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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Modernizing the education system

by EA Abasquez

San Jose, Antique (16 July) -- Believing that knowledge is the greatest creator of wealth in the present global economy, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo vowed to improve and modernize the country's educational system before the end of her term in 2010.

In her remarks before the start of July 9 afternoon's roundtable discussion in Malacaņang that focused on education for competitiveness, productivity and poverty alleviation, the President revealed the government increased the budget allocation in education to P150 billion this year from P129 billion in 2006 in an effort to modernize the educational system.

For technical and vocational education, the President said that she has allocated P4 billion for student loans, business-funded training and expansion of state universities and colleges under the leadership of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

At the division level of the Department of Education (DepEd) here, Victor de Gracia, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent revealed of continuing implementation of the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) distribution of Personal Computer (PC) units in public high schools.

A check with DTI's Information Technology Coordinator Lynna Joy Cardinal showed that so far 40 national high schools scattered all over the province's 18 municipalities, to include Tinogboc and Poblacion Caluya National High Schools in the island town of Caluya, were recipients of computer units.

De Gracia disclosed that DepEd here has already implemented the GILAS, an acronym for Gearing Up Internet Literacy and Access for Students program, in Sibalom Community High School in the town of Sibalom, which has adequate power and communication facilities (electricity and landline telephone communication) vital to the efficient implementation of GILAS.

Students in nearby communities are invited to have hands on experience in computer operation as the facility is open to them under the supervision of competent teachers. The GILAS program is part of integrating Information Communication Technology (ICT) in modernizing basic education in the country, de Gracia added. (PIA) [top]

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