Institutionalization of open distance learning pushed

DAVAO CITY – Compostela Valley Province Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora is pushing for the institutionalization of the open distance in higher education to make education more accessible to all.

Although she is only a co-author the proposed bill, Zamora said she is fully supporting the objective in pushing for the open distance learning in higher education. The proposed bill is principally authored by Rep. Neptali Gonzales II of Mandaluyong City.

According to Zamora, the measure was consolidated into HB 4553 by the House Committee on Higher Education and approved by the House of Representatives before it went into recess last June 13, 2014.

Zamora said the proposed Open Distance Learning Act seeks to implement distance education as a system of delivering quality higher educational services in the country.

Open Learning provides educational instruction at the student’s own time, place and pace. Distance Education, on the other hand, is a learning mode where the teacher and the student meet regularly only at set times, and instruction is principally delivered through specially designed materials and methods, through appropriate technologies and learning management systems.

“If passed into law, the bill will make education more accessible to all. Infrastructural deficits and teacher shortage will be addressed. Institutionalizing these systems will enable aspiring students who have meager financial resources to obtain their college diploma through learning methods which are highly flexible and learner-centered,” Zamora said.

HB 4553 provides the admission and academic policies and requirements, programs, curriculum and course development offerings for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) offering distance education programs. It tasks the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to serve as the regulator of HEIs involved in open learning and distance education, and also encourages media and telecommunications networks to promote open learning and distance education programs.

The measure grants tax exemption to individuals and organizations that provide appropriate materials, time, and delivery support services for the promotion of open distance learning in partnership with the HEIs. (PNA)

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