PT&T teams up with Go Philippines to tackle distance learning
The Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) on Monday said it has inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to provide internet connectivity for the e-learning platform of community-driven social enterprise Go Philippines.
In an emailed statement, PT&T said the connectivity will assist Go Philippines to cater to the heightened need for connectivity, with the shift to distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"PT&T continues to seek out opportunities where we, in our capacity and industry, can serve where we are needed, in this case, in providing much-needed infrastructure in the education sector," said PT&T general manager for broadband services Ricky Peña.
Launched in February, Go Philippines has extended financial services to the education sector, supporting 3,000 scholarships annually.
It aims to provide end-to-end assistance to every member of the learning environment, without incurring debts.
"Schools moved quickly to adopt distance learning tools to overcome challenges of the pandemic... Unfortunately, even the best Learning Management System will fail absent quality connectivity," said Michael Goldsmith, Go Philippines cofounder and chief visionary officer.
At present, PT&T has a network reach of 13,500 fiber kilometers in high-growth areas, covering some 40% of the total Philippine population.
The company holds a 25-year franchise which allows the establishment, maintenance, and operation of both wired and wireless telecommunications systems for domestic and international communication in the country.
The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier moved the opening of the school year 2020-2021 to October 5 from August 24, amid the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data from DepEd said that there have been over 24 million students that have enrolled for the upcoming school year as of the first week of September.
However, those from the poor and marginalized sectors have expressed concern over the shift to blended learning, given the difficulty to afford a stable internet connection and the lack of the necessary gadgets.
The DepEd has since rolled out television programs for students, with 27 professional teachers hired to serve as broadcasters.
Last month, one of the segments of the English lessons — particularly for the eighth grade — went viral after netizens pointed out a grammatical error. —Jon Viktor Cabuenas/KG, GMA News