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In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most difficult challenges facing us as a nation is how to resume the education of our children and youth when gathering them in their classrooms

remains very risky. The Department of Education is planning on the use of online platforms, blended learning, and televisions and radios. But serious questions hound the feasibility and effectiveness of these delivery modes for learning.

The data revealed that only 9.8 percent of the 15.8 million schooling households spent for internet access in 2015, with all but four regions having the percentage in the single digits. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao had a minuscule 0.3 percent of schooling households with internet access, while eight other regions had less than 5 percent. Metro Manila had the highest percentage at 24.

Looking across income groups, Lubangco found that it’s only the richest 20 percent of schooling households who have substantial internet access, at 40 percent, even as 76 percent of them owned personal computers—again suggesting that cost is a barrier. For the poorest 20 percent, cell phones were the most accessible, with 75 percent of the schooling households owning one, while access to TV and radio was only 51 and 32 percent, respectively.

 

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