ICT in Basic Education

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					PHILIPPINE EDUCATION ROADMAP CONFERENCE


ICT in Basic Education
JESLI A. LAPUS

 The 21st century is an era of the globalization of the enabled, empowered and enjoined
individual. It is characterized by a dynamic force for individuals to collaborate and
compete in a world which is driven by technology and information and operates in a
global community.

This is the era where our children of the future will carve their niche as citizens of this
country and members of the global village.

It is our dream that the best of the Filipino learner shall emerge at the forefront of
economic development empowered by an ICT-supported system of quality basic
education for all.

Towards this vision, basic education is committed to the appropriate, effective, and
sustainable use of ICTs to broaden access to and improve the quality and efficiency of
basic education service delivery. It shall evolve and nurture an information and
communications technology framework designed to enhance, broaden, strengthen and
transform learning to develop the Filipino learner into a person who is excellence-driven,
global in perspective, innovative, ingenious and creative, with a deep sense of community
and concern for harmony and the common good.

The quality of and access to basic education substantially remains as the overriding goal
of educational development. Thus, all educational interventions shall be geared towards
ensuring the empowerment of learners with life-long skills through the use of appropriate
technologies. Educational development therefore is the purpose of our information and
communications technology program.

This program to integrate ICTs in basic education is in line with several national policies
underpinning basic education in the Philippines:

       1. We start with the Medium Term Development Plan of the Philippines—
which envisions ICT as a development tool that provides for the wider use of computers
to support the teaching-learning process,


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   Message delivered by DepEd Secretary Jesli A. Lapus at the Philippine
Education Roadmap Conference of the Philippine Computer Society,
Philippine Society of IT Educators, Philippine State Universities and
Colleges Computer Education and Systems Society and Psaya-Makati
Educators and Administrators of Skills Training Associatio, October 26,
2006, Hotel Philippine Plaza, Pasay City
        2. Second, our Basic Education Curriculum, which encourages the use of ICTs
in all learning areas as a means for promoting greater interactivity, widening access to
knowledge and for developing skills in accessing, processing and applying information,
and in solving mathematical problems and conducting experiments.

        3. And finally, strategic planning for ICT use in basic education is framed by our
Schools First Initiative and our National Action Plan to Achieve Education for All by
the Year 2015, both of which recognizes the extreme factors that impinge on the basic
education system and offer a clearly articulated framework and strategies for mitigating
the effects of these factors and for advancing basic education through the marriage of
technology and communications.

These, therefore, have paved the way for the development of our department’s various
strategic efforts in the integration of ICT In basic education.

For the past seven years, DepEd has conducted a massive computerization program for
secondary schools under the DepEd Computerization Program. This has been
supplemented over the years by ICT-related initiatives of other national government
agencies, local government units, non-government organizations, private firms, foreign
governments, and international aid donor agencies. These initiatives include not only
infrastructure but also staff development program for teachers on basic ICT literacy and
pedagogy-technology integration.

Among these are the educational television-based programs of the Knowledge Channel
Foundation and ABS-CBN Foundation, and the computer-based teaching and learning
programs of FIT-ED (the Foundation for IT Education and Development), Intel’s Teach
to the Future and Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Program.

       Of course, one of our priorities remains to be to provide ICT facilities on a
nationwide scale. But despite increasing commitment and the existence of various
programs to integrate ICTs in basic education, the mechanisms, facilities and standards
necessary to facilitate such integration remains to be underdeveloped.

While more secondary schools now have computers, student-to-computer and teacher-to-
computer ratios remain extremely poor.

At the elementary level, computer penetration is negligible. Latest available DepEd
estimates place computer penetration at one computer for every 25,000 elementary pupils
and one for every 728 elementary school teachers. Our high school penetration is at one
computer for every 111 secondary school students, and one for every three secondary
school teachers.

Also, there is the limited number and variety of subject-specific educational software
available in schools.




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Software in schools consists mostly of office software or productivity tools and the
educational software that are available tend to be limited to those for English, Science
and Mathematics. There are but a few educational software for music and arts classes,
and particularly for subject areas that require local content in the local language such as
Social Studies and Filipino.

At the same time, there is an absence of specific curricular standards and guidelines for
integrating computers into the subject areas.

Although the current curriculum advocates the innovative use of ICTs to make learning
more interactive, interdisciplinary, collaborative and authentic, there is as yet no
nationally prescribed technology-enhanced curriculum.

Insofar as our teachers are concerned, despite the fact that they are critical to the
success of technology integration in the classroom, training opportunities in ICT-
enhanced teaching are generally limited.

In the FITED survey, 58% of our schools reported that less than half of their teaching
staff have undergone computer-related training, while 12% reported that their teachers
have had no computer-related training at all. Sadly, for those that have undergone ICT
training, the nature of the training and its effectiveness is unclear.

All these challenges is indicative of the urgency of integrating ICT in basic education if
we are to bring our schools—and our children—into the 21st century.

But as we look at ICT at an important tool in improving Basic Education— and as we
look at our efforts to provide these technologies to Philippine schools— we must take
into account several issues that affect the implementation of our ICT in Basic Education
efforts. These include the following:

   •   ONE, in the next five years, we need to focus on maximizing the use of our ICT
       resources.

   •   TWO, in the next five years, we need to focus on addressing such issues as
       obsolescence of our current ICT resources, maintenance of our current ICT
       resources, and new demands based on the increase in student population.

   •   THREE, in the next five years, we need to focus on advocating the need to use
       appropriate technologies—to include the creation of a Teachers’ Channel for
       television.

   •   And FOUR, in the next five years, we need to focus on coordinating all the
       various ICT in Basic Education efforts from the national and local governments,
       NGOs, the ICT sector and the community.




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Now, more than ever, the framework for the 21st century skills that will include ICT
literacy, learning & thinking skills and life skills, in addition to the traditional core
subject content will have to be framed to eventually evolve into the fulcrum for
fundamental re-design of the educational system.

In the end, this boils down to how much resources we can allocate for ICT in Basic
Education.

In the end, the realities of Basic Education prevents us from moving forwards as fast as
we should. In the end, our inability to move forward is a mere expression of the sad state
of basic education in our country. As we call on public support for basic education—
through various DepEd programs including our Brigada Eskwela, Schools First
Initiative, and of course, our Adopt-A-School Program— we enjoin the public to
participate in the task of providing more resources for ICT in Basic Education.

This crisis will not go away without public support for basic education.

Through Adopt-A-School, we hope we can enjoin the private sector to the cause of basic
education. This, therefore, is one of the priorities of the Department of Education under
my watch. Through your efforts—and the efforts of others like you— we can beat this
crisis, provide our children with the quality education they need to become truly
productive— and competitive— in the coming years.

I thank you all for your continued support for Basic Education and I look forward to
working closely with each one of you in our quest for quality education for all Filipinos.

Your presence here today is a testament of your respective organization’s desire to
improve and widen the access to ICT technologies and skills of more than 18 million
children all over the the country. Rest assured that the Department is with you in its
commitment to the promotion of 21st century skills in the face of the current realities of
the Philippine educational system.

Let this forum be the reinforcement of all our efforts towards this goal.

Thank you and good morning to you all.




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