Press Release
June 12, 2014

Villar says distance learning will bring down number of school dropouts

Sen. Cynthia Villar today said the distance learning program which provides for a more flexible system of education will significantly bring down the number of students dropping out of school.

In co-sponsoring Senate Bill 2274, or the 'Open Learning and Distance Education Act of 2014,' Villar said a flexible system of schooling will benefit the poor and will give poor and working students even better opportunities to continue and finish their studies. Villar lamented that the government encounters difficulty in providing quality and accessible education to all due to budgetary constraints and other relevant factors. In the preceding years, there was a decline in the quality of education and the significant increase in the number of students not pursuing and/or finishing higher education.

"Somehow, that trend came about because a large number of Filipino families, with their meager resources, could not afford the everyday expenses involved in sending their children to college the traditional way, such as daily allowances for transportation, meals and other school-related incidental expenses," Villar said.

The Nacionalista Party senator also added that many young people necessarily had to leave school and shelve their dream of acquiring higher education for them to immediately work in low-paying jobs to help in the upkeep of their families.

"Open learning and distance education will decrease the number of dropouts and out-of-school youths. Moreover, it will also address the issue of unemployment, which is still a major problem in our country," she said.

Unlike traditional education in which one goes to school regularly to meet teachers and classmates, a student availing himself or herself of distance learning can attend classes while at home or in the workplace with the use of modules, e-mail, chat and video conference to name a few.

Like the traditional learning experience, distance education follows a curriculum, but studying can be done at one's pace. To ensure efficiency and quality, mechanisms are employed to monitor and ensure the academic progress of the students. "Open learning and distance education in the country, as a modern delivery of education to learners could make higher education accessible to a great number of our people pursuant to the Constitutional mandate. As long as the necessary support for the efficient implementation of the system as enunciated in the bill are followed, open learning and distance education could well serve as effective engines to develop our people and nation," she said.

As chairperson of the House Committee on Higher & Technical Education from 2004 to 2010, Villar authored and led the passage of 28 bills on higher or technical education to improve the quality and accessibility of education nationwide by putting in place advanced systems of education such as the ladderized approach, distance-learning and open-university system.

News Latest News Feed