THE DEPARTMENT of Education and the Department of Information and Communications Technology signed a pact for the establishment of the Public Education Network.

/ 20 April 2021

THE DEPARTMENT of Education and the Department of Information and Communications Technology signed a pact for the establishment of the Public Education Network.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones and DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II led the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement over the weekend.

PEN aims to strengthen the delivery of education in the country through broadcast, connectivity, and digital security.

The two agencies had been in close coordination since April 2020 for the development of the education network.

PEN will fast track the digital connectivity of all public schools and DepEd offices nationwide and allow learners to have wider access to DepEd TV, DepEd Commons and other learning platforms.

It will also connect DepEd Offices to governance platforms such as the DepEd Enterprise Resource Planning System, the Learner Information System, the DepEd Mobile App, and other partner platforms.

“This partnership is designed not only to deal with Covid19 but really to deal, not only with the present, but also with the future. We feel braver. We feel more courageous since we are holding hands with the DICT and other institutions who could help us out. With this partnership, we offer more hope to education with the help of our partners,” Briones said.

The collaboration is in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte during his 2020 State of the Nation Address.

It is also a direct response of DepEd and DICT to the adverse effects and complications brought by the pandemic in basic education and also for future possible incidences of calamities, disasters, and conflict.

“When the government decided to open classes amid the public health emergency, we recognized the need for education to continue, despite the limitations imposed by the ongoing health crisis. We believe it is imperative to look beyond these immediate concerns to what may be possible for education on the other side of the Covid19 pandemic. It is in this spirit that your DICT has worked closely with the education sector to come up with solutions that enable education to continue while also keeping our students and teachers safe and healthy,” Honasan said.

“To do this, we are working with DepEd to adopt a framework that shall enable us to promote digital education by harnessing the benefits of various ICT services,” Honasan added.

The partnership will lay down the framework of cooperation and collaboration between DepEd and DICT, including advocacy for the presence of ICT service providers in public school premises, provision of online resources, materials and systems for educational use and coordination with the National Telecommunications Commission, among others.

As part of its medium to long-term commitment, DICT will also help augment the future satellite capacity of DepEd for Last Mile Schools and in providing data transport service using a fiber-optic network under the GovNet and Microwave towers.

The DepEd and DICT will also work together to determine suitable real estate properties owned or under the administration of DepEd for use as sites or locations for the Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure that will let government agencies share resources and technologies for the benefit of Filipinos.