Secretary Briones stresses importance of ICT in education, national development

November 25, 2017

LEGAZPI CITY, November 25, 2017 – The recently concluded National Literacy Conference 2017 spearheaded by the Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC) of the Department of Education (DepEd) was capped off with the hope to conquer challenges in education through the effective and efficient use of information and communications technology (ICT).
DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized that the positive use of technology will pave the way towards reaching the goals of education and leading the country to development.
“Naniniwala ako sa ICT,” the Education chief stated when she discussed digital literacy during her keynote address. “Considering that we have 26.6 million learners and 674,000 teachers, and more than 70,000 schools, plus more than 30,000 [employees] also in administrative, hindi mo makakaya na i-manualize ‘yan…you have to resort to technology.”
Held from November 7 to 9 at the Oriental Legazpi in Albay, the three-day conference was attended by around 500 participants from DepEd, local government units (LGUs), and non-government organizations (NGOs) from all over the country. Also in attendance were Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Lorna Dig Dino, Bureau and Service Directors, Assistant Regional Directors, Schools Division Superintendents, school heads, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara, host city Mayor Noel Rosal, and other private partners.
Lifelong learning in a digital world
Plenary sessions and other activities anchored on the theme, “Lifelong Learning in a Digital World,” were conducted to promote the expansive use of ICT in implementing literacy programs and practices.
The activities included: plenary sessions entitled “Toward a Digitally Literate Philippines” by Alwell Mulsid of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and “Lifelong Learning in a Digital World: Present Realities and Future Opportunities” by Director Marilette Almayda of DepEd Bureau of Learning Delivery; a talk show on “Sharing of Experiences on Enhancing Lifelong Learning Through ICT” by Rodolfo de Mesa, City Administrator – Balanga City, Bataan, and Lloyd Bautista, DPA, VP for Academics, STI Education Services Group, Inc; and a panel discussion on “Reaching the Unreached Through ICT” by Antoinieta Arceo of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Elmer Talavera of TESDA and Mr. Arnel Hibo of AMA Education System.
Meanwhile, Dr. Margarita Ballesteros, Director of External Partnerships Service, talked about DepEd’s Multi-Sectoral Partnerships. Various private entities also shared their company’s programs and contributions to public-private partnerships for digital learning including: Stephanie Orlino, Education Program Head of Smart Communications Inc.; Maricel Obligacion-Gray, Director for Citizenship and Advocacy Marketing, Globe Telecom, Inc.; Jayjay Viray, President of 88sites Digital Solutions; and Maryanne Mendoza, Program Manager of Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST).
Emelyn Libunao of Project Management Division – Philippine Information Agency (PMD-PIA), led the launch of the Audio Visual Presentation on “Institutional LCC and LGUs with Good Literacy Practices,” as well as the new LCC website and Facebook page.
Universalizing literacy in the Philippines
One of the highlights of the conference was the awarding of the three-time Outstanding Local Government Units with exemplary contribution to the realization of the goal to universalize literacy in the Philippines. These LGUs served as instruments of change by sustaining, expanding, and institutionalizing literacy efforts.
The Hall of Fame awardees were the Municipality of Cuyo, Palawan, headed by Mayor Andrew Ong, and the City of Balanga, Bataan, headed by Mayor Francis Anthony Garcia who was represented by Mr. Rodolfo de Mesa. The two LGUs received the 2017 Hall of Fame Awards and check worth one hundred thousand pesos each.
The heads of these LGUs conveyed their appreciation of DepEd and LCC for challenging and empowering them to sustain their programs, and fueling their determination to scale up their initiatives.
The Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC) was created by virtue of Republic Act 7165, s.1991, to continue to establish and sustain a viable institution responsible for the overall policy direction and coordination of efforts among major stakeholders (government and private sector) towards the attainment of a literate Philippines.