GABRIELA Women’s Partylist Representative Luz Ilagan slammed today Malacanang’s move to continue with the controversial Cyber-Ed Project which was suspended along with the NBN-ZTE deal amid allegations of overpricing and bribery.

“What’s the rush? As yet, none of the questions that have been raised on the Cyber-Ed Project have been answered. Where is the contract and what are its ramifications? Is it feasible? Does it answer the needs of our country’s education system?” asked Ilagan.

The GABRIELA solon further said, “Seeing that none of these have been clearly answered, it seems there is a rush not to upgrade the education system, but a rush to create another white elephant and perhaps another possible source of kickbacks.”

Ilagan, herself a teacher for over forty years before becoming a representative for GABRIELA Women’s Party also said, “It is very alarming that no study was ever presented as to how this can sufficiently solve the fundamental problems of our education system such as the classroom, books and teacher shortages, and more importantly the issue of inaccessibility of education to a growing number of children exemplified by the decreasing number of enrollees and graduates. Can this, for example, solve the high drop-out rate?”

Drop out rates have been placed at 2 million for the primary level and 4 million for the secondary level.

The GABRIELA solon also noted initial studies conducted by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers citing that the CyberEd’s budget of P21.7 B, could construct 51,913 classrooms, hire close to two million new teachers or buy 336 million chairs, or acquire 434 million new textbooks or even allot the same amount to provide full four-year college scholarships to 1,085,000 students.

Ilagan further said that seeing how our schools have managed the PCs for Public Schools Project, it may be wise to check if our schools are actually ready to undertake a leap in technology such as the CyberEd Project. “The latest COA report has revealed that as much as P139M has gone to waste as public schools failed to utilize the PCs allegedly for lack of resources and technical capabilities.”

“Prudence, wise judgment, basic principles of good governance and logic would dictate that the CyberEd project should be deferred if not totally scrapped.”  #


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