The City Government of Balanga entered into an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communication Technology (DOST-ICTO) on April 5 as the city ventures to adopt the latter’s Technology for Economic Development (Tech4ED) Program.
According to DOST-ICTO, Tech4ED is a project component of eFilipino program. Tech4ED aims to improve living conditions in the countryside through ICT-oriented education.
The two parties inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in a simple ceremony held at the City Hall audio-visual room. Mayor Jose Enrique S. Garcia III represented the city while DOST-ICTO Field Operations Director Cheryl Ortega represented her agency.
Dr. Jessie Ferrer and Dr. Carolina Violeta, both representatives of Bataan’s and Balanga’s Department of Education (DepED), with city and provincial department heads, witnessed the signing of the MOA. Officials from DOST were also present, especially to prepare Tech4ED’s required facilities.
Also present during the MOA signing were representatives of various sectors, namely out-of-school youth (OSY), senior citizens, educators, farmers, and persons with disabilities (PWDs). These are the beneficiaries of Tech4ED.
Prior to the MOA signing, Mayor Garcia led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of a Tech4ED Center in Brgy. Doña Francisca. The Barangay Learning Hub (BLH), another learning facility in Brgy. Doña Francisca, was enhanced into a Tech4ED Center. Doña Francisca Chairman Corazon Gonzales welcomed the government officials who witnessed the ribbon-cutting rites.
A similar ribbon-cutting ceremony was also held at the City Public Library, another Tech4ED Center. Aside from these locations, there are other centers designated by DepED-Bataan.
Technology brightens the countryside
DOST-ICTO claims that this program will address the growing education divide between urban and rural places, where modern technology is not commonly available.
Among the features of Tech4ED, eEduSkills will be very beneficial for the out-of-school youth as this electronic course includes Alternative Learning System (ALS), Learning English Application for Pinoys (LEAP), Skills Training, and Values and Character Formation.
Another Tech4ED feature is the eAssist electronic application. Through its contents that focus on entrepreneurs, it aims to help community women, PWDs, overseas workers, senior citizens, indigenous peoples, educators, and career shifters.
The applications mMarketPlace, eAssess, and mAgri are also geared towards entrepreneurial and industrial concerns. These help the users reach markets beyond their capacities, conveniently access assessments on major industries, and enhance farm technology respectively.
Tech4ED also brings governance closer to the people through eGovServ, a portal for government offices.
Tech4ED Program taps local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and other private entities to establish a center in places where beneficiaries are densely concentrated.
DOST-ICTO provides content and marketing support to interested Tech4ED hosts. The host will shoulder all other expenses. By Arli Joshua Atienza