LEGAZPI CITY– The Albay Youth Organizations, Inc. (TAYO Inc.). a local youth group, has launched a broadcast-based education system to “make distance learning more equitable for all” – as the pandemic disrupts face to face classes – harnessing support from local, national and international institutions.
TAYO Inc. launched the ‘2D Module Legends – 2D On-Air Learning Project,’ at the SM Megamall Activity Center here on Sunday. The event featured the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the project by representatives of the Department of Education (DepEd), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and TAYO Inc. as partners.
The 2D Module Legends or simply MODULE LEGENDS is supported by the Office of Albay Second District Rep. Joey Sarte Salced. It initially awarded 1,500 radio sets to local schools during the MOA signing.
Salceda, who was guest at the launch, said “equity in distance learning is critical to preventing lifetime learning losses.” His office extended material and funding support for the project’s “airtime.”
Without “equity in distance learning, the lifetime learning losses could reach as high as 16% of lifetime income lost, and between three to six years’ worth of learning foregone,” Salceda explained.
The program, which aims to produce and broadcast learning modules through local radio stations, also harnessed the support of the Bicol University, DepEd’s Albay and Legazpi City Divisions, and the Youth Development Alliance (YDA).
Salceda welcomed the “initiative as a means to make distance learning more equitable for all, since radio broadcast remains an influential medium of communication in Albay.” The program will be one of the largest local radio-based learning systems in the country, which could be a national model for flexible learning.
“As a province frequented by strong typhoons that tend to cut our communication and electricity connections, we have become used to radio as a vital source of information and as an important instrument during emergencies,” said Salceda.
“Almost every household in Albay has a radio set, and if some households don’t, it is much easier and cheaper to buy them one, than to get them hooked to the internet,” he pointed out, adding that “life learning losses could have disastrous consequences on our prospects to revert to our pre-pandemic growth trajectory.”
“In many areas of the country, students continue to experience the challenges of internet-based distance learning. We do not yet have a national broadband system that would guarantee access to the remotest areas of the country,” he said.
Salceda noted that reliable internet in the country is expensive, and “expensive is not something we can burden our people with during this crisis, the reason why I resolved that the situation in my own district must be different.”
“In Congress, I am advocating for satellite-based instruction, through the Satellite Liberalization Act. Satellite-based internet is cheaper to install and maintain, and can reach even the most remote stretches of this district, such as Rapu-Rapu (island), where it makes no economic sense to install fiber internet. I look forward to having more satellite-internet providers that would make internet accessible to even the most remote communities. While that is not yet the case, however, radio is our best option,” Salceda stressed.
The signatories to the MODULE LEGENDS agreement also include DepEd Usec. Anne Sevilla, TAYO Inc. founder Alfred M. Nimo, TAYO Inc. Board chairman Delton D. Triguero, Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal who chairs the YDA, Bicol University president, Dr. Arnulfo M. Mascarinas, and PCL-Albay president, Board Member Jesciel Richard Salceda.