Ayala Foundation gears up for GILAS project in Antipolo City
by Carlo P. Gonzaga
Calamba City (7 December) -- The Ayala Foundation Inc. is set to commence the project Gearing up Internet Literacy and Access for Students (GILAS) with the signing recently of the memorandum of cooperation among the city government of Antipolo, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the foundation.
The project will provide the necessary infrastructure that will allow students from the seven public high schools in Antipolo City access to the abundant resources available in cyberspace.
The high schools benificiaries include: Antipolo National High School-Kaysakat Extension, Calawis National High School, Marcelino M. Santos High School, Maximo L. Gatlabayan National High School-Rizza Extension, San Juan National High School and Antipolo National High School-Canumay Annex.
Under the agreement, the city government will provide monitoring and technical support to the project to ensure that the computer and internet laboratory in the schools are maintained and maximized especially after the accord ended after a year.
The city government is also required to provide the counterpart fund of 50 percent of the amount needed to connect the sevent schools in the internet while the other 50 percent will be shouldered by the Ayala Foundation.
On the other hand, Ayala Foundation will facilitate the provision of teachers training on basic internet literacy, local area network administration, and PC maintenance and troubleshooting once the Internet connection is set up, and ensure that the schools can avail of the connection through close coordination with the satellite provider.
Meanwhile, the DepEd will guarantee that the computers and internet in the laboratory are maximized and used meaningfully for the benefit of the students, teachers and the community if applicable, through montoring and development of lesson plans integrating the utilization of internet in the different learning areas and submit progress report to Ayala Foundation and the Antipolo city government at least twice in a school year.
Before GILAS was launched in 2005, studies showed that less than half of the country's public high schools have computer laboratories and less than 10 percent have facilities that provide students training and access to the Internet.
The existing digital divide, especially among Filipino high school students, is recognized as a new form of poverty adding to the already compounded challenges burdening the Philippine educational system. (PIA Calabarzon) [top]