Duterte eyes transistor radios to help students in far-flung areas

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2020 03:11 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing the procurement of transistor radios that will be distributed to far-flung areas of the country to help poor students cope with the education department's shift to blended learning strategies starting this school year.

In a streamed meeting in Malacañang late Monday night, Duterte reiterated his order that physical classes cannot resume unless a vaccine against COVID-19 has been made available to protect the students.

The President expressed concern that not all students will have access to computers and other technologies that will make online learning viable for them.

“Now for the far-flung areas, meron siyang ano, 'yun ngang kawawa diyan, may radyo sana, walang TV, walang cellphone. Ito yung mga mahirap. That is not the problem of the Department of Education, but the lack of communications, or how to get through the students, maski radyo lang,” he said. 

“We will try to come up with something, maybe by the end of the week. Wala na tayong pera ngayon, but I’d look for the money to buy transistor radios to be distributed all over the country,” he continued.

The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier said that they plan to tap government TV and radio stations to broadcast lessons for students in the provinces when classes resume this August.

DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones had said that since resources and transportation of printed modules are limited and that not all teachers and students have computers and internet access for online classes, the DepED can use "classic long-time approaches" which are the use of free TV and radio programs.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office, which manages the flagship state broadcaster, People's Television Network, has volunteered its television facilities for the DepEd's use. The state-owned Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13) has also offered its radio stations.