Sen. Juan Edgardo ‘’Sonny’’ M. Angara said today that public libraries and barangay reading centers should be utilized to assist students in coping with the new challenges in education as they have to deal with distance and blended learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

angara6 - Angara: Tap public libraries, barangay reading centers for distance learning
Sen. Sonny Angara
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Because face-to-face learning is discouraged as part of the precautionary measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus, students and teachers alike were forced to adjust to the blended and distance learning methods, which have been in most part, difficult for everyone concerned, Angara noted.

Foremost among the challenges faced by the teachers and students is the availability of distance learning tools such as computers, smartphones or tablets, and Internet connectivity. 

 Angara said government should do its part in exploring all options to provide students, particularly those in the public school system, all the resources they require to adapt to education in the new normal.

He said that public libraries and barangay reading centers should be tapped to provide distance learning resources to students.

“I don’t think we are fully utilizing our public libraries. This could be because of the lack of useful resources that students need these days. Now everything is shifting towards digital and libraries should do the same if they want to remain relevant and useful to the public,” Angara said.

Angara recently filed Senate Bill 1879 to strengthen the Philippine public library system by ensuring that these facilities are continuously updated to include the latest computer and electronic library technology.

The bill seeks to amend Republic Act 7743 or the law providing for the establishment of congressional, city, and municipal libraries and barangay reading centers throughout the country, which was enacted in 1994.

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