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PIA Press Release

Comval LGU, private partners tie up for internet literacy in public schools

by Fe F. Maestre

Davao City (25 March) -- High school students and teachers in Compostela Valley public schools will soon enjoy the benefits of having access to the internet world, thereby bridging the gap of the so-called digital divide?right at their own schools.

On March 23 at the capitol, Comval provincial government through Executive Asst. Gene Maning handed over P1.25 Million representing half of the LGU's counterpart commitment to Sr. Director of Ayala Foundation, Mario Deriquito and Sr. Manager for GILAS Mindanao, Archie Velasco.

In the tripartite agreement, Comval LGU through Gov. Arturo Uy, the Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division of Comval under Dr. Lillian Calicdan and the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI) represented by Deriquito signed a memorandum of agreement effecting the implementation of the "Gearing up Internet Literacy and Access for Students" (GILAS) project.

The MOA entered into by the said parties include the counterpart funding of LGU Comval in the amount of P2.5M. This comprises the one-time cost of for satellite internet facility for 44 schools at P2.2M and the P300,000.00 for the cost of 12 brand new and licensed start-up computer units.

The GILAS Project will shoulder the remaining P2.4M which comprises theGrace Almedilla preparation and connection to the internet, particularly in providing for the hardware and peripherals such as server, networking and LAN accessories, trainings and monitoring for high schools. This brings the estimated total cost of the GILAS project to P4.9M.

"GILAS recognizes the basic needs lacking in the public school system and one of these is to address the digital divide and to put students at par and well-equipped to the challenges of the global world," said Deriquito.

On the other hand, through its DepEd Internet Connectivity Project, the School Division of Comval allocates P4,000 for each public high school as payment in their monthly internet service.

To date, Comval has 56 public high schools, 12 of these have internet connections already. With the government's partnership with AFI-GILAS, the remaining 44 schools will soon have its own access to the cyberspace.

"We are very much thankful for this partnership, since majority doesn't have access to internet, our students and teachers will greatly benefit from this project and will further enhance their educational capacity through internet and computer literacy," Gov. Uy said. (ids comval) [top]

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