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PIA Press Release

Angara urges integration of computer education in school curriculum

Manila (2 June) -- Sen. Edgardo J. Angara today urged the new administration to legislate an integrated computer education starting in elementary level. Angara proposes to include basic computer applications and programs in primary schools to produce highly skilled workers in programming, digitally-aided designs, hardware, networking and software development.

"Our people need to be updated on the latest advances in technology. The youth must be scientifically and technically prepared to fully tap their inner talents and contribute to national development," noted Angara, former UP President.

Angara proposes the creation of the Board of Computer Education to asses, supervise and monitor the accreditation of schools; provide the curriculum for computer-aided logic, math and science education in the elementary level; and monitor over all performances of the schools and the students.

Secondly, the bill will promote the Build-Operate-Transfer scheme of the program, which will include facilitating the training of teachers on computer literacy and maintenance and provide apprenticeships to qualified students into the facilities maintenance component of their education. This is pursuant to Republic Act 6957, the act authorizing the private sector to build and operate infrastructure facilities and later on transfer ownership to the (local) government.

"We will also put in place a voucher system for specialized computer education in 19 of the poorest provinces of the country. Qualified students who completed secondary school will be allowed to take competitive aptitude tests. Upon passing the test, they can avail of vouchers from the partner agency or through the local unit of the Board to enroll in a computer school of their choice," asserted Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

Last year the 2009 Global I.T. Report released by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland reported that the Philippines has further slipped from its 2008 ranking of 81st in terms of Network Readiness to 85th this year. In 2007 the country ranked 69th.

Angara stressed the need "to prepare the Filipino youth to meet the technological challenges of the new century and make them competitive in the global labour market, where competition is stiff." (COMSTE) [top]

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