More RP public schools get wired

The Department of Education announced it was getting additional money –around P260 million– to fund the purchase of PCs, Internet for public schools, INQUIRER.net reported. Excerpt:

So far, the DEPED has provided computer laboratories to 73 percent or 3,512 public high schools in 2006 while 30 percent of these have Internet connection.

[DepEd Secretary Jesli] Lapus said another 5,280 computers are to be procured this year to achieve a 100-percent computer coverage of public high schools.

Along with the computerization, Lapus said the DEPED will also focus on building up the core staff of science and mathematics supervisors and master teachers, train education managers and hone the skills of non-teaching personnel.

I hope DepEd with the help from the private sector can make this work. I remember efforts to “computerize” schools years back ended in failure because many of the computers provided were not used. Due to lack training and support from parents and teachers–and the local communities, most of these computers were just gathering dust. Public schools will need to find ways to pay for the electricity bills, Internet connection, and maintenance of the computers. They also have train teachers how to take care of the computers. It would be nice to find out how the first few school beneficiaries are doing now.

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Several years ago, I went up in Bontoc, Mt. Province to do a story on the Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School. (I tried searching that article online but couldn’t find it, unfortunately). Anyway, thanks to donations from companies like Microsoft and the government, the school finally got connected to the Internet. Despite the financial woes they faced, they kept going because of the strong support from the teachers, the local community, and local government.

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Erwin Oliva

Putting a dent on the universe one day at a time