House passes bill on distance learning for high school

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[/caption] House Bill 6086, to be known as the “Open High School System Act,” establishes the Open High School System (OHSS) as part of the Department of Education?s alternative secondary education program. Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla (2nd District, Cavite), author of the bill, said establishing the OHSS encourages self-learning and provides an alternative quality educational system to these students through computer-based communications, satellite broadcasting, teleconferencing and other multi-media learning and teaching technologies that allow them to learn on their own pace and time without having to attend conventional classrooms. “This promotes total liberation of the Filipino youth from the chains of ignorance and physical and geographical conditions,” Mercado-Revilla said. Rep. Edcel Lagman (1st District, Albay), also an author of the bill, said a country that fails or neglects to give premium to education of its people will inevitably falter in human development and lag behind in economic advancement. “The dismal access to secondary education in the country is evidenced by the fact that less than 55 percent of families in the lowest 10 percent percentile income bracket have children enrolled in high school while 75 percent of the families in the top 10 percent percentile have their children in the secondary level. Poverty has driven poor parents to allow if not push their children to work to augment family income,” Lagman said. Another author of the bill, Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) said the Open High School System envisions e-learning as a viable educational system for children, youth, even adults to start, continue, resume, and eventually finish their secondary education outside of the conventional classroom setting. The bill covers all youth and adults who have finished elementary education and high school qualifiers under the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT). It adopts the National Secondary Education Curriculum (NSEC) using the Philippine Secondary Schools Learning Competencies (PSSC). The measure provides for the recruitment of teachers or “guros” or “gurong tagapatnubay” that will be given incentives and monetary compensation as determined by the DepEd. The “para guro,” (degree holder of college level resident on the community who manges a learning center) “gurong kadluan” (resource person with specialized skills in practical or industrial subjects) and “tagapayong pansamahan” (club adviser) will receive honoraria to be arranged with the local school board and appropriate training programs will be extended to the “guro,” “gurong tagapatnubay,” (guidance counselor) “para guro,” “gurong kadluan” and “tagapayong pansamahan.” The bill encourages the DepEd, the UP-Open Educational System and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement that specifies their respective roles to ensure maximum cooperation and success in the operation of the OHSS. ]]>

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