LEADING fiber broadband operator Converge ICT Solutions Inc. has started to provide connectivity and digital support to students of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) at four provincial learning hubs to help enable blended learning in the country’s top science high school amid the pandemic.
In a recent virtual signing ceremony, Converge’s CEO Dennis Anthony Uy and President Maria Grace Uy signed a memorandum of agreement with PSHS Foundation Inc.’s Chairman Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea to deliver free Internet access for PSHS scholars. PSHS System’s Executive Director Lilia Habacon as well as Department of Science and Technology chief Fortunato T. de la Peña attended the signing ceremony. PSHS is an attached institution of the DOST.
“Through this partnership, we want to help PSHS in [its] goal to create globally competitive science and technology leaders,” said Converge’s CEO. “We want to see these gifted students to eventually come up with science-based solutions to the country’s development challenges.”
“This partnership is aligned with Converge’s sustained commitment to help boost the delivery of education through digital means,” said Converge’s president. “We’re glad to take part in this project to enhance STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education during this time of blended learning by providing the best broadband technology to ensure fast and seamless connection.”
The four PSHS Learning Hubs being supported by Converge are the DOST offices in Sevilla, San Fernando City in La Union, San Carlos City in Pangasinan, Bayombong in Nueva Vizcaya and Tuguegarao City in Cagayan.
According to Dr. Vea, 180 million people globally are enrolled in Massive Open Online Courses: “So it’s important that our students at PSHS get facilities for online learning. We’ve been able to include databases of e-learning resources for students…which we can also integrate into the curriculum to address curriculum gaps. This points to the importance of the donation [by Converge].”
Converge addresses the connectivity issues of students who otherwise will not be able to attend classes, or even access the learning modules because they cannot afford their own Internet connectivity, or [if] connectivity is weak in their residences, or they have no access to stable mobile signal,” de la Peña pointed out.
PSHS was forced to shift to distance learning at the onset of the pandemic. Students access PSHS Knowledge Hubs online while studying both asynchronously and synchronously. The learning hubs contain the guides and modules required for the learners’ completion of academic requirements.
Converge’s connectivity and digital support will allow students to connect to the Knowledge Hubs, enabling them to participate in classes, access learning modules, and take quizzes and examinations.
Creating positive community impact among the pillars of its sustainability commitment, Converge aims to use its fiber-broadband technology to provide world-class Internet connectivity in the service of the country’s development.
Partnerships such as the one between DOST-PSHS and Converge are aligned with the United Nations’ sustainable development goal of fostering partnerships. “This is proof…the government and private sector can work toward improving aspects of society to make it more inclusive and equitable,” Habacon pointed out.