Digital solutions urged to fill gaps in learning crisis

The stronger adoption of digital solutions is key to closing gaps in online learning, and the private sector is stepping up and taking on this crucial role, according to a consumer advocacy group.

Lack of gadgets and unreliable internet connection are just some of the challenges faced by students under distance learning. (MANNY LLANES / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, the CitizenWatch Philippines noted that the pandemic caused an abrupt shift to online learning for which educators and learners were not prepared.

“A year and a half later, the online mode has exposed many flaws in our education system and has resulted in a learning crisis,” said Lawyer Tim Abejo, CitizenWatch Philippines co-convenor.

He cited the closing of schools, the unprecedented dropout rate and the low level of student engagement as some of the manifestations of this crisis, stemming from an uneven access to stable internet connectivity across the country.

Abejo believes that the private sector should lead the push for these digital solutions to benefit as many learners as possible.

“There are many examples of such initiatives which should be encouraged and even incentivized to boost continuous learning through extensive integration of the K12 curriculum to reliable online learning platforms,” he said.

“These learning platforms supplement the modules already given by teachers to their students such that they can spend their free time while still enriching their minds,” Abejo said.

Meanwhile, key public officials expressed their support for the GoLearn program of the DepED in partnership with Globe.

Senator Joel “Tesdaman” Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, and of the Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education said, “GoLearn is a digital solution to widen the access to training. With it, learning is at students’ fingertips; it is very convenient.”

In a recent statement on the DepED budget, he stressed the government’s failure to invest in digital infrastructure that would have aided the DepEd’s blended learning program amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

likewise, Tonisito C. Umali, Undersecretary of Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships and Project Management Service of the Department of Education said the GoLearn platform will help provide connectivity, learning platforms and learning management systems. “All of these supplement what we are already doing in the department in closing the learning gap.”

Ayala Corporation chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala emphasized his group’s commitment to help the education sector through digital solutions and specifically through GoLearn.

He said the GoLearn program provides enabling solutions that propel the education sector to progressive digital learning.

“Pandemic or not, quality education is a right and must be made available to all,” said Abejo.

“The private sector must provide support to the government in ensuring that every Filipino gets a fighting chance and that no learner is left behind.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (