Sen. Gatchalian wants to look at the laws about the free internet and distance learning

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has asked the Senate to hold an inquiry into the implementation of the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act and the Open Distance Learning Act.

Gatchalian said in a statement that he filed Proposed Resolution 59, which intends to assess the effectiveness of the two laws at educational institutions and learning centers.

The senator’s goal is to identify and fix gaps, difficulties, and challenges in implementation.

According to Gatchalian, enforcing these laws “remains a difficulty, especially since the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the suspension of face-to-face classes and the shift to remote learning.”

The Free Internet Connection in Public Locations Act was passed in order to give free internet access in public places across the country.

It also includes free Wi-Fi internet access in public elementary and secondary schools, alternative learning system centers, state universities and colleges, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority technical institutions.

According to the Free Public Wi-Fi monitoring dashboard, however, as of January 29, 2022, at least 945 public basic education institutions, or around 2% of public schools countrywide, had free public Wi-Fi.

The Open Distance Learning Act formalized Open Distance Learning in order to broaden and democratize access to high-quality postsecondary education.

The law requires the use of distant education as a suitable, efficient, and effective way for providing high-quality higher and technical education in the country.

There are now only ten accredited higher education institutions that offer distant education.

“Bagama’t meron tayong mga batas na nakatulong sana sa pagpapatupad ng distance learning, may mga pagkukulang pa rin tayong dapat punan upang matiyak ang tuloy-tuloy at dekalidad na edukasyon sa gitna ng krisis. Kailangan nating tugunan ang mga hamong ito upang matiyak natin na walang mag-aaral ang mapagkakaitan ng edukasyon sa panahon ng mga sakuna at anumang emergency situation,” said Gatchalian.

Via: GMA News

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