Pangasinan State University
Best Practice Focus Area/s
Strategy, Citizens / Customers
This is a GBPR entry
Due to the current pandemic, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) advised Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to adopt the flexible learning strategy. As a response, Pangasinan State University (PSU) administration partnered with local government units (LGUs) to establish PSU-LGU ICT Konek, a learning space with an internet connection to students of PSU within the locality could avail. This project was able to support around 1,000 students through the establishment of 37 centers distributed across 26 municipalities.
Background and Problem
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) released seven CHED-COVID advisories containing guidelines for effectively implementing the academic operations of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, CHED COVID Advisory No. 7, released on 24 May 2020, contained the instruction for all HEIs to adopt the flexible learning strategy in delivering instruction by ensuring appropriate (1) Facility Delivery System, (2) Faculty Complement, and (3) Student Support. Further, the guidelines also encouraged HEIs to maximize the use of technology to support teaching and learning. The advisory suggested actions such as the determination of the level of technology to be used for the delivery of programs based on the connectivity of the students, the establishment of a multi-media or learning resource center to provide support to faculty in the development of IT-enabled or IT mediated instructional materials, utilization or access of available open educational resources, and the utilization of a learning management system.
Solution and Impact
Initially, they surveyed the students’ needs regarding adopting the flexible learning modality. Their survey showed that the majority of their students had problems with internet connectivity and the availability of gadgets.
As a response, the PSU administration came up with a proposal to partner with local government units (LGUs) in establishing a learning space with an internet connection to which students of PSU within the locality could avail. The project was later named PSU-LGU ICT Konek- a Bayanihan project co-implemented by the university and the LGUs, in response to the national government’s call to “Heal as One.”
With 37 ICT “Konek centers” in 26 municipalities, about a thousand students could use the learning spaces to attend to the requirements of flexible learning. The LGUs provided the project’s physical structure (learning space), while PSU provided the computers they pulled out from the computer laboratories of their different campuses. And PSU also provided the internet connection and maintenance of the Center. With the establishment of these learning spaces, students residing near the centers did not need to buy their gadgets or allot money to buy cell phone loads to participate in online learning.
Per BOR Resolution Number 91, series 2020, the project PSU-LGU ICT Konek became an official project of the university. Through the campus extension coordinators, the university visited various municipalities and discussed the details of the project. Afterward, the Memoranda of Agreement were fortified to make the project an official joint project of both PSU and the LGUs.