ICT MASTER PLAN for Distribution

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ICT IN BASIC EDUCATION JESLI A. LAPUS Secretary Department of Education Our Goal It is our dream that the best of the Filipino learner shall emerge at the forefront of economic development empowered by an ICT-supported system of quality basic education for all. Towards this vision, basic education is committed to the appropriate, effective, and sustainable use of ICTs to broaden access to and improve the quality and efficiency of basic education service delivery. It shall evolve and nurture an information and communications technology framework designed to enhance, broaden, strengthen and transform learning. This is aimed at developing the Filipino learner into a person who is excellence-driven, global in perspective, innovative, ingenious and creative, with a deep sense of community and concern for harmony and the common good. The quality of and access to basic education substantially remains as the overriding goal of educational development. Thus, all educational interventions shall be geared towards ensuring the empowerment of learners with life-long skills through the use of appropriate technologies. Educational development therefore is the purpose of our information and communications technology program. Policy Framework This program to integrate ICTs in basic education is in line with several national policies underpinning basic education in the Philippines. We begin with our MTPDP the Medium Term Philippines Development Plan which envisions ICT as a development tool that provides for the wider use of computers to support the teaching-learning process, the promotion of e-learning and information literacy, and the establishment of e-learning competency centers. The Basic Education Curriculum likewise recognizes the need to harness ICTs in the acquisition of life skills, a reflective understanding and internalization of principles and values, and the development of the persons multiple intelligences. It encourages the use of ICTs in all learning areas as a means for promoting greater interactivity, widening access to knowledge and for developing skills in accessing, processing and applying information, and in solving mathematical problems and conducting experiments. And finally, strategic planning for ICT use in basic education is framed by our Schools First Initiative and our National Action Plan to Achieve Education for All by the Year 2015. Both policies recognize the extreme factors that impinge on 1

the basic education system. It offers a clearly articulated framework and strategies for mitigating the effects of these factors and for advancing basic education through the marriage of technology and communications. These, therefore, have paved the way for the development of all our strategic efforts towards the creation of a national ICT master plan, leading to where we are right now. Status of ICT in Basic Education As many of you know, the use of ICTs is considerably more prevalent in the formal education setting. DepEd estimates that 69% of public secondary schools already have at least one computer, and we are hoping to raise this figure to 75% by the end of 2006. For the past seven years, DepEd has conducted a massive computerization program for secondary schools under the DepEd Computerization Program. This has been supplemented over the years by ICT-related initiatives of other national government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations, private firms, foreign governments, and international aid donor agencies. These initiatives include not only infrastructure but also staff development program for teachers on basic ICT literacy and pedagogy-technology integration. Among these are the educational television-based programs of the Knowledge Channel Foundation and ABS-CBN Foundation, and the computer-based teaching and learning programs of FIT-ED (the Foundation for IT Education and Development), Intels Teach to the Future and Microsofts Partners in Learning Program. Of course, one of our priorities remains to be to provide ICT facilities on a nationwide scale. While more secondary schools now have computers, student-to-computer and teacher-to-computer ratios remain extremely poor. At the elementary level, computer penetration is negligible. Latest available DepEd estimates place computer penetration at one computer for every 25,000 elementary pupils and one for every 728 elementary school teachers. Our high school penetration is at one computer for every 111 secondary school students, and one for every three secondary school teachers. Also, there is the limited number and variety of subject-specific educational software available in schools. Software in schools consists mostly of office software or productivity tools and the educational software that are available tend to be limited to those for English, Science and Mathematics. There are, but, a few educational software for music and arts classes, and particularly for subject areas that require local content in the local language such as Social Studies and Filipino. At the same time, there is an absence of specific curricular standards and guidelines for integrating computers into the subject areas. Although the current 2

curriculum advocates the innovative use of ICTs to make learning more interactive, interdisciplinary, collaborative and authentic, there is as yet no nationally prescribed technology-enhanced curriculum. In so far as our teachers are concerned, despite the fact that they are critical to the success of technology integration in the classroom, training opportunities in ICT-enhanced teaching are generally limited. In the FITED survey, 58% of our schools reported that less than half of their teaching staff have undergone computer-related training, while 12% reported that their teachers have had no computer-related training at all. Sadly, for those that have undergone ICT training, the nature of the training and its effectiveness is unclear. Implementation Strategies As we look ahead, we now strive to achieve our goals based on the following strategies: 1. 2. 3. 4. Using ICTs to broaden access to basic education; Using ICTs to improve the quality of learning; Using ICTs to enhance the quality of teaching; and Using ICTs to improve educational planning and management.

Operational Targets Based on these strategies, we hope to achieve our goals for 2006-2010 through the following operational targets: 1. That all public secondary schools shall have multimedia laboratories, 20% or 7,500 of our 37,492 public elementary schools shall have a computer laboratory equipped with basic multimedia equipment and 50% of Community Learning Centers will have computer laboratories; 2. That all public schools with computer laboratories shall be connected to the digital highway; 3. That 50% of teachers in English, Science and Mathematics from recipient schools shall have been trained on basic computer literacy skills, laboratory management and pedagogy-technology integration. Also that all school heads from these schools shall have been trained in strategic planning and management of ICT-enhanced environments; and 4. That all recipient schools shall be provided with appropriate software and instructional resources. ICT Programs Central to the effective and efficient implementation of the ICT Master Plan is the undertaking of specific programs. These programs are as follows:

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1. The FACILITIES ACQUISITION AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, which includes not only hardware and software acquisition, but also connectivity to the information superhighway (to ensure the quality and quantity of ICT resources are standardized to guarantee compatibility and inter-operability between the various systems to be installed); 2. The CURRICULUM AND MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, which improves the quality of education through the fine-tuning of the Basic Education Curriculum through the use of ICT whenever appropriate and available; 3. The STAFF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, which focuses on equipping teachers, school heads and support staff with appropriate skills and behavior to support the changes brought about by ICT; and 4. The GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM, which aims to improve educational management and strengthen policy development and program implementation, all under the framework of transparency, improved governance, evidence-based advocacy and shared accountability.

