All public high schools to have Internet in 2012
All the public high schools in the country will be connected to the Internet by next year, as the Department of Education brings a private sector-led Internet literacy program into the mainstream.
“It’s not enough that we merely continue building classrooms and toilets… The real revolution in education which has long-term effects can only be done through IT (information technology)” Education Secretary Armin Luistro told reporters after receiving the final report of the Gilas (Gearing up Internet Literacy and Access for Students) project in a ceremony at Dusit Thani hotel in Makati City.
About 300 representatives of the organizations and institutions that took part in the project gathered on Monday as the project was formally ended and was turned over to the DepEd.
Speaking at the ceremony, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman and CEO of Ayala Corp. and cochairman of the Gilas project, said some 4.4 million students in 3,306 public high schools throughout the country now had access to cyberspace.
The project also trained 13,538 teachers to be competent in Internet-assisted instruction.
Ayala recalled that before Gilas was launched in 2005, bringing computers and the Internet to the public schools was merely a “ proposition and a dream,” as only six percent of what was then 5,443 public schools were connected to the Internet.
“Today it is no longer simply a proposition, it is no longer just a dream. The dream has become reality for millions of our Filipino students,” Zobel said.
Luistro said the DepEd has allocated P1.8 billion in 2012 to complete the Internet connectivity in the public schools.
So far, 97 percent of all public high schools have computers and 68 percent have Internet access.
“The three percent are still nonenergized. We have to bring solar panels first to their respective areas before we include them in the project,” Luistro said.
Gilas spent more than P635 million it received from government agencies, legislators, corporations and nonprofit organizations.
Ayala Foundation in the USA, now called PhilDev, raised $1.5 million from overseas Filipino workers and other project supporters.
“We felt the sustainability of the project was a DepEd concern, therefore, we were happy when we learned the DepEd would take the project,” said Victoria Garchitorena, president of Ayala Foundation Inc.