IBM, FUSE, donate ‘Kidsmart’ computers to Leyte, Sorsogon schools
MANILA, Philippines–Seven sets of Kidsmart computers designed to make pupils from kindergarten to Grade 3 better understand and appreciate English, Math, Science and Geography were recently turned over by IBM Philippines, in coordination with the Foundation for Upgrading the Standard of Education (FUSE), to several public schools in Leyte and Sorsogon provinces.
Representative Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon), Susan de Veyra, education program supervisor of the Department of Education’s Leyte Division, and representatives from recipient schools, formally accepted the computers from IBM and FUSE officials.
Recipients of IBM’s Young Explorer Learning Desks include Bibincahan Elementary School, Sorsogon East Central School, Leyte’s Ipil Central, Linao Central, Patag Elementary, San Pablo Elementary and Sumangga elementary schools.
This brings to 25 the number of Kidsmart computers turned over to state-owned schools in the two provinces. Eighteen sets were turned over last May to several Leyte schools through the joint efforts of Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, IBM and FUSE.
“The project integrates technology in early childhood education and helps make learning more kid-friendly. We thank IBM for helping FUSE in its mission of raising our country’s standard of education,” said Dr. Lucio C. Tan, FUSE founder and vice-chairman, during brief ceremonies at the FUSE Learning Center for Teachers in Ermita, Manila.
Each costing P250,000, the computer sets contain software for early learning with instructional materials showing cartoon characters, colored keyboards and a furniture set. The program was designed to be interactive with two kids using the computer simultaneously.
Agnes Africa, IBM Philippines’ country manager, urged the private sector to be more involved in pushing government’s education program. “Everything starts with basic education and the quality of it will spell the difference,” she said.
Escudero, widow of former Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III, who served as FUSE president since its founding in 1994 until his death two years ago, said in brief remarks that “FUSE has been part of her life,” since her late husband joined the group.
“When you use the five senses in education, mas matututo ang bata. This is what the program aims for, an innovative way of teaching our kids,” she added.
Under the 2011 memorandum of agreement between IBM and FUSE, the Foundation would identify and nominate schools that maybe qualified to participate in the program; assist IBM in identifying elementary and secondary school teachers who will participate in the project; and allow the multinational firm to utilize three hours of the FUSE five-day content training to train FUSE participants involved in the project.