Malacañang, on Thursday, May 28, announced that ABS-CBN Network may be tapped to broadcast educational content as part of the government’s distance learning program if the media giant is issued a fresh 25-year broadcast franchise and goes back on-air when another school year begins by August.
For the record, it was the government responsible behind the media giant’s shutdown after sitting on its franchise renewal bills for years.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) even promised to grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority, only to go back on its word and issued a cease-and-desist order instead, forcing the media conglomerate to shutter.
In an interview with ANC, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque revealed the Department of Education’s plan of shifting to distance learning for the school year 2020-2021 by collaborating with media companies as face-to-face classes are discouraged because of the on-going pandemic caused by COVID-19 and a vaccine has yet to be developed.
“We will never allow/expose our children to any form of danger. So it’s been very clear although we are preparing for August 24 openings, that is actually based on the assumption that it will be safe to do so for the children. If we don’t get to new normal, we’re also preparing for what is known as blended learning which is not just online,” said Roque.
“In addition to online learning, we will be tapping community radio stations, community TV stations, PTV 4, and even private companies such as ABS-CBN for instructional purposes. This is a bold move on the part of the Department of Education, we have not done it on this scale but we have to adapt with the times in the same that media has adapted to the times that we’re now both broadcasting from our home,” he added.
As the virtual press briefing continued, the Spokesperson said, “Lahat po ng private companies na media ay pupwede i-tap po.”
“If ABS-CBN can come back on the air, I’m sure, as a way of showing their commitment to the Filipino people, that they will allow their broadcast to be used for educational purposes,” he further stated.
Earlier in February, DepEd signed a partnership with Knowledge Channel to further efforts on improving the quality of education in the country.
“We don’t have a monopoly of education for learners because we are aware that learners learn a lot of things outside DepEd’s sphere of influence, outside the classroom, outside the standard textbooks. The more we help each other, the better the outlook we can impart to our learners,” the DepEd chief Leonor Briones noted.
“We are eager, excited, and hopeful to reach more, teach more, and help DepEd improve learning outcomes among our children especially in reading comprehension and mathematics,” KCFI President Rina Lopez Bautista stated.