New law to set up ‘virtual classrooms’ across PHL

News Release
17 December 2014

Sen. Pia welcomes signing of Open Distance Learning Act
OFWs, PWDs, working students seeking further studies seen to benefit from ‘virtual classrooms’ across the country

Senator Pia S. Cayetano today welcomed the enactment of the Open Distance Learning Act (Republic Act 10650) – the third in a series of education reform measures passed by the Committee on Education, Arts and Culture which she chairs – that were recently signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III.

“The Open Distance Learning Act is part of a package of reforms for the education sector that I have prioritized and worked on this year. These measures seek to democratize and broaden access to higher learning and post-secondary education and training among our people,” Cayetano said, referring to two other education laws earlier signed by the President, namely, the Ladderized Education Act (RA 10647) and Iskolar ng Bayan Act (RA 10648).

She noted that under RA 10650, quality higher education can be readily accessed from any location with the use of the internet and the latest in information and communications technology.

“Our goal is to create virtual and borderless classrooms in different regions of the country where instructors and their students are not bound by distance and time,” Cayetano stressed.

“At the same time, we would like to ensure that open distance learning programs will be comparable to formal education systems and at par with existing standards set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).”

“Thus, students will be able to pursue undergraduate and post-graduate degrees, as well as post-secondary certificates in non-degree programs, without having to be physically present in a traditional school setting, such as a regular classroom with a fixed class and semestral schedule.”

She pointed out that working students, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and even persons with disabilities (PWDs) who are seeking to further their education in pursuit of better employment opportunities can greatly benefit from the new law.

Cayetano added that open learning and distance education will be made available in higher education and post-secondary institutions which have been evaluated and certified by the CHEd and TESDA, respectively.

“Open distance learning has long been practiced in the country. Among its pioneers are the University of the Philippines’ Open University and several other public and private colleges and universities that have been offering distance learning programs and online courses.”

“This law adopts and combines the best practices coming from these institutions in order to institutionalize a national open distance learning system in the tertiary level,” she concluded. #

Sen. Pia Cayetano: “Our goal is to create virtual and borderless classrooms in different regions of the country where instructors and their students are not bound by distance and time.”

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