Installation of free Wi-Fi in all public schools
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian calls to speed up the installation of free Wi-Fi in all public schools nationwide, stating that only 860 or 1.8 percent of the 47,421 state-funded institutions are connected.
Senate Bill No. 383 or the Digital Transformation in Basic Education Act will intensify the building of the national infrastructure for information and communications technology (ICT).
The measure will mandate the National Telecommunications Commission to identify locations for the construction of telecommunications tower sites.
The Free Internet Access in Public Places Act (Republic Act No. 10929) was signed on August 2017.
Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte also called for free internet in all public schools.
Gatchalian said the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the digital divide, which mostly affected learners in poorer households.
Under his bill, the Department of Science and Technology will assist DepEd and the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
The measure also seeks to enhance the capacity of all schools to strengthen their ICT capacity to implement distance learning and to boost the basic education sector towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Bahagi ng ating pagpapatatag sa sektor ng edukasyon ang pagtiyak na bawat paaralan ay magkakaroon ng libreng internet para sa paghahatid ng dekalidad na edukasyon,” Gatchalian said.