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    Gov't plans to distribute transistor radios for students in far-flung areas

    MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants students in far-flung areas be given transistor radios as the Department of Education (DepEd) prepares to carryout its alternative learning program this August.

    President Rodrigo Duterte

    In his public address Monday evening, President Duterte expressed concern over the lack of access of many students to computers and other technologies that will connect them to online learning under DepEd’s blended learning approach.

    He vowed to look for funds to purchase transistor radios for students residing in far-flung areas adding the government would do its best to provide radios to all the barangays nationwide.

    “Baka kung magtagal ito talaga, sayang ang panahon, we might buy the radio at 300 maibigay sa lahat ng barangay na maabot ng radio para naman ‘yung mga mahirap may communication sila sa teacher nila,” President Duterte said.

    “Now for the far-flung areas, ‘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.”

    President Duterte reiterated that there will be no face-to-face class sessions “until we get a vaccine” to protect the students from catching the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as DepEd opens the school year in the midst of a pandemic.

    Distance and online learning, using communication technologies and digital devices, will be part of DepEd’s learning strategy under the blended learning approach.

    Students who don’t have access to computers and Internet will be provided with various learning modules in coordination with local officials.

    During the meeting with the President, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said DepEd is negotiating with two telecommunication firms for free telecom services.

    Earlier, DepEd said it plans to tap government television and radio stations to broadcast lessons for provincial students when the classes resume this August.

    The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), which runs state-owned networks People’s Television Network and IBC-13, has offered its television and radio facilities for use by the DepEd.

    — The Summit Express

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