Sen. Grace Poe urges DepEd to intensify partnership with Telcos

The Department of Education (DepEd) should heighten its partnership with telecommunication companies and the private sector to enable indigent students to equally benefit from online learning.

Sen. Grace Poe

Senator Grace Poe made the call as she noted that many poor students and schools are still not prepared to shift to digital learning in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our poor students across the country should be given the opportunity as well to participate in online classes instead of merely being confined to printed modules. They must not be daunted or impeded by sheer lack of basic access,” Poe said.

“We owe it to them to consolidate the needed assistance for optimal learning to harness our children’s best potentials,” she stressed.

Poe said it is important to adopt a whole-of-society approach in enabling less fortunate children to have equal opportunities.

“No child must be left behind,” said Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Services.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier confirmed to senators that the DepEd has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with some private providers whose pursuits are in tune with their programs.

Briones, however, said “the cost aspect” was an important consideration for the agency.

During the Senate hearing on the proposed budget of the DepEd for next year, Briones said most parents and students still prefer modular means of learning.

“During the enrollment, we asked the students, parents and teachers what they prefer. They still opted for modular—one that uses reading materials,” Briones cited.

“The challenge for us is to reduce our dependency on printed materials and move in the direction of tapping online tools for education,” the secretary said.