Sun. Apr 18th, 2021

MANILA – As the country strives to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the Taguig City government seeks to ensure that learning will not be set aside as it launched on Monday various cyber schooling initiatives where both students, teachers and other interested individuals can learn essential skills.

Mayor Lino Cayetano said the program dubbed as Taguig Online Resources and Community Hub (TORCH) seeks to provide training for teachers, open campus for professionals, as an online resource hub for seniors, a resource page for businesses to help them prepare for the transition to the new norm and make the city’s services more accessible once the enhanced community quarantine is lifted.

“With TORCH, Taguig students can now learn from home with teachers undergoing cyber schooling and training online as Taguig City pilots a post-ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) setup not only for the education sector but also for other sectors of the community,” he told reporters during the launch held at Senator Renato “Compañero” Cayetano Memorial Science and Technology High School.

Cayetano said the city’s TORCH program has five component programs — Cyberlab@Home, Training and Enrichment Courses from Taguig Online Campus (TECTOC), Online Senior Citizen Center, and Resources (OSCAR), Taguig Online Portal (TOP) and Open for Business (OFB) Taguig.

Cyberlab@Home is the first component of TORCH which was rolled out. Since April 20, public and private school teachers have been taking the month-long course from their homes via desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Currently, 4,500 public school teachers and 1,000 private school teachers are under training to conduct classes through Web meetings and self-paced learning tools. With Cyberlab@Home, teachers may conduct at least one class a week on the Web. The study-from-home arrangements would then help decongest schools.

Meanwhile, TECTOC offers learning opportunities for a wider range of citizens as it caters to entrepreneurs, business aspirants, and workers with an appetite for new capabilities to enroll.

For this project, Taguig is partnering with Skillsoft, a global leader in quality, innovative, cloud-based learning. Skillsoft is one of the largest providers of online training in the world. Its vast clientele includes MIT and Microsoft. Their employees may take various courses from accounting to Photoshop.

TECTOC students may acquire 250-plus certificate courses.

OSCAR, the third component, aims to be the virtual version of Taguig’s famous Center for The Elderly. It will feature elderly-friendly services and programs that promote their well-being.

This includes one month of free mobile load and subscription to movie portals benefitting all 68,000 senior citizens residing in the city.

It also includes Telemedicine, a mechanism for people to seek medical attention via phone or Web. Very soon, the services will also include online lifestyle guides.

Meanwhile, TOP includes efforts of the city government to provide information and services to citizens in ways that reduce physical contact.

So far, the offerings include online self-assessment testing, web-based channel TaguigTV and I Love Taguig Facebook page, website Taguig Information Portal and Telemedicine.

OFB Taguig, TORCH’s final component, will benefit business owners as it will help them transition from the ECQ to post ECQ.

Specifically, it will release webinars teaching them how to do business in the time of the new normal.

Cayetano furthered that technology can greatly help the local government assist its citizen to learn new things aspire for greater and overcome hurdles.

“Make sure to take advantage of the initiatives that indeed keep the torch of learning burn even though we are facing dark times because of Covid-19. TORCH is a learning revolution we take from these challenging times, he added. (PNA)

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