MANILA, Philippines — Team PNoy senatorial candidate Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara wants the country’s state and private universities to offer distance and online learning programs for older students or those who wish to achieve advanced degrees while continuing their careers.
Angara, a staunch advocate of quality education, said that programs for continuing education should not require particular academic qualifications for entry into degree granting or other academic enrichment programs.
Online learning, he said, could be smoother and more cost-effective, and may offer technical training to advanced degrees in commerce, finance and even law.
Angara also said that e-Learning, now the modern trend for open and distance learning education worldwide, would help students meet the challenging needs required in modern era for capacity building.
“We have to extend quality education to all Filipinos irrespective of age, sex, religion, culture and social standing. Educators and practitioners now see virtual or online learning as the most viable means for broadening educational access,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Angara believes that distance learning will improve the quality of education and give the students a greater sense of autonomy and responsibility for learning.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) though, he said, should make sure that these programs would meet performance standards.
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) like seamen and retired personnel, as well as senior citizens, Angara said, could also take part in online learning programs being offered by a few universities.
The government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor, can tie up with universities or employers from other countries to implement such programs, he said.
He cited as an example the online distance learning program offered for OFWs by an employer in Kuwait in 2007.
Launched by Kuwait retailing company, MS Retail, Fahad Al-Mutawa, chairman and CEO of MS Retail, said the online distance-learning program was designed to help OFWs obtain college degrees in six years.
This program allowed Filipino employees of MS Retail in the Middle East to undertake an online distance learning program with an information and communications technology-based educational institution here, thereby giving them a certificate in the first two years, a diploma in the second two years, and a bachelor’s degree with qualifications in retailing in the last two years of the course.