As we look at ICT as an important tool in improving Basic Education as we look at our efforts to provide these technologies to Philippine schools in the next five years we must take into account several issues that affect the implementation of our ICT in Basic Education efforts. These include the following: 1. We need to focus on maximizing the use of our ICT resources; 2. We need to focus on addressing such issues as obsolescence of our current ICT resources, maintenance of our current ICT resources, and new demands based on the increase in student population; 3. We need to focus on advocating the need to use appropriate technologiesto include the creation of a Teachers Channel for television and the promotion of the English by Radio series created by the BBC; and 4. We need to focus on coordinating all the various ICT in Basic Education efforts from the national and local governments, NGOs, the ICT sector and the community. Implementation Strategies All these efforts, as part of our Master Plan for ICT in Basic Education, require us to employ the following strategies to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of such a plan: 1. Strengthen policy and leadership on ICT concerns;

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2. Undertake planning for ICT in Basic Education at the regional, division, and school levels, in line with national goals, strategies, programs, and projects; 3. Perform research-based curriculum and competency standards setting, model-building and piloting, systematic monitoring and evaluation, and the up-scaling of good practice models; 4. Develop an ICT advocacy and promotions program, and encourage the same at local levels; 5. Encourage community participation in program and project development and implementation; 6. Foster the building of a community of teachers, instructional managers, students, parents, education administrators, policy makers, researchers, technology experts, and other education sector stakeholders as a mechanism for providing instructional, technical, administrative, and other necessary support for ICT-based innovation, and encourage a sense of ownership among all stakeholders; and 7. Optimize the use of available resources and intensify resource mobilization, at the national and local levels, to defray the total cost of ownership of ICT-supported initiatives. Towards this end a. We intend to rationalize budget spending for ICT in Basic Education in accordance with our National Strategic Plan; b. We intend to create a National ICT for Basic Education Fund to be used for, among others, ICT facilities improvement, curriculum-based materials development, training of trainers, research and development, and monitoring and evaluation, and encourage the same at local levels; c. We intend to harmonize the ICT-related initiatives of and strengthen cooperation on ICT-related matters among the different government agencies, in particular between DepED and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Trade and Industry; d. We intend to encourage greater and more efficient local government investment through the Special Education Fund and other local funding instruments in ICT-based initiatives to meet locally-defined strategic goals for ICT in Basic Education; and e. Finally, we intend to exploit various forms of partnerships with the 5

private sector, non-government organizations, academic and training institutions, local communities and other stakeholders so we can develop alternative financing models, including but not limited to setting educational rates on ICT-based goods and services, schooluniversity twinning, harnessing existing community assets, fund raising through PTCAs, alumni associations and other community groups, and commercialization of ICT facilities and services. Support for Basic Education In the end, this boils down to how much resources we can allocate for ICT in Basic Education. The bulk of the investment requirements for the implementation of the Master Plan for ICT in Basic Education shall come from the annual budgetary appropriations of the National Government. However, an intensified resource mobilization scheme involving all stakeholders shall be pursued to defray the total cost of ownership of ICT-supported initiatives. LGU resources shall be increasingly tapped. Likewise, contributions from government earnings of government-owned and controlled corporations, proceeds from donations and contributions from the private sector, support from PTCAs and NGOs and foreign development assistance shall become major sources of funding for the implementation of our Master Plan. As we call on public support for basic education through various DepEd programs including our Brigada Eskwela, Schools First Initiative, and of course, our Adopt-A-School Program we enjoin the public to participate in the task of providing more resources for ICT in Basic Education. This crisis will not go away without public support for basic education. Our numbers show that: From a high of about 14% in 2000, the budget for the Department of Education last year of P 112 B represents a decline in share of the national budget to 11%. While a supplemental budget of 9.65 billion pesos is being considered for DepEd in line with the 2006 reenacted budget of 112 billion pesos, this is still not enough to address the true requirements of our education system.

Add to this our need for more classrooms, teachers, and textbooks we know that despite governments sincerity to put education on top of its agenda, our current resources will not be enough. This, of course, translates to poor performance among our students In the recent FLEMMS the Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey conducted in 2003, we found out that over 15% of our

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population is not functionally literate. This means that over 11 million Filipinos do not have the literacy skills required to enable them to provide worthwhile livelihood for themselves and their familiesnow and in the future. In the recent TIMSS the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study conducted in 2004, we placed 41 in Math and 42 in Science a field of 45 countries. This means our country is one of the poorest performers in both Math and Science. In the recent NAT the National Achievement Test conducted earlier this year, we found out that majority of our students failed to achieve the 75% mark in all subjects tested. This means that most of them do not have the required competencies in English, Math,...

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