The Guam Department of Education (GDOE) has announced the launch of the Providing Access To Homes (PATH) Program. Beginning next week, qualifying families will be able to receive 100% federally funded mobile wireless devices that provide 50GB of data per month to support distance learning.
The winning vendor for the PATH program is PTI PACIFICA dba IT&E, which will now be able to provide service for students from all parts of the island.
“We recognize the importance of online learning for our students, especially when health and safety are key concerns. We are honored to be selected by GDOE to provide our students with the tools and services necessary to access quality online education,” said Jim Oehlerking, CEO of IT&E. “Helping our students succeed is an essential part of our commitment to the community.”
GDOE began the 2020-2021 school year with distance learning in place for all students. However, many families who lacked Internet access were not able to enroll for the online model of learning, opting for the hard copy model of learning instead. Now that the hard copy model of learning is being phased out, the support provided by the PATH program will allow many families to now make a smooth transition online.
“I want to thank the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and their staff for funding this initiative and helping to provide a viable solution to our families who need access to the Internet for distance learning,” said Jon Fernandez, Superintendent of the Guam Department of Education. “The PATH program is now available for our GDOE students and also for our private and charter schools who have elected to participate. While it took some time to jump through all the hoops, we look forward to working with IT&E to get this support in place, and we thank everyone for their patience.”
As part of the Governor’s share of Education Stabilization Funding provided in the CARES Act, Governor Leon Guerrero set aside a sum of $8 million which was allocated via Memorandum of Understanding between the Office of the Governor of Guam and GDOE to administer the PATH program.
“Reliable internet connectivity is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. As more and more services are offered online to protect our island and meet the demand, we cannot forget that there is still a disproportionate lack of internet access for a large part of our community,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “As our Administration works to address this digital inequity, the PATH Program will ensure our students have access to the tools they need to succeed.”
Weekly meetings have been held this year between Lieutenant Governor Tenorio and Superintendent Fernandez to coordinate COVID-19 recovery efforts and to ensure maximum effectiveness of the federal dollars being provided to support education.
“Over the past year, our homes have been the ultimate learning centers, and providing the necessary tools and resources to students remains critical as we rebuild a more prosperous Guam,” added Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio. “We thank GDOE for pushing this program through to ensure that thousands of students enrolled in our public, private, and charter schools can now have access to reliable internet services. As we work towards additional federal funding, we will continue to provide support and access to student learning on multiple fronts.”
On Monday, April 5, 2021, families who have applied and qualified for the PATH Program will be contacted by their child’s school with further instructions regarding the distribution of devices. In anticipation for the coming school year, parents who are opting for the online model of learning must register their student this April and are still able to apply for the PATH program. Parents should contact their child’s school for further inquiries.
The GDOE would like to extend its appreciation to the island mayors for working with IT&E to establish distribution sites for the devices at designated village locations.
Parents and students with a PATH ID can pick up mobile hotspot devices at the following locations and times:
|Distribution Site Information:|
|Day||Date||Hours of Operation||Location|
|Wednesday||4/7/2021||4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.||Sinajana mayor’s office|
|Thursday||4/8/2021||4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.||Agat senior center|
|Saturday||4/10/2021||8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.||Dededo senior center|
|Monday||4/12/2021||4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.||Mangilao night market|
|Thursday||4/15/2021||4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.||Sinajana mayor’s office|
|Friday||4/16/2021||4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.||Dededo senior center|
|Saturday||4/17/2021||8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.|
For more information on the PATH program, parents are encouraged to contact their child’s school. For technical support, parents or students can call the IT&E tech support at 922-4483 or visit their helpdesk website at https://iteintranet.com/support-gdoe/.
This program is made possible through funding administered by the US Department of Education CARES ACT through a sub-award to the Guam Department of Education under the Education Stabilization Fund – Governors Grant Program.