September 15, 2020 – As part of the collaboration with the local government, the Department of Education (DepEd)-Sarangani introduced Learning Resources on Wi-Fi Hub for Expanded e-Learning (LR on WHEeLs) to help students from far-flung areas.

LR on WHEeLS is a learner package, containing an access point antenna, router, cables, portable generator set, and tri-leg pole that could cater 200–500 learners within a 500-meter radius through an e-platform that provides access to self-learning modules (SLMs), videos, interactive activities, and pre- and post-tests even without Internet.

During the Handang Isip, Handa Bukas Virtual Press Conference, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Member and Chairman of the Education Committee Jess Bascuña highlighted that LR on WHEeLS made a remarkable contribution in the continuity of education as it provided a richer learning experience for the students.

“After the series of dry runs in far-flung areas with the LR on WHEels, we see the excitement of IP learners and their parents. We conclude then, that education can continue in spite of the challenging situation,” shared Bascuña.

Bascuña noted that LR on WHEeLs was a crucial innovation in their locality as 46% of the total enrollment are indigenous people and often reside at the mountainside where telecommunication signals are low.

In addition, DepEd – Sarangani, through the partnership with DXRG, also used radio-based instruction in Radyo Eskwela as they provide the latest daily educational updates with a duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Also, a radio station in Tamban National High School was launched, with a reach of 13 barangays in the municipality of Malungon.

To support the radio-based instruction, the Youth Development Council and Panlalawigang Pederasyon ng Sangguniang Kabataan ng Sarangani has started an initiative called Radyo para sa Baryo which aims to gather donations to purchase radio units for Php800 each and flash drives to the seven Last Miles Schools.

“With the continuing support and commitment of all our stakeholders, the Department of Education will always do the best they can to make sure education continues in Sarangani. We can make it happen in these challenging times if we work hand-in-hand, together as one,” said Bascuña.

The local situation was assessed by the Division of Sarangani, and was found out that most communities, especially those in far-flung areas, do not have access to the Internet, which makes online learning impossible to a majority of learners; thus, modular distance learning (MDL) is the solution.