Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. (KCFI) president Rina Lopez called on cable and telecoms businesses to help avert the learning crisis in the Philippines.
In a presentation before more than 400 delegates at the Philippine E-Tech Show 2021 of the Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association (PCTA) in April, Lopez showed how the crisis unfolded after the Philippines ranked lowest among countries that participated in several international education benchmarking tests. She emphasized the growing inequality gap in learning exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has made our education system even more fragile. School closures and the economic recession will result in an even deeper learning crisis,” Lopez said. “A majority [of learners] relied on printed modules which is proving to be clunky and not very effective. Some rely on TV and radio. The result is an ever-widening educational divide between the haves and have-nots.”
One such case was that of Jhoemark Rodriguez, a Grade 1 student from Santa Rosa, Laguna which is under the “Basa Bilang” program of KCFI. Rodriguez has been relying on their TV set to catch up on his lessons; for several hours a day, he would watch Knowledge Channel with time shared among his cousins who are also in elementary. He is cared for by his ailing grandmother who admitted that printed modules were difficult for them as she could not guide the children.
KCFI has been providing over 2,000 video lessons via TV, online and offline. The foundation believes it can fill the widening gap in education by helping more Filipino families adapt to distance learning through TV, the reason it has partnered with SKY to reach more schools and households. According to Lopez, PCTA plays an integral part in this intervention with over 90% of its members already carrying Knowledge Channel in their respective service areas.
“The children, the parents and the teachers in your community need your help, first of all to carry the Knowledge Channel in your system and promote it all the time to the children, their parents and the teachers. I can’t stress that enough,” the KCFI president said.
To date, over 750,000 cableconnected households nationwide have access to Knowledge Channel. Last year, the channel’s reach was drastically reduced after the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise application. Lopez appealed to the delegates to promote the educational channel as a way to participate in the distance learning process. She stressed that all of the video lessons are aligned with the adjusted curriculum of the Department of Education.
“As cable TV industry leaders, you are strong influencers in your respective communities. I ask you to call on your business partners, family, relatives and friends to join this movement in solving the education crisis.
Let us solve the Philippine learning crisis as one,” Lopez said.
This year, the three-day PCTA Philippine E-Tech Show was mounted virtually due to economic restrictions caused by the pandemic. Over 30 exhibitors and eight sponsors joined the event co-presented by China Mobile and Globe Business. (Story/Photos by: Michael Ramos)