Press Release
January 15, 2019

Pimentel urges DepEd to include computer coding in curriculum revamp

With the Department of Education (DepEd) last week emphasizing the need to review the country's basic education curriculum so that it addresses timely issues like climate change, Senate Trade and Commerce Committee Chair Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today urged the agency to likewise take a closer look at the DepEd Computerization Program (DCP) to ensure that Filipino public school students are taught basic computer programming or coding--skills that would make Filipino youth "far more valuable in the 21st century workplace."

"Secretary Briones is on the right track by touching on the need to rework the country's basic education curriculum so that it is responsive to the demands of the times; and today and in the future, the demand for computer programmers who know how to code will grow as society becomes more and more reliant on technology," stressed the legislator.

"Kailangan natin kumilos agad para ang gradweyt natin umunlad. (We have to act now so that our graduates can progress and thrive.) Filipino workers cannot be left behind as the employment landscape continues to evolve. The jobs will be there, and we have to take the necessary steps so that our citizens will be hired for these jobs."

Computer programmers write and test code for computer applications software programs, and turn program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that computers can follow.

"Computer programming or coding is an integral part of businesses across a wide breadth of fields, which is why programmers will have the advantage of working in a virtually unlimited range of industries. Hindi lang sila sa ICT (information and communications technology) company makakapagtrabaho, lahat ng industries pwede sila as technology becomes a means to improve efficiency and productivity: agriculture, government, service industries, and transport," explained Pimentel.

Pimentel added that the computer programmers will become more essential as people around the world, not just the Philippines, use technology to perform their daily tasks.

According to the senator from Mindanao, "from the moment that you wake up until you go to sleep, you use technology. You use an application to get a ride to work; at work, you use internal networks and portals provided by your company; when you need to do some banking, you open an app; if you get hungry, you can have food delivered via another app; and when you call it a day and want to relax, you switch on another app that streams the movies and TV shows you watch."

The DCP aims to provide public schools with appropriate technology that will enhance teacher learning process and meet challenges of the 21st century; provide hardware, software, e-classrooms, and computer laboratory packages to secondary schools; integrate ICT in the school system; and raise ICT literacy of students, teachers, and school administrators.

The ultimate goal of the program is to provide computer units and establish computer laboratories in every school by 2022, according to the DepEd.

In 2018, the DCP was provided with an 8.6 billion-peso budget. Earlier this year it announced that it would roll out the following to the country's public schools: Kinder to G3 multimedia packages for 22,154 schools; 293,796 terminals for 11,708 elementary, junior high and senior high schools; 68,050 tablets for 1,361 junior high schools; and 918 standalone desktop packages for 18 senior high schools.

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