/ 24 March 2021

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday urged the Department of Education to address problems of its computerization program to ensure its efficient implementation.

The DepEd Computerization Program aims to respond to the computer backlog of public schools and provide appropriate technologies to enhance the teaching-learning process and meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Under the DCP, computer laboratory packages are provided to secondary schools, e-classroom to elementary schools, and laptops for teachers.

This year, the DCP has an allocation of P5.9 billion.

In its 2019 report, the Commission on Audit said that from 2015 to 2019, the DCP only met 59.43 percent of its target which means that only 8,523 of the 14,342 targeted schools nationwide received ICT packages.

The COA said that more than P3.2 billion in payments to suppliers in 2019 were not supported by documentary requirements.

An inspection by the audit body revealed that some schools were not ready to receive the computer packages because they lack multi-media or computer rooms, proper electrical groundings, wirings and circuit breaker, and window grills.

ICT coordinators also reported that some suppliers did not provide after-sales services.

“Nakita natin ngayong panahon ng pandemya na hindi na natin maaaring paghintayin pa ang modernisasyon para sa mga mag-aaral at mga guro. Mahalagang matiyak natin ang pagpapatupad ng nasabing programa upang mapakinabangan na nila to,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.