To enhance the skills of high school students in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus recently took the challenge of sustaining the Internet connection under the Gearing Up Internet Literacy and Access for Students or GILAS spearheaded by the Ayala Foundation. Lapus said that while DepEd is grateful for the support of Ayala Foundation through its GILAS Program, more needs to be done.
Lapus instructed DepEd's Budget Chief to immediately provide additional Maintenance, Operation and Other Expenses (MOOE) funds to schools for covering internet subscription fees and incremental electric consumption charges. The Education Chief said that 'any reduction in rate can be offered as donation to DepEd's Adopt-a-School Program and be entitled to a 150 per cent tax incentive. I am looking forward to signing that MOU with GILAS.' At present, there are 2020 public high schools that have benefited from free internet connection under GILAS. Earlier, the DepEd provide some 6, 000 public secondary schools nationwide with computer laboratories before the school year ends. Lapus said the program is part of their effort to improve IT understanding among students and the quality of basic education in the country.