Press Release
October 2, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged Secretary Armin Luistro to lay the groundwork for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education in spite of budget constraints during the budget hearing of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Reacting to Luistro's statement that there are little funds for an ambitious ICT and learning integration program, Angara said, "If we organize efforts now to transform our educational landscape through educational technology, then we will be able to change the mindset will and the collaboration necessary for it to work will come together."

Angara said he is confident that the DepEd, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), ICT industry and even hardware companies will cooperate in the undertaking. "I'm hoping that the shift in mindset will begin this 2012, and mark the beginning of the transformation of our educational system this year. We are in fact late already, but if we start now, we can catch up."

Reiterating the urgency of the challenge, Angara said, "There is no other time better than now as we are already called the BPO and Internet Capital of the World."

Angara cited the report of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), which he chairs, that social networking usage in the country is at 93.9 percent, the highest in the world.

"We have begun the work with State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the DOST, linking research institutions with both government and industry. But the shift has to be for the entire education sector, and we hope that the DepEd could be part of this," he explained, referring to the innovation clusters program initiated by COMSTE.

Luistro committed to include technology integration in the agency's 2012. He also cited their initial efforts through the E-skwela, which gives Internet access to out-of-school youth, and the Open High School System used to serve ESC grantees.

Angara, also the Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, told Luistro, "If we are able to do this, then our budget hearings won't be on lacking seats, classrooms and textbooks, but a real educational debate such as how enriching our curriculum is, or how we can improve mastery and learning of our students."

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