Press Release
September 19, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the education sector to enlist the help of telecommunications companies in connecting schools to the Internet during today's Senate hearing on the 2012 budget of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, said that according to DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, only 68 percent of all public high schools in the country have access to the Internet, with a significant portion of them suffering from slow speeds and other connectivity problems.

"Universal access to the Internet ought to be a major education target for 2012. The educational sector needs to work closely with telcos, almost badger them even, to ensure ICT connectivity throughout our academic institutions," said the veteran lawmaker.

Of the proposed P238.8 billion budget*, DepEd allocated Php1.8 billion to computerization-related initiatives. This will go to the purchase of 1,500 laptop units for alternative learning systems (ALS), 7,000 high school internet connections and 3,700 personal computer (PC) packages.

"Our educational system currently lacks important inputs--teachers, classrooms, desks, sanitation facilities and textbooks. As the DepEd works to resolve these shortages, it should also begin crafting e-learning programs and other policies geared towards using ICT for educational purposes," said Angara, vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance. (30)

*Erratum: In the earlier press release, P191 billion should have been referred to as the proposed budget for basic education while the total proposed budget of DepEd is P238.8 billion.

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