At least 90 schools across the Zamboanga Peninsula now have access to free internet through the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Free Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) in Public Areas and State Universities and Colleges (SUC) program.
In a statement on Thursday, DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said the provision of free Wi-Fi in these schools was meant to “address some of the challenges” brought by the necessity of blended learning, specifically the availability of internet connectivity especially in far-flung areas.
“Your DICT recognizes the importance of internet in the continuance of education in the new normal and is aware that, despite this, a lot of our teachers and students still don’t have internet connectivity within their households — for various reasons,” Honasan said.
In the City of Isabela in Basilan, Wi-Fi hubs were installed at Basilan National High School and Malamawi National High School.
In Zamboanga City alone, the DICT has installed free Wi-Fi hubs in 44 different elementary schools, high schools, SUCs, and at the Edwin Andrews Air Base.
In the cities of Dapitan and Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte, the DICT has installed Wi-Fi hubs at the Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRMSU)-Dapitan, JRMSU-Main, the Neo Global Institute of Technology Inc., the Dipolog City National High School, and the Zamboanga del Norte National High School-Main.
In Zamboanga del Sur, two Wi-Fi hubs were installed in Aurora, one in Guipos, two in Molave, 26 in Pagadian City, one in San Miguel, one in Tambulig, and one in Tukuran.
In Zamboanga Sibugay, Wi-Fi hubs were installed in Mindanao State University-Buug, Western Mindanao State University (WMSU)-Ipil, Francisco Ramos National High School, WMSU-Malangas, and WMSU-Siay.
Adrian Refugio, principal of Zamboanga del Norte National High School, said the internet connectivity provided at his school gave teachers and non-teaching personnel “easy access” on different platforms made necessary by blended learning.
“As of today, the online platform is now feasible, and students are very happy to learn in a modern way with the use of the internet provided,” Refugio said.
Maria Lisa Elopre-Valdehueza, principal at Dipolog City National High School-Barra, said the new facility helped by keeping teachers from worrying about internet data costs and allowed them to perform their duties “on the go.”
“It maximizes information dissemination, lessens the burden of teachers because communication with our students is made easy through FB messenger and other google platforms,” Valdehueza said.
The complete list of schools and other public areas provided with the DICT’s free Wi-Fi is available at freepublicwifi.gov.ph. (PNA)