DepEd, DICT move to boost connectivity in public schools

PASIG CITY—Public schools nationwide will soon enjoy better digital connectivity through a partnership program between the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

In a joint statement on Monday, the DepEd and DICT have “officially joined forces” and signed two memoranda of agreement to establish the Public Education Network (PEN) which aims to accelerate the establishment of digital connectivity of all public schools and DepEd offices nationwide.

“[This will] allow learners to have wider access to DepEd TV, DepEd Commons, and other learning platforms,” the joint statement read.

The program, it said, is aligned with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive during his 2020 State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) and response of the two agencies to address the challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The partnership details DICT’s provision of immediate assistance to DepEd, including advocacy for the presence of ICT service providers in public school premises and other public places, provision of online resources, materials, and systems for educational use, and coordination with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), among others,” the statement read.

As part of its medium to long-term commitments, the DICT will also improve the satellite capacity of the DepEd for students from “last mile schools” to access digital education and provide data transport service using a fiber-optic network under the GovNet and microwave transmission towers.

To help the DICT with its Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure program, also known as the common towers’ initiative, the DepEd will help determine and allow the DICT to use its properties for the establishment of common towers. (PNA)