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Albay school principal begs for internet signal

BACACAY, Albay --- With few days left before the class opening on Oct. 5, school principal Ruby Obsinada, 53, of Cabasan National High School located in Cagraray Island, Bacacay town begged for help to have an internet access.

The 44-year old school principal has 988 students who are without internet access and modern facilities that would help them in their studies unlike other students in the mainland who enjoy the same.

Obsinada said that without internet access, they are facing challenges as the students mostly living in remote areas opted to choose the online method of schooling. Teachers and students need to go to the mountain to find cellular signal so they can send and receive their online lessons.

She said that they have adopted two schemes for learners such as blended and online for students with gadgets who preferred online learning.

“Majority of the students are residing in remote areas with no internet access and hard to locate. We have two learners, blended and whose preference is online. But our worries for online is that students need to trek to the mountains to locate signal. Our concern is their safety considering that rainy seasons is coming,” she said.

“We need help, hopefully the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Ako Bicol can help us to have an internet access through the new technology so the students safety will not be in jeopardy including the teachers,” Obsinada said.

Aside from no internet access, teachers are facing challenges for slow learning students who need thorough attention and monitoring, although the teachers have designed modules intended for those students, the principal said.

She said that at least 40 percent of the students can read and comprehend, while 60 percent are readers needing supervision and guidance of teachers to understand their subjects or lessons.

Some 5 to 8 percent of the students are frustrated learners or frustration readers meaning the level of competencies are zero.

“We need the internet so the non-readers can easily learn and comprehend the lessons. We need audio-visual rooms, covered court for out-of-the classrooms school activities,” Obsinada said.

Books and other learning materials for students are also inadequate.

When the Ako Bicol (AKB) partylist learned about it, the group distributed books, facemasks and alcohol to the teachers and staff of Cabasan National High School.

The books came from from AKB’s “Aklat Sa Kaunlaran” program in partnership with Children International Philippines, Inc. It is a booksharing project advocacy program of AKB Rep. Zaldy Co, which is aimed to help promote love for reading and improve comprehension of the students in elementary and high school.

Co also vowed to coordinate with DICT to provide internet access in remote areas specifically in the islands of Albay.

Last year, Gilbert Sadsad, DepEd Bicol regional director, admitted that there were 76,000 students from Grade 1 to senior high school across the region who were either struggling to read or unable to read.

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