Press Release
January 20, 2010

Gordon wants e-book reader for all RP students

Senator and Bagumbayan presidential bet Richard J. Gordon today said he wants the government to distribute a Kindle to all students across the country instead of spending so much on textbooks, most of which are erroneous.

Gordon made the statement at the Lyceum of the Philippines presidential forum in reaction to the latest United Nations (UN) Report that in the absence of decisive political leadership, the Philippines is in danger of missing the goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015.

"We spent so much money on books, right? Mali-mali pa. Here's a little computer called Kindle. You can put the entire curriculum, from Grade 1 to high school to college here. Every kid should have kindle. He who reads, leads," he said. . "Before China does it and before India does it, the Philippines should be the first ones to use electronic books in school," he added, explaining that Kindle is an electronic device that can store up to 9,000 books and costs $250 each.

This proposal, according to the senator, is part of his programs for improving the country's education system, which, the UN Report said, is trailing behind the African nations of Tanzania and Zambia.

"The UN said education poverty rates among the poor are four times the national average. Our Constitution mandates that education must be given priority. But in the budget, No. 1 is debt servicing, No. 2 is the IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) for local governments, while education is only at No. 3. We should be spending 6% of GDP or P444 billion on our education," Gordon said.

The Bagumbayan Party standard-bearer also said that aside from raising the salaries of teachers to at least P40,000, there should also be upgrading of teaching competence through continuous training to be able to address the low proficiency level of students especially on Math, Science and English.

"Every teacher should get P40,000. That's my ideal. Not P12,000, but P40,000. Japan pays P77,000. In Singapore, they pay P122,000 a month. We must also understand that better teachers would pave the way for better and well-informed students. Continuing educational program for teachers is a must for our society today," he stressed.

Gordon has long been advocating for the upgrading of standards of the country's education system. He has a bill pending in Congress, called the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP), which aims to spearhead the rehabilitation and improvement of the education and health systems.

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