EDUCATION  DEPARTMENT  PLANS  TO  ACCREDIT  INTERNET  CAFÉS 
 

MANILA
, FEBRUARY 9, 2007
  (STAR) By Sandy Araneta - The Department of Education (DepEd) plans to accredit Internet cafés or shops around the country so they could be tapped to teach school children during class hours or after school.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said they also plan to install or hook up with the educational content available in these Internet cafés.

Lapus admitted that a lot of students, both from the elementary and high school levels, usually hang out in Internet cafés after classes.

"Rather than try to prohibit that which we cannot do, (we would accredit) Internet cafés on an experimental basis," he said. "Then we would install educational content."

Lapus, who recently launched STI’s Mobile School, said they want to teach students not only the technical aspect of computers but also wish that instructional materials on other subject matters be available in computers in these Internet cafés.

"As they learn to use computers, they are also learning their curriculum and their basic subjects. You know very well that if you cannot read or write, it is a huge disadvantage. But today, practically for any profession, we need computers even if information technology is not your line of work. You need to understand computers," Lapus said.

In other countries, children as young as three to four years old, already know to use a computer since their educational system is IT-based, he said.

He said his department’s program to teach information technology is a private sector initiative.

"We are trying to convince (the private sector) to respond. I think they are very receptive since our Adopt-A-School Program provides incentives to the private sector," he said, adding that the allowable tax reduction goes by as much as 150 percent.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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