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay, pati na ang radyo lalo na sa mga malalayong lugar na dumedepende pa rin dito para sa kanilang impormasyon," he said.
(While the internet's role in education continues to grow, television and radio's influence remain significant, especially in far flung areas that still depend on traditional media for information.)
Under Republic Act 8370 or the Children's Television Act of 1997, each broadcast network is "required to allot a minimum of 15 percent of its daily total air time for child-friendly programs as part of the network's responsibility of serving the public," the senator said.
The airtime requirement for child-friendly shows may be used to air recorded lessons for students, he said.
DepEd should coordinate with the government-owned People's Television (PTV) to record lessons and air them on TV, said Gatchalian, citing similar practices abroad.
The Education department can also ask help from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), state colleges and universities, and other private firms to create more learning materials fit for broadcast, he said.
Gatchalian also urged DepEd "to enter into public-private partnerships to gather more materials and expand viewership" for their educational programs.
The senator earlier said that the DepEd has been developing a "continuity learning plan" in case the coronavirus crisis prolongs class suspensions.
Details of the "continuity learning plan" are expected to be unveiled in the next 30 days as education officials have yet to decide if the opening of classes in June will be moved to August to further quell the spread of COVID-19, the senator said.
Classes in all levels in Luzon and other parts of the country have been suspended since mid-March after the national government placed the Philippines' most populous island under a nearly 2-month long lockdown to curb the spread of the global pandemic.
The lockdown was recently extended to April 30 from the original end date of April 12.