In June we celebrate the Month of National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and as part of this annual event, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed a bill that seeks to provide free ICT education to the poor-yet-deserving high school graduates from state colleges and universities in the Philippines.
Our beloved Senator Santiago authored the proposed Magna Carta of Internet Freedom, which called on the public to support Senate Bill No. 2839, otherwise known as the Free ICT College Education Act. Once this bill is officially approved, it will mandate the state colleges and universities to develop two-year ICT courses.
"Technology has provided us modern ways to effectively communicate and make information more accessible today. ICT has been a boon to the Philippine economy. As this sector continues to grow, demand for competent workers is also increasing," Santiago said.
Under this Free ICT College Education Act, qualified beneficiaries or public high school graduates will be given a freedom to choose the university or institution of his own and should be within within his city, province or region. Take the course without paying a cent.
Also, as per the bill, any schools that will not admit qualified students will face fine from the government to which the penalties will depend on the court's decision.
Aside from the Free ICT College Education Act, Santiago in 2013 filed S.B. No. 1696 or the Education for the 21st Century Act that aims to increase computer literacy programs for students by providing training for teachers on the latest computer software.
If enacted, the bill will authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to public and private schools for teacher training in technology. Local government units will also be encouraged to match such funds for schools in their areas.
This is a very helpful bill especially to those students who have brains but not bucks, or lack of sufficient funds to continue college education after graduating from high school. This will also be helpful to the nation once these students who will be graduating from these type of courses start to apply in real life what they will learn. Hopefully, this will not take long or forever to get approved and will be implemented as soon as possible.