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Government to install 20,000 PCs in 1,000 schools

() - May 31, 2001 - 12:00am
Government will install 20,000 new personal computers in 1,000 public high schools nationwide for use by senior students before December this year, Trade and Industry Secretary Mar Roxas II said yesterday.

The delivery of the computers in December was assured after Japan recently released a grant of P600 million to the government through the DTI.

Roxas, who is chairman of the Task Force for Personal Computers for Public High Schools Project, said President Arroyo directed them to put the personal computers in school laboratories within the year or much earlier than the scheduled schoolyear 2002-2003.

Rules for competitive bidding for the supply of computers will be announced this month. The bidding will be conducted through the Internet. The rules have been approved by the Commission on Audit. The computers must be bundled up with software programs, CD-Roms, and modem.

The trade secretary said that giving seniors in public schools access to PCs virtually means improving the chances of poor families to compete for high-paying jobs in the market for knowledge or information technology workers worldwide.

"We are not just installing theory and equipment. Helping seniors from low-income families learn about math, the visual arts, science or technology through computers enables these kids to creatively apply these tools to their daily lives," he said.

Eventually, the seniors will need the computer knowledge to qualify them for employment, he said, adding that the nature of works has changed because of IT.

Using computers to draw, research, learn math, or make reports will start them off higher skills such as hardware and software development, Roxas noted. As they learn, they form part of a global resource that includes skilled workers in India, Ireland, the United States, Australia or Japan that are hired by large corporations.

Roxas said he expects more computers to be installed this year when private donations of used and new computers are delivered by civic and business groups, overseas Filipinos and multinationals.

A private company will begin training public school teachers in knowledge of basic IT. In turn, these teachers will tutor their students on IT as tools for learning. – Mary Ann Reyes

COMPUTERS MARY ANN REYES PERSONAL COMPUTERS PRESIDENT ARROYO PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS PROJECT ROXAS TASK FORCE TRADE AND INDUSTRY SECRETARY MAR ROXAS UNITED STATES
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