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DepEd, Oracle ink ICT plan for schools

Posted on: February 25, 2009

http://technology.inquirer.net/infotech/infotech/view/20081023-168070/DepEd-Oracle-ink-ICT-plan-for-schools

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:59:00 10/23/2008

Filed Under: Technology (general), Education, Internet, Schools

PASIG CITY, Philippines — The Department of Education and business software company Oracle signed an agreement through Oracle Education Foundation to expand an existing online learning program to 500 public high schools nationwide.

Oracle introduced the expanded ThinkQuest program that intends to benefit 50,000 teachers and students nationwide. ThinkQuest was introduced in 2006.

Oracle said schools were selected based on their information and communications technology readiness, which is measured in terms of infrastructure, alignment of student learning competency with ThinkQuest’s program and availability of program coordinator.

“With ThinkQuest, we aim to inspire Filipino students to think, share their thoughts and learn from other learners worldwide through the use of information communication technology,” said Natasak Rodjanapiches, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Managing Director of Oracle Asia Pacific.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said the Philippines cannot afford not to have ICT integrated in its education curriculum.

“Based on the DepEd’s five-year plan, we aim to provide 21st century ICT education to all Filipino students,” the government executive said.

Lapus stressed that information and communications technology can enhance teaching and learning as well as governance and management of schools.

By embracing ICT literacy, students in the country will be able to engage with other learners worldwide, he said.

Rodjanapiches, for his part, noted that integrating ICT in education, as in the case of ThinkQuest, will allow effective and collaborative learning among students and will break the digital divide.

To foster a desired learning environment for ICT education, Lapus said DepEd will deploy computer labs into 3,000 public schools. Each computer lab will have 10 to 20 computer units and an Internet connection.

Rodjanapiches declined to disclose Oracle’s investment in this expanded program, noting that the infrastructure needed to deploy the program is readily available in the schools selected.

Oracle Philippines will also support DepEd’s objective to deliver ICT education to Filipino students by providing IT infrastructure, knowledge training and resource content.

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