From pages to pixels: Jinggoy proposes P500-million budget for public school textbooks to go digital

(POLITIKO) A digital shift in public education has been proposed by Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada.

Estrada made the latest proposal to digitize textbooks and reference books in public elementary and secondary schools in a bid to attain an ideal 1:1 textbook-student ratio.

The senator has filed Senate Bill No. 2075, also known as the proposed Philippine Online Library Act, which envisions the creation of a centralized digital repository for educational materials.

“Making them available online will not only complement the existing physical libraries in schools and local government units around the country but will also aid both teachers and students especially those who have utilized various learning modalities,” Estrada said.

“The insufficient number of textbooks in public schools remains a serious concern and with the sheer number of students, the achievement of the ideal textbook-to-student ratio is far from realization. In