Laguna public schools get laptops

The Department of Education (DepEd) continues to create concrete steps in bringing 21st century education to learners through the power of information communication technology.

Fourteen public high schools in Laguna received yesterday ten new laptops each through the partnership of the DepEd, Toshiba Corporation, and Gearing Up Internet Literacy and Access for Students (GILAS), a program of the Ayala Foundation during the turn-over ceremony held in San Pedro Relocation Center National High School – Landayan Annex, San Pedro, Laguna.

According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro, if other students cannot have equality in terms of learning resources, Education For All (EFA) targets can never be achieve within the timeframe that DepEd has set.

“The limitations of our public school system and the limited resources we have prevent us from really addressing the challenges in education,” Luistro said. “But through this project, we can equalize access to information beyond the four corners of school classrooms especially in provinces,” he said.

A total of 140 brand-new Toshiba laptops were distributed to each of the 14 beneficiary schools in Laguna. The project, said Luistro, amounts to more than five million pesos, is in collaboration with DepEd ICTU and Adopt-A-School Program.

“Our mandate at the DepEd is to make quality basic education accessible to all, the end-goal being to make every Filipino functionally literate. Hence, this partnership democratizes access to quality education for learners in rural areas,” he said.

GILAS and Toshiba have been partners of the department in its computerization project in 2005 and 2007. Luistro said that partnerships such as this can do so much “to make education for all a reality… to make education inclusive of many and not exclusive to a few.”

Now on its fifth year of implementation, GILAS has already connected over 3,000 schools in cities and municipalities all over the country, benefiting more than a million students and teachers—104 of that number are public high schools in Laguna.

Luistro said that Toshiba’s partnership with GILAS has so far contributed to connecting close to 30 percent or about 30 schools among the 104 connected schools in Laguna. Currently, Laguna has 126 public high schools—hence about 83 percent are already enjoying Internet connectivity.

“Of the 22 schools which remain unconnected, one school is still without electricity while seven already have complete computer laboratories and are just waiting for connection. Because of this, 14 remain technologically behind,” Luistro said.