From top row (L-R): Dr. Reynaldo Vea, Chairman of the PSHS Foundation, Converge CEO Dennis Anthony Uy, Converge President Maria Grace Uy, PSHS System Executive Director Lilia Habacon, and Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.
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 virtual signing ceremony held recently, Converge CEO Dennis Anthony Uy, with Converge President Maria Grace Uy, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with PSHS Foundation Inc. Chairman, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, to deliver free internet access for PSHS scholars. The signing ceremony was also attended by PSHS System Executive Director Lilia Habacon and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña. PSHS is an attached institution of the DOST.
“Through this partnership, we want to help PSHS in their goal to create globally competitive science and technology leaders. We want to see these gifted students to eventually come up with science-based solutions to the country’s development challenges,” said Converge CEO Mr. Uy.
“This partnership is aligned with Converge’s sustained commitment to help boost the delivery of education through digital means. We’re glad to take part in this project to enhance STEM education during this time of blended learning by providing the best broadband technology to ensure fast and seamless connection,” added Converge President Ms. Uy.
The four PSHS Learning Hubs being supported by Converge are located at DOST offices in Sevilla, San Fernando City, La Union; Caoayan Kiling, San Carlos City, Pangasinan; Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya and Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.
According to PSHS Foundation Chairman Dr. Vea, 180 million people around the world 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 and which we can also integrate into the curriculum to address curriculum gaps. This points to the importance of the donation being made today,” he said.
“This connectivity provided by Converge addresses the connectivity issue 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 connectivity is weak in their residence or they have no access to stable mobile signal,” DOST Sec. 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, studying both asynchronously and synchronously. The Knowledge Hubs contain the Learning Guides and Modules required for the students’ completion of academic requirements.
The connectivity and digital support provided by Converge to the Learning Hubs will allow students to connect to the Knowledge Hubs, enabling them to participate in classes, access learning modules, and take quizzes and examinations.
With 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 service of the country’s development.
Public-private 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 that the government and private sector can work towards improving aspects of society to make it more inclusive and equitable,” Habacon stressed.
“Today, we are sending a great message of hope that despite the challenges that we’ve been facing there’s an innate goodness in humanity to collaborate on worthy causes that will help us overcome difficulties. I’m grateful to Converge and PSHS Foundation for this partnership,” concluded Sec. de la Peña.
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