A SENATOR on Monday promised to pursue internet connection in all public schools if he wins his reelection bid in May by refiling a bill that will further liberalize the use of satellite technology.
“We will continue to promote internet access in every public school,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, who heads the Senate basic education committee, said in Filipino in a statement.
“We will also ensure that our teachers and students are prepared for the wider use of technology when it comes to learning and teaching,” he added.
Mr. Gatchalian filed last year Senate Bill 2250 or the Satellite-Based Technologies for Internet Connectivity Act of 2021, but the measure remained pending in Congress as of February this year.
Under the measure, government and volunteer organizations as well as public and non-profit private institutions will be allowed to own and operate satellite-based systems to augment internet access, especially in remote areas.
He also seeks to file another bill that will speed up the digital transformation of the basic education sector by enhancing the information and communications technology capacity of the education department.
Citing a report from the Asia Foundation in 2019, the senator said 74% of public schools in the Philippines have no internet connectivity. The 2019 National ICT Household Survey also showed 82% of Filipino households do not have access to the internet.
“I believe that even after the pandemic, blended learning will be part of the new normal, so we must expand the use of the internet to deliver quality education,” he said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan