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PIA Press Release

GEM unveils CLIC program for Mindanao computer literacy

Davao City (30 September) -- Working with Parent-Teachers Community Associations (PTCAs) and school administrators, Greater Equity for Mindanao (GEM) Computer Literacy and Internet Connection (CLIC) program provides qualifying schools with satellite or microwave-based internet connections, up to ten computers, a local area network, a printer, relevant software, and a range of computer reference materials.

Together with its partners, it also offers training for teachers on basic computer maintenance and troubleshooting as well as internet usage. Through the CLIC program, students establish email accounts, communicate with other students throughout the world, and conduct research on various academic topics. Teachers enhance the students’ learning experiences by augmenting classroom lessons with additional materials obtained from the internet.

As of September 15, 2006, CLIC has assisted 385 schools in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and other conflict-affected areas of Mindanao (CAAM).

These schools have an enrollment of approximately 370,000 students instructed by more than 11,000 teachers. By August 2007, at least 650 schools in Mindanao will have been provided with computers and connected to the internet by the CLIC Program.

USAID’s CLIC initiative is being implemented in conjunction with several private companies and foundations. These include the Microsoft Corporation, the Intel Corporation, IBM, Innove Communications Inc. and the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI).

To date, the value of the commitments made by these organizations has reached almost $1,000,000. These commitments enable CLIC to serve more students, and more schools, at lesser cost than would have been possible prior to such efforts.

Nicolas Barreras National High School – formerly known as Bentung Sulit National High School Annex – has a student population of 416 (of which approximately 45% are traditionally under-served minorities), instructed by 16 teachers. It is located at the boundary of General Santos City and the Municipality of Polomolok, South Cotabato. It is one of 11 CLIC schools in South Cotabato Province. There are also 14 CLIC partner schools in General Santos City.

The CLIC installation was completed in January, 2006 and the assistance package included a wireless broadband internet connection, seven computers, a printer, books on Specialist Training for selected teachers, and training in PC and Internet Maintenance, Troubleshooting and Repair for the school’s IT coordinator. The value of the CLIC package is approximately PhP327,000($6,400).

The PTCA will assume responsibility for maintenance of the computers and peripherals and for the payment of monthly internet connection charges, once the 12 month subscription provided by GEM expires. To support the sustainability efforts of the PTCA, the internet facilities are being made available to the public after school hours and during weekends, for a free. (USAID/PIA 12) [top]

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