790 PCs to GenSan public schools from city gov’t

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/30 April) — The city government has delivered a total of 790 personal computer (PC) sets to local public schools in the last 20 months as part of the implementation of its expanded school computerization program.

Percival Pasuelo, information and communication technology division head of the city mayor’s office, said Tuesday the new PCs were distributed by the local government to 58 speech and computer laboratories that it upgraded and established in various public elementary and secondary schools in the city from July 2011 and until last month.

“Each of these laboratories was provided with 10 to 20 PCs, depending on the school’s population,” he said in a statement.

Under the program, Pasuelo said schools with over 1,000 students received 20 PCs while those with less than 1,000 students got 10 PC units.

Aside from the computers, he said they provided the recipient-schools and students with the necessary software, reference materials and trainings through the city’s enhanced SHEEP-Computer Literacy Program (CLP).

He said they also established electronic libraries or e-Libraries in all public elementary and secondary schools within the city’s 26 barangays to provide students and teachers with wider access to various educational references and related learning materials.

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.

The city government earlier launched the CLP as a major component of the SHEEP program’s education-related initiatives.

Pasuelo said the city’s school computerization program started in 1999 with Labangal National High School as initial beneficiary.

Labangal National High School, which serves students belonging to the “poorest of the poor,” was prioritized then for the first 20 PC units delivered by the city government, he said.

In 2000, he said the local government expanded the initiative to 16 public high schools, with each getting 20 PCs. The program covered elementary schools by 2001.

Pasuelo said City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio pushed for the upgrading of the school-based computer laboratories in 2011 to address the growing demand for global competitiveness, especially the need to increase human capital.

He said the city government then “reengineered” the SHEEP-CLP by providing more training modules to meet the demands of the city’s emerging information technology-based Business Process Outsourcing industry.

“At the grassroots level, basic computer trainings were introduced. We also offered modules on computer programming, basic robotics, multimedia art, AutoCAD, animation, call center trainings, among others,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)