GenSan linking up with Microsoft for computer literacy program

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 September) — The city government is set to link up with software giant Microsoft Corporation to enhance its ongoing efforts to mainstream Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-enabled learning and teaching in local public schools.

Percival Pasuelo, executive assistant for information technology of the city mayor’s office, said they are currently working for the adoption of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PIL) program as a component of its expanded SHEEP-computer literacy program (CLP).

SHEEP stands for Social Transformation, Human Empowerment, Economic Diversification, Environment Security and Regeneration and Participatory Governance and Transparency, which are the city’s main development thrusts.

Pasuelo, who heads the SHEEP-CLP, said Microsoft representatives recently met with city officials and CLP implementers to discuss a possible partnership for the implementation of the PIL program in the area.

“It will be adopted by the city for the benefit of local residents, especially the public school sector,” he said.

Microsoft PIL is a global initiative that aims to equip teachers and their students with the necessary ICT skills and enable schools to effectively integrate ICT in classroom teaching.

Through its partnership with the Department of Education, the program has trained around 40,000 educators on digital literacy and ICT integration as well as various advanced ICT courses.

During its visit here, Pasuelo said the Microsoft team headed by its Philippines business group lead Tovia Va’aelua visited the SHEEP-CLP office located inside the Mabuhay IT Park and were given a glimpse of the city’s ongoing ICT-related education programs.

He said they presented the Arduino PIC-trainer module, which they use to impart and transfer the technologies to high school students in the city.

The Microsoft team also visited the offices of Rapid Signal Electronics (RSE), which is a partner of the SHEEP-CLP in its robotics program for local high schools.

Pasuelo said the Microsoft team proposed for the signing of a memorandum of agreement with the local government to facilitate the program’s expansion in the city.

Citing discussions with Microsoft’s territory manager for Southern Philippines George Parrilla, he said the company will initially train SHEEP-CLP implementers on modules covered by the PIL program.

He said the SHEEP-CLP team, in turn, will integrate the PIL modules in its continuing computer literacy training program for local public school teachers.

“Both the city government and Microsoft PIL will later evaluate and certify the schools that have taken part in the program,” Pasuelo said.

He said the certification is in line with SHEEP-CLP’s ongoing efforts to attest the schools that have achieved 100-percent computer literacy among its students and teachers before the end of 2012. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)