Philippine Journal of Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Development Perspectives 2023
Provision of Electricity and Internet Access in DepEd Schools: Implications on School Performance and Digital
Inclusivity in the New Normal
Full-Length Peer-Reviewed Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and urgency of supporting infrastructure that would make access to education more resilient. This includes access to electricity and the internet to allow for remote learning platforms. Access often varies and may be difficult because of geographic and economic differences. This leads to disadvantages manifested in digital divides that may contribute to learning poverty. The Department of Education (DepEd) has implemented numerous interventions with respect to disadvantaged or so-called “Last Mile” schools (LMS), including energizing schools without electricity, connecting them to the internet, and providing computerization packages. Implied in this policy is the assumption that national divides in electricity and Internet access have implications on learning and better school performance. To validate the assumption that electricity and Internet access improves school performance, the authors performed exploratory data analysis (EDA) on National Achievement Tests (NAT), a standardized examination in the Philippines. In addition, electrical and internet connectivity data from DepEd was analyzed using Python programming language. This was then complemented by data from a panel of schools where NAT scores were compared before and after electrification. Evidence on the impact of energizing schools in NAT performance was supported in the EDA, but it was not evident with respect to internet access. The findings highlight the importance of prioritizing the provision of necessary support for Last Mile Schools (LMS in light of limited education resources and the future of education in the post-COVID-19 world. However, the findings also reiterate the need to expand assessments beyond questions of internet access or digital divides, and consider other aspects of digital inclusivity as a function of developing digital literacies.
Last Mile Schools, Digital Inclusion, School Electrification
Alampay, Erwin A. and Maria Theresa Capule-Navarro. 2023. “Provision of Electricity and Internet Access in DepEd Schools: Implications on School Performance and Digital Inclusivity in the New Normal.” Philippine Journal of Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Development Perspectives 2023: 35—63. https://cids.up.edu.ph/electrity-internet-access-deped-schools-performance-digital-inclusivity-new-normal/
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