Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I-Café Pilipinas Attends Congress Hearing

I-Café Pilipinas as the umbrella organization of the internet café industry in the country is invited by the House of Representatives' Committee on Basic Education and Culture to participate in the initial deliberation on House Bill No. 3506 (HB 3506) entitled An Act Allowing For The Use Of Internet Shops And Cafés As Distance Education Centers To Stream Online Secondary Course Instructions, Lessons And Materials For Public High School Students And Appropriating Funds Therefor. The deliberation will be held today, February 15, 2011 (Tuesday), 9:30 AM at Conference Room Nos. 14 & 15, Ramon V. Mitra Building, House of Representatives, Quezon City.

Authored by Rep. Sigfrido R. Tinga of Taguig City, HB 3506 shall be known as “Distance Education Centers Act of 2010” when enacted into law. It is expected that through this proposed measure, distance education (DE) will result to substantial improvement in the performance of students in the public high schools. The main feature of DE is a pre-dominance of an independent self-learning style which takes place outside a formal classroom. DE is a two-way communication between teacher and student through the sue of computers with access to specially designed learning instructions and materials. Through DE, students and teachers do not have to sit together inside a classroom but instead students learn from anywhere, anytime.

The bill's author says, "A 2009 U.S. Department of Education Study revealed that on the average, online students outperformed those receiving face-to-face instruction. It is a good bet that in 10 years time, students will not be getting their education in a classroom. At the same time, the problem of shortage of teachers and classrooms will be properly addressed if we turn to ICT to provide us a solution. It should stand to reason that computer shops and internet cafés can be turned into classrooms to help address the shortage of teachers and classrooms."

HB 3506 provides for the creation of a special Distance Education Commission to administer and implement the provisions of the proposed act, formulate the materials, tools and protocol on the implementation of electronic learning and to monitor and ensure compliance of the DECs with the standards to be set by the Commission.

For the i-cafés to participate and avail of incentives under the proposed law, they shall go through the proper accreditation process as determined by the Distance Education Commission. All i-cafés accredited as DECs shall be required reserve time slots as determined by the Commission to be used exclusively by the public high school students. Upon accreditation as DEC, the said i-cafés shall be exempt from payment of any and all national and local fees and taxes.

The accredited i-cafés used as Distance Education Centers shall be paid internet service fees by the Department of Education through its Educational Voucher System. The fees per student to be charged by the DECs shall be determined by the Distance Education Commission.

1 comment:

  1. HB NO. 3506 needs the full support from all cafe associations in the Philippines.

    On the proposed accreditation for participating Internet Cafe, would strongly suggest that one of the criteria would be association membership. This will help existing Internet Cafe association to gain membership.

    Would like to express my proud thanks for your active representation on behalf of the Cafe owners. Our institutional partnership is being truly defined with your representation on national issues such as this very important House Bill 3506.

    I wish you all the best and good luck!


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