Survey finds parents in remote Bulacan areas prefer radio for online learning

Published July 2, 2020, 4:26 PM

by Freddie Velez

Provincial gov’t mulls building high-frequency radio station

CALUMPIT, Bulacan— An online survey found that parents in remote areas in Bulacan preferred their students to have classes through radio, using a modular system of learning wherein weekly modules will be sent to students with the help of barangay officials.

This was according to Department of Education (DepEd) Region 3 director Nicolas Capulong, who spoke at the special committee hearing of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan held Wednesday afternoon (July 1) via Zoom to discuss the academic year 2020-2021.

Capulong said face-to-face classes are still prohibited because of the pandemic, and they have to strictly follow the guidelines of the Department of Health, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Office of the President for the safety of teachers and students.

Need for high-frequency radio transmitter

When Capulong said in the meeting that they are now looking for local radio stations in Bulacan that can accommodate classes, broadcaster Rommel Ramos replied that all local radio stations in Bulacan are using a low-frequency radio range and are incapable of reaching remote locations or covering the entire province.

“Sayang lamang po ang mga transistor radio na ipamimigay sa bawat kabataang estudyante na nasa malalayong lugar, dahil hindi nila mapapakinggan ang kanilang teacher na nagtuturo sa radio dahil walang signal (The transistor radios that will be given to young students in the far-flung areas will be wasted because they can’t hear the lessons of their teacher because there is no radio signal),” Ramos said.

Upon hearing this, Capulong said they will coordinate with town and city chief executives to solve this problem of low-frequency radio stations in the province, and asked for the Provincial Board’s help to build a high-frequency local radio station.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Bulacan presiding officer Vice Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said they will tackle at the next meeting the problem of radio coverage and other challenges in the online and blended learning modalities. He also said students need free internet connections so they can participate in the “new normal” form of education.

Free Wi-Fi access in public areas

In the first week of June, Alvarado drafted a provincial resolution aiming to provide free wi-fi or strong internet connection for the province’s local government units to support online and blended learning.

In response, DICT Regional Director Reynaldo Y. Sy assured the provincial board that they will help through their free Wi-Fi internet access project that installs Wi-Fi in all public places, including public hospitals and universities.

The DICT has already installed free Wi-Fi in the public places of Angat, Balagtas, Baliuag, Bulakan, Bustos, Pulilan, Plaridel, and Malolos, as well as in public hospitals.