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Sunday, September 13, 2009

DepEd urges private sector to support ICT-enhanced education

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has enjoined the private sector to work closely with the department in promoting learning systems enhanced with information communication technology to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

“Enhancing the curriculum with ICT is the only way for our public school children to meet the challenges of 21st century learning,” Lapus said as 40 Intel Classmate PCs were turned over to public schoolchildren in Concepcion, Tarlac recently.

Lapus said, “We thank our partners in Intel for investing in education, and for supporting our major thrust to introduce technology in education. This intervention would not have been possible without their support to DepEd through the Adopt-A-School Program.”

A Classmate PC includes two gigabytes of memory storage and Microsoft Office. It is internet-ready, portable, and user-friendly for children.

To date, 280 Classmate PCs have been turned over by DepEd’s Adopt-A-School Program to public schools in Pampanga, Baguio City, Sagada, and Taytay, Rizal. Some 400 Classmate PCs are scheduled for turn-over to other DepEd elementary schools in different divisions nationwide.

Lapus added, “This partnership with Intel is geared towards building the ICT Enhanced Elementary School Model, which puts a premium on ICT-enhanced education. We hope to achieve this goal and turn every public school into a space where teaching and learning outcomes are improved by technology.”

Aside from Intel, collaboration is ongoing with Aralandesk.Net for the creation of the ICT Enhanced Elementary School Model. Together with these partner institutions, DepEd ensures full utilization of ICT facilities to improve the teaching and learning process in public schools.

A workshop on mapping digital resources in English is being conducted with support from Aralandesk.Net at no cost to DepEd. The department is also heavily investing in the drafting of a Digital Learning Resource Management Guide that will serve as standards for identifying and harvesting digital materials, and matching these with the curriculum.

The Adopt-A-School Program is DepEd’s venue for cooperation between the government and the private sector. Since it was relaunched by Lapus in 2006, more than PhP12 Billion worth of assistance to public schools have been committed by the private sector. Private groups and individuals can support DepEd’s education initiatives in exchange for up to 150% tax incentives.

Private sector assistance ranges from technology support to supplementary learning materials, from literacy programs to physical infrastructure and facilities to feeding programs. Companies and individuals may also extend direct assistance to public schoolchildren in the form of school supplies.

The DepEd Chief added, “I urge other companies to invest in education through Adopt-A-School and join us as we say Edukasyon Ang Solusyon. Our initiatives in education would not have been successful without our partners’ all out support. ”

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