Solon welcomes IBC-13 as remote learning platform amid Covid-19

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MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Wednesday welcomed Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation’s (IBC-13) offer to use its television facilities as a remote learning platform amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“The proposal should enable the Department of Education (DepEd) to air curriculum-based programs when schools reopen on August 24,” he said in a statement.

The chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography said utilizing IBC-13, and other broadcast media, to provide continued learning opportunities under the ‘new normal’ would ensure continued learning process for students, as well as ensure their safety without unnecessarily putting an additional burden on their parents.

Go pointed out that the use of broadcast media would ensure more inclusive access to learning by allowing students without internet access to participate.

Hindi naman po lahat ng kabataan may access sa internet o smartphones. Malaking tulong kung magamit ang free TV para sa edukasyon (Not all the students have internet access or smartphones. Using free TV would be of great help to education),” he said.

Go said broadcast networks are mandated by law to allot airtime for education programs, citing Children’s Television Act of 1997 (RA 8370) which requires a “minimum of 15 percent of a network’s daily total air time to programs that further children’s positive development”.

“The use of broadcast media would also enable rural schools, which often lacked the adequate supply of teachers and classrooms, to accommodate more students, including the beneficiaries of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program,” he said.

In his latest report to Congress, President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that the government is in active dialogue with the satellite television industry regarding remote learning opportunities.

As part of the effort, the government aims to use the state-owned IBC-13 to air curriculum-based television programs to students in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Region 4-A (Calabarzon).

Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the network, which is currently underutilized, would require a PHP100-million investment to further widen its reach. -PNA

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