MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced its ambitious plan for the digital transformation of education in the Philippines, known as “DepEd Digital Education 2028.” The announcement was made at the 49th Philippine Business Conference and Expo by Vice President Sara Duterte, who also serves as the DepEd Secretary.
The initiative aims to include everyone, with a particular focus on teachers and students, recognizing the need to adapt to modern ways of learning. A key aspect of the program is the installation of high-speed WiFi in public schools across the country. Duterte revealed that the department is currently in discussions with Starlink to provide internet connectivity in remote areas. She also noted that 2,000 schools are already benefiting from satellite WiFi.
The digitalization of educational resources forms another crucial part of the program. The DepEd is in ongoing negotiations with publishers to produce digital textbooks by 2024. The department is also exploring the idea of mobile computer labs, equipped with laptops, smart TVs, and other necessary equipment to aid students’ learning.
Duterte said, “We unveiled the DepEd Digital Education 2028 or DepEd digi-ed. The backbone of technology lies in connectivity. We are aggressively taking steps to provide school-wide WiFi.”
She further emphasized the importance of digitizing learning resources, stating, “We are looking to procure digital textbooks as well as supplementary learning resources.”
The event, organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), highlighted the importance of improving education as a priority to achieve a first-world economy status by 2050.
PCCI President George Barcelon expressed concerns about the declining quality of education, stating, “Over the years, it has been neglected.” He emphasized the need to support teachers, provide updated equipment and facilities in schools nationwide, and encourage companies to create special programs or internships for senior high school graduates.
Barcelon also addressed the issue of companies favoring college graduates over senior high school graduates, suggesting that diplomas should not necessarily require four or five years of schooling. He advocated for special employment programs for senior high school graduates, stating, “You are gainfully employed. That covers for something.”