DepEd partners with firms for use of fiber connectivity, cable channels

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2021 06:17 PM

MANILA — The Department of Education has partnered with a telecommunication company for the free use of its fiber connectivity and cable channels, the latest move in the agency's efforts to deliver education to learners through digital and broadcast mediums.

In a statement, the DepEd said Secretary Leonor Briones signed on Friday a tripartite memorandum of agreement with Converge ICT Solutions Inc. and its affiliate, Pacific Kable Net, for the use of their fiber connectivity and cable channels.

"[The memorandum] gives us some degree of hope that it is possible for us to connect with each other, that it just might be possible for the Secretary of Education to enter, to talk with the principal or superintendent, or pupil in any classroom, in any school, in any part of the Philippines with the use of technology," Briones said.

Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said the deal will also make all of the DepEd's learning platforms — such as the DepEd Commons, DepEd TV and learning management system — available for disadvantaged and marginalized communities.

The agreement supports the DepEd's Public Education Network (PEN) project, which aims to provide connectivity to all of the agency's offices and public schools, especially those in far-flung areas, the DepEd said.

Last week, the DepEd also inked 2 agreements with the Department of Information and Communications Technology on the roll out of the PEN.

Briones earlier said she was pushing for the country's education system to move toward online or technology-mediated learning because Filipino students may be left behind in global competitiveness.

Filipino students are currently studying through distance learning methods after the government banned in-person classes last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But many students, teachers and parents have complained of challenges with the new way of learning, citing uneven access to technology and unreliable internet connectivity.

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