Bukidnon public schools go online soon

Dr. Gloria Benigno, DepEd-Bukidnon schools division superintendent, told MindaNews the project was assured by the partnership between DepED, the Provincial Government of Bukidnon and the Ayala Foundation-backed GILAS. Or Gearing Up Internet Literacy and Access for Students.

Benigno says the project could be a breakthrough in improving quality of education in the province.

As of November this year, only five of Bukidnon's 48 high schools have access to internet. Three of the schools – Manolo Fortich National High School, Valencia City National High School and Quezon National High School – have been piloted by GILAS this year.

Benigno said Bukidnon National High School and the Bukidnon National School of Home Industries (BNSHI) have earlier connected to the internet using their own funds.

Benigno promised to look for local sources to provide internet connection to Bukidnon's public elementary and high schools as the government's cyber
education program is viewed with suspicion it may become yet another source of
high-level corruption as what befell the supposed nationwide broadband connection.

Adolf Torres, DepEd Bukidnon administrative officer said GILAS pledged tofinance half of the P12.7 million-project. He said Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. also vowed to seek support from the province's three congressmen to fund the other half of the project.

GILAS has a national program in partnership with LGUs and DepEd connecting the country's 5,789 public high schools.

Torres said the tripartite memorandum of agreement has yet to be signed but said they will implement the project next year.

The project includes provision on personal computer (PC) units to 18 of the 48  schools without computers. He said there are five public high schools, too, that do not have electricity but he did not name them.

Benigno said lack of internet service has hindered connection.

Torres said the governor also pledged to find means to provide a personal computer to each public high school classroom. He quoted the governor as having said he would tap the business firms operating in the province for the project. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)