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The Philippines

Ms. Marivic Abcede of the Department of Education presented these highlights of the integration of ICT in the Philippines' educational system.

Policies On The Use Of ICT In Education

The Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) has policies on the use of ICT. These are:

1. Technology must be studied first as a separate subject, then applied in other learning areas as a tool for learning how to learn.
2. The application of computer skills to the other learning areas is a curriculum policy that stems from the principle that teaching-learning must not be textbook-driven, and educational processes should take advantage of technological developments, including the application of ICT in teaching and learning, where appropriate.
3. An education modernisation programme will equip schools with facilities, equipment, materials and skills and introduce new learning and delivery systems necessary to capitalise on recent technological developments.

Financial Resources

Since 1996, an annual appropriation has been provided for the procurement of computer hardware, software and courseware for teacher-training. In calendar year 2002, this allocation amounted to P 155 millions (US$ 3.1 million).

The bulk of investment requirements for implementing ICT in education comes from government funding. However, the DepEd involves other government agencies, local governments and the private sector to finance various components of building up a programme in ICT in education.

To fast-track the connectivity of schools, DepEd is undertaking Project LINK, which will upgrade computer resources in schools to allow access to the Internet and give training to teachers on the use of the Internet for research and distance learning. The government will finance a large part of the cost for this project. The costs of connectivity will carried out by the local businesses and the operation and maintenance costs shouldered by city and municipality governments.

Goals And Objectives Of ICT For The Education Programme

The goal of the Philippine Education Technology Master Plan is to deliver quality education that is accessible to all through the use of IT and other innovative technologies.

Under this framework, the DepEd is implementing an ICT Plan for Basic Education, which has the following objectives:

  • To provide the physical infrastructure and necessary technical support to make ICT accessible and useful to students, teachers, administrators and school support staff;
  • To develop teacher competence in the use of ICT and in the design, production and use of ICT-based instructional materials;
  • To ensure access to the latest developments in ICT and to support research and development;
  • To undertake a curriculum improvement that would integrate technology with the different learning areas; and
  • To promote the use of appropriate and innovative technologies in education and training.

The Philippine Education Technology Master Plan has the following operational targets by the year 2009:

  • All public secondary schools shall be provided with an appropriate educational technology package;
  • 75% of public secondary schools shall have a computer laboratory room equipped with basic multimedia equipment;
  • All public secondary schools shall have an electronic library system;
  • 75% of public secondary schools teachers shall have been trained in basic computer skills and the use of the Internet and computer-aided instruction; and
  • All learning areas of the curriculum shall be able to integrate the application of ICT, where appropriate.

The said Plan focuses on the following thrusts:

  • Restructuring the curriculum to integrate the application of ICT to teaching and learning;
  • Improving the delivery support system of basic education so that it includes the use of ICT as a component of multi-channel learning;
  • Generating funds through non-traditional financing schemes; and
  • Retooling human resources at different levels involving sub-systems (Central office, field offices, and schools) and focusing on the different components of basic education.

Manner Of Introducing ICT In Schools And Non-Formal Education

ICT is introduced at the elementary level as a subject called Home Economics and Livelihood Education (HELE) and in the secondary level as Technology and Home Economics (THE). In the majority of cases, ICT materials (software, multimedia) are used to supplement instruction. These materials may be produced by teachers themselves (as in the case of animated PowerPoint presentations) or ready-to-use courseware, either purchased from abroad, or leased to the school as part of the hardware. Currently, there is no integration of the application of ICT with textbooks.

Professional Development Of Teachers
Since year 2000, it has been the policy of the DepEd to give preference to the hiring of teachers who are computer literate; most teacher-training institutions offer computer education as a required course.

Usually, public schools send a few teachers to computer literacy training, who would then pass on the training of peer teachers. Private schools usually hire ICT service providers to give training to their teachers.

Public school teachers handling THE classes receive training on ICT. Since 1997, the DepEd has intensified the provision of ICT training to teachers of English, Science, Mathematics and THE.

There has been some private sector support for teacher training. Intel and Microsoft have a current programme called Intel Teach to the Future programme which targets to teach 1,000 teachers on the condition that each teacher would train 20 others. Other training programmes for teachers are funded by other private organisations.

Connectivity

Eighty-one percent (81%) of schools have no access to the Internet. The schools in Metro Manila, the Philippines’ capital, have the greatest access to the Internet, but the incidence of connectivity decreases as one goes northwards and southwards throughout the archipelago.

Evaluation And Indicators Used

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) conducted a survey of schools that gathered baseline data on schools’ Mathematics and Science teachers and the extent of the schools’ use of ICT for instruction and other purposes. The survey, which covered 4,310 public schools, used the following indicators:

  • The percentage of computers used for instruction and the percentage of computers used for administrative work,
  • The percentage of classes (by subject types) that use computers in instruction,
  • The percentage of schools that engage an outside technician to maintain the computer system
  • Percentage of schools with telephone lines
  • Observation of teacher and student practice
  • Interviews of innovative teachers on practices (teacher and student) related to innovation, problems, solutions and prospects for sustaining and continuing innovation

Problems

The following were identified as key problem areas for implementing ICT in basic education:

  • Teachers’ fear of the technology;
  • School principals’ closed mindset to and non-appreciation of ICT in education;
  • Constraints of the annual Education Budget;
  • Maintenance of ICT resources and lack of technical staff;
  • Sustainability; and
  • Limited availability of education software and courseware.