North Cotabato mentors in Philippines to benefit from computers

Modern computer technology is being used by more than a hundred teachers from four public elementary school districts in the mentioned town to compose their lesson plans, create better and richer teaching materials, and compute their students' grades. This is the result of the recent turnover to their Department of Education (DepEd) districts of 32 computers installed with Microsoft Office, Encarta, and anti-virus software and 18 printers by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLS2) Project. The turnover of the computer equipment and software came less than a month after the project trained the teachers to use the software through a partnership with Microsoft Philippines, in support of DepEd's strategic plan for ICT-enhanced professional development activities for teachers and school officials.

The teachers eagerly attended the five-day training, arriving early and refusing to go home at the end of the day. More training was demanded on other relevant softwares pertaining to teaching, documentation and data gathering. The trained teachers will practice using the computers for the next three to six months, after which, each of them will train one to two other teachers. USAID's EQuALLS2 project, through its implementing partner, Save the Children, will check on the teachers' progress quarterly. The computers will be maintained by their respective DepEd district offices, which are expected to institute policies that will require local teachers to submit lesson plans in electronic form. While nine other municipalities in Mindanao will also receive the same computer training and equipment from the project.

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