Some learning hubs being put up by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for students who need gadgets and internet connection in various communities have taken a backseat due to politics at the local level.

robredo - OVP learning hubs hindered by politics at local level
Vice President Leni Robredo
(FEDERICO CRUZ / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Robredo said some local officials had backed out of the project upon learning the OVP’s partners were associated with their political rivals.

She was asked during a webinar for the youth on innovations and programs in education about the difficulties being faced by her office on the establishment of learning centers, especially in remote areas.

“Iyong number one, pulitika. Iyon ang pinakaproblema namin (Number one is politics. That’s our main problem),” she said.

Robredo recalled an incident when the supposed establishment of four hubs under a local government unit, which she did not name, was scrapped because of political differences.

“We had already found a partner which handled the community learning hubs. The tutors were trained. Many organizations had come together. One of our organizations I think was identified with one camp so the mayor and DepEd backed out,” she said in Filipino.

The OVP and its private partners have so far set up some learning centers in seven pilot sites—Pasig City; Taytay, Rizal; San Jose, Camarines Sur; Balete, Aklan; Lucena, Quezon; Himamaylan, Negros Occidental; and Tabaco City, Albay.  They are also exploring to expand these hubs to 55 other areas.

This is part of Robredo’s Bayanihan E-skwela program that aims to assist parents, teachers, and students in the shift to distance learning.

It made possible collaborative efforts for providing computers and other learning tools to students in need so they can do their school work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The vice president said they could have opened more learning hubs if only the budget of her office is not limited.

“We are dependent to private partnerships,”
Robredo said. “If we only have enough resources, we (could) have opened many of them at once.”

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