MANILA — Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. said should he win in the upcoming 2022 elections, he intends to implement a program called the National Education Portal (NEP) to hasten the digital shift of the country’s education system.
Marcos explains that the NEP will be an online platform accessible to students and teachers to simplify and secure e-learning for both public and private institutions. It will also serve as a central hub to allow students and teachers to communicate securely and provide digital learning materials.
The portal will be developed collaboratively between concerned government agencies together with I.T. experts from the private sector.
Marcos also added that the program would go hand in hand with the current administration’s Build, Build, Build program as he is also looking to integrate a digital infrastructure thrust.
Marcos also observed that due to the onset of Covid-19 and the country’s protracted lockdowns, Internet access, particularly for students and employees consigned to their homes, has become indispensable.
Marcos lamented the plight of teachers and learners who were ill-prepared to face the challenges posed by distance learning. There were reports of teachers and students alike figuring in accidents to find better mobile internet signals.
“Ramdam ko ang hirap nila, hindi naging madali, marami pa rin sa mga estudyante ang nahihirapan, walang computer, tablets o kahit cellphone man lang sana, hirap rin sila sa pagsagap ng Internet, umaakyat pa sa puno, bubong para lamang makapag-aral ng mabuti, pasalamat tayo sa mga guro natin dahil sa kabila ng hirap na dinadanas nila, eh nandun pa din yung passion nila to cope up with our new system, yung iba talaga gumagawa ng paraan para matulongan ang ating mga estudyante at makapagturo ng maayos,” he said.
The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer said that the ‘Build Build Build’ program initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration is worth pursuing since it will be playing a pivotal role in the country’s post-pandemic recovery.
“Nakita natin na yung ginagawa ngayon na ‘Build Build Build’ maayos yun, talagang yung imprastraktura ay importante, sa aking palagay isasama ko dun sa ‘Build Build Build’ yung digital infrastructure para mas palakasin ang Internet at mas gawin advance ang kagamitan sa school,” the former lawmaker said.
“Bago pa magka-Covid naging importante na masyado ang Internet kaya dapat talaga nating pagandahin ngayon ngang nagka-covid pa eh talagang kitang kita na talaga kailangang kailangan talaga magkaroon ng Internet,” he added.
In Texas, U.S. President Biden signed last March 10 the “American Rescue Plan Act,” allocating more than $7 billion to the Federal Communications Commission to improve internet connectivity, purchase devices to distribute to every student, and assist businesses affected by pandemics.
“Sa Amerika, naglaan sila ng malaking budget para sa Internet connection at devices ng mga bata, para pagandahin yung mga facilities nila sa eskwelahan, maganda rin sigurong gawin na rin natin dito sa Pilipinas,” said Marcos.
The PFP bet also added that he would implement initiatives to bring the country’s educational system and government learning institutions at par with global standards.
“Ngayon palang magandang mailatag na ng ating gobyerno yung plano para dito sa tinatawag nating post-pandemic, sa edukasyon at maging sa ibang aspeto, napakahalagang maging klaro, unti-unti na tayong nagluluwag eh, well, nakakasiguro naman tayo na pinag-aaralan ng ating gobyerno ito,” said Marcos.
Marcos added that he would also seek the support and assistance of Telecom Companies and Internet Providers to ensure that the NEP becomes a success.
“Kung sakaling tayo ay papalarin, agad tayong makikipag-ugnay sa malalaking Telcos, at sa ibang companies para pag-usapan yung digital infrastructure, kailangan masolusyonan natin ang ganitong klaseng problema sa edukasyon, gawin din nating mas digital o advance yung mga kagamitan sa school,” said Marcos. (ai/mtvn)