Bill eyes online textbook library 

Grade 1 students attend class at St. Mary Elementary School in Marikina City, June 20. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ WALTER BOLLOZOS

A SENATOR has filed a bill that will give students free access to digital learning materials to ensure learning continuity and bridge the gaps caused by a coronavirus pandemic.  

“While we return to face-to-face classes, our public libraries, one of the country’s pathways to educational resources, should remain pandemic-proof — ubiquitous and accessible — regardless of the geographical location and type of device used by the learners,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, who heads the education committee, said in a statement on Sunday. 

 Senate Bill 477 or the proposed Philippine Online Library Act requires the Department of Education (DepEd) to create digitized copies of all textbooks and reference books for elementary and high school students.  

The online library will be managed by DepEd and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). 

DepEd and the National Library of the Philippines will have joint custody over the digitized textbooks. 

Mr. Gatchalian cited a 2021 World Bank survey that showed 95.5% of low-income households used paper-based learning modules and materials during remote learning amid the pandemic. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan