MANILA — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for free internet access to online educational resources to help students adjust to alternative learning approaches while the country continued to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The request was made known in President Rodrigo Duterte's eighth weekly report to Congress on the government's response to the COVID-19 crisis, which was released Monday.
Free access to online educational materials would enable around 3 million college students to adjust to the flexible learning method, according to the report.
The CHED is also assessing the information technology infrastructure of colleges and universities to determine "connectivity preparedness, the requirements to enhance flexible learning, and the deployment/ implementation of learning management systems and online education resources," according to Duterte's report.
Under flexible learning, lessons are delivered to students through various means such as online classes, take-home exercises, and educational packets, CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera earlier explained.
Colleges and universities using online education can start their next academic year anytime while those implementing flexible learning may open in August 2020, according to a resolution from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Higher education institutions implementing significant face-to-face learning, which involves physical interactions between the teacher and student, can open not earlier than September 1 in areas under general community quarantine, according to the IATF resolution.
Government also encouraged private colleges and universities using the old academic calendar (June to March) to move the opening of their classes to August.