A proposal to provide free wireless access in public schools will advance the state of education in the country, mainly in the areas of e-learning and mobile education (m-education).
This was disclosed by educational technology company Quipper, which noted that the proposal of Sen. Paolo Benign ?Bam? Aquino to provide complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity in schools project will benefit students, faculty members, and other school personnel.
?It is a welcome development for our local education sector that the government is pushing to have the whole country connected to the Internet. We strongly believe that this will positively impact schools across the archipelago by enhancing teaching methods and student engagement through innovative means of learning,? said Yuki Naotori, country manager of Quipper.
Naotori said making the Internet easily accessible to students opens up vast opportunities with the proliferation of laptops, tablets, and smartphones. ?These technologies can help make the Philippine education system more competitive with other countries,? he added.
According to him, Internet access in public elementary and high schools will greatly boost the implementation of the Department of Education?s (DepEd) K-to-12 program, as there are subjects and courses readily available online.
?If our learning institutions can latch on the Internet freely, pupils and teachers can get access to engaging learning resources such as those being offered by Quipper Video,? the Japanese executive said.
?And if the government?s project to deploy pervasive Wi-Fi in the country materializes, e-learning and m-education will enable our students to also study in the comforts of home. This will also be helpful when there are class disruptions ? learning can take place outside the classroom,? Naotori pointed out.
He said free public Wi-Fi will be able equip teachers with web-based tools that will enable them to retrieve student information in real-time, thus allowing them to tailor-fit their teaching style according to the students? individual needs.
The nationwide free Wi-Fi project was first proposed by Sen. Ralph Recto, which was then supported by Aquino through Senate Bill 1050 to establish an Internet Access Program in all levels of public schools.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan likewise submitted a complementary measure in July, covering state colleges and universities. In March, Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao, then-Sarangani congressman, filed House Bill 3591, which also sought to install Wi-Fi hotspots in the said areas.
Aquino in a statement said ?teachers and students should be given access to the Internet for meaningful research, collaboration and learning.? He earlier revealed that due to lack of infrastructure and signal, only about 26%, or about a quarter, of Philippine public schools, has ready access to the Web.
DepEd undersecretary Alain Pascua also earlier stated that the lack of web connection in most schools was ?worrisome? since it is an ?important? and useful tool in teaching and learning.