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EdTech Offers Inclusive Learning in the Philippines

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The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a tele-university, aimed at making education more accessible and reducing student expenses. The formal agreement marks a significant step towards innovative educational delivery in the Philippines.

Image credits: Philippine Information Agency

The tele-university will leverage television as a learning platform, enabling students who face challenges in physically attending school to continue their education remotely. PUP President Manuel M. Muhi emphasised the impact of this initiative during his speech.

“This will help us in our dream of creating a tele-university. A TV station will be the platform for the conduct of the lecture. Students who struggle to go to schools can use this as a way to learn,” said President Muhi.

PIA will play a crucial role in disseminating information about PUP’s various programs and projects, helping to make higher education more attainable nationwide. President Muhi acknowledged PIA’s importance in this collaboration saying, “We know that PIA is the right partner for this endeavour. For us to make this approach nationwide, helping more Filipinos who want to get a diploma.”

PIA Director-General Jose A. Torres Jr. expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership and highlighted the alignment with the government’s educational priorities, stressing the significant impact this initiative will have on broadening educational access for all Filipinos.

“I am delighted that PUP invited PIA to join their advocacy in the advancement of education. This is sincerely an honour,” Director-General Torres Jr. revealed. “Thank goodness education is one of the priorities under our beloved President’s Bagong Pilipinas campaign, and there is an institution like PUP.”

In addition to the tele-university, PUP has several established projects aimed at making higher education more accessible:

  • Education on Wheels: This initiative involves a converted bus that brings quality education directly to communities, serving as a mobile classroom.
  • Micro-credentialing: This program allows students to pursue specific training at PUP, which can be converted into accredited subjects for their chosen courses.
  • Lingap Komunidad: In partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), this project offers various training programs to parents, who receive a National Certificate (NC) upon completion.
Image credits: Philippine Information Agency

The Philippines is committed to ensuring that students receive the right education, training, and skills to thrive in an increasingly digital world. This commitment is exemplified by the recent arrival of four units of the Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly-Operated Kiosks (STARBOOKS) in Sarangani, Davao Occidental.

The recent turnover ceremony, led by DOST-STII Director Richard Burgos and DOST-XI Regional Director Anthony Sales, installed STARBOOKS units in four public schools, including Patuko Integrated School, Alberto Olarte Sr. National High School, Angel Olarte Jr. Elementary School, and Pulabato Elementary School.

Sarangani, a group of isolated islands in the southwestern Davao Region, faces significant educational challenges due to its remote location and lack of internet infrastructure. The introduction of STARBOOKS, an offline educational resource, addresses these challenges by providing students and teachers with access to a wealth of digital educational materials. STARBOOKS eliminates the need for arduous travel to access the internet, allowing easier access to educational resources.

Over the past 13 years, STARBOOKS has been distributed to approximately 7,800 sites across the Philippines, benefiting millions of students and teachers. This initiative has fostered collaborations with private entities, government agencies, and local government units, ensuring its widespread reach and impact. STARBOOKS offers resources on various subjects, supporting lifelong learning and community development.

Initiatives, like the partnership between PIA and PUP as well as STARBOOKS, are set to revolutionise education delivery, making it more inclusive and accessible for students across the Philippines.


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