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PIA Press Release

Distance learning project in Sorsogon under review

by MF Deniega

Sorsogon City (5 Sepembert) -- The provincial government of Sorsogon, is mulling the possibility of re-launching the Sorsogon Distance Learning Center Project (SDLCP) whose operations had to be terminated due to damages to satellite and computer equipment from the three successive typhoons that hit the Bicol region last year.

Governor Sally A. Lee in her directive tasked Executive Assistant Librada H. Esplana to evaluate the program in accordance with her platform of not only raising the skills level of Sorsoganons but as a means to generate employment.

Dr. Esplana has met with Dr. Enrico T. Velasco of the First Education and Training Ventures, Inc. (FETVI) to discuss means of continuing the program.

Among the recommendations considered for SDLCP resumption is the creation of a Project Board to govern operations, including its proper staffing in coordination with the host LGUs. The project's viability is also being reviewed.

Established by then Governor Raul R. Lee in partnership with FETVI, SDLCP was a cooperative effort among leading stakeholders in the formal and non-formal education sector. It was intended to bring quality education and training programs at low cost to the countryside via two-way interactive and multimedia format using broadband satellite communication.

Courses offered under the SDLCP included information technology and computer hardware fundamentals, fundamentals of operating systems, and web development, among others in coordination with the De La Salle University and the Ateneo de Manila University. The SDLCP would also have offered livelihood and skills development courses in cooperation with the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Apart from its education and training component, the program was designed to provide marginal cost telephone services for overseas/long distance calls, internet café and International Satellite Provider (ISP) services to interested government agencies and call center projects.

These services were offered in the remote gateways of the SDLCP in this City and in the towns of Bulan and Pilar where a huge turn-out of enrollees took advantage of the initial course offering on information technology and computer fundamentals when the SDLCP opened on August 19 last year simultaneously in the three gateways.

The first module offered for free resulted to the registration of 120 students in Sorsogon City, and 53 in Bulan and 80 in Pilar.towns. However, operations had to be suspended when the typhoons swept through the province, paralyzing power supply and damaging satellite and computer equipment.

Governor Lee is confident that the program is basically a beneficial venture. "The IT industry with its huge demand for call center agents and medical transcriptionists is wide open. Denying Sorsoganons the opportunity to get into this million-dollar job market would be unconscionable," she said. (Sorsogon/PIA) [top]

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