Learners with no access to the internet may now cope up with their learning modalities thru the new project designed for schools in the far flung areas in the Cordillera region.
The Department of Education – Cordillera(DepEd CAR) launched the Project HyTEQ or the Hybrid Learning using Technology with Equity and Quality in a far flung school in Barangay Sagubo in Kapangan last November 24.
Project HyTEQ aims to provide schools with technologies, contents, and trainings to implement offline and online strategies of distance learning using network and server technologies, Learning Management System and other open educational resources.
DepEd-CAR Regional Director Estela Carino, Assistant Regional Director Florante Vergara and DepEd Information and Communications Technology Service Director Abram Abanil with Kapangan Mayor Manny Fermin and Governor Melchor Diclas represented by Executive Assistant Claire Prudencio led the turnover of 2,335 tablets to the schools division superintendents and other DepEd officials from the different provinces in the region during the launching.
The project is piloted in the far flung schools of Sagubo Elementary School and the Kapangan National High School that have no cellphone reception from any telecommunication networks. It will also be piloted in 72 schools.
An initial 268 tablets were turned over for the model pilot schools with 160 for the Grades 7 to 10 in Kapangan NHS and 108 for Grades 4 to 6 in Sagubo ES.
Other SDS also received tablets with Abra having 295 tablets, Apayao with 168, Baguio City with 284, Ifugao with 252, Kalinga with 156, Tabuk City with 166 and other Benguet Schools with 299. There are 223 more tablets for allocation.
Carino said that they saw the many challenges of the learning modalities particularly modular and online distance learning being implemented in the different schools this COVID pandemic. Such challenges are the region’s poor state of internet connectivity, limited access to learning resources, high cost of printed self-learning modules, difficulties in distribution, retrieval and disposal of used modules, among others.
This prompted Carino and the RO team from the Curriculum and Learning Management Division and ICT Unit to look for ways of improving the situation of distance learning in the region using other means.
The HyTEQ system could cater to schools with internet or without internet access, or schools with community terrain suitable or not suitable with extended LAN or the local area networks.
Instead of the usual printed modules that the learners are using for their distance learning, learners would use the tablets which have been equipped by the DepEd-CAR with a learning management system (LMS) that allows the users to access data and information that they need in their classes even without internet connectivity.
Learners can stay at home and have their classes offline. They can have their lessons, watch videos and have their quizzes without the use of internet or without even connected to the schools hotspot.
Under Project HyTEQ, learners and teachers of schools with internet connectivity can access the DepEd LMS while schools with no internet access thru use of on-premise LMS.
LMS is an application or system for administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of educational courses.
DepEd-CAR lauded the full support of the teachers, non-teaching staff, Parents Teacher Associations and the local officials of Kapangan to ensure that their children would have better learning experiences thru this new project.
The community took the initiative to help in the installation of the needed hardware such as the posts, cable wires, access points and hotspots at the school and at the sitios of Tibalbal, Landing, Mocgo, Bileng and Timok and soon in the sitios of Puspusok and Sagubo Proper.
Mayor Fermin added that the LGU is continuously working with the different sectors and telecommunication companies to provide internet connectivity in the different areas in Kapangan to improve more the learning methods of students in the municipality.
The provincial government also expressed gratitude and full support to the project and is looking forward to more schools to be provided with the new system of HyTEQ in other far flung schools in the province.
Dr. Abanil assured that the DepEd continues to provide the needed equipment and systems catering to the requirements of schools in the region and inthe country. Aside from students, they are also equipping teachers to ensure that the teachers would deliver quality lessons to their students amidst the pandemic.
In the virtual message, DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Pascua congratulated the DepEd-CAR for launching the Project HyTEQ
“When the COVID-19 pandemic started, technology in education played a major role in ensuring that education will still continue in our country as a forerunner of DepEd’s Blended Learning Framework. Sa pamamgitan ng iba’t ibang uri ng teknolohiya lahat ng Pilipinong mag-aaral ay may pagkakataong upang patuloy ang kanilang edukasyon,” Pascua said. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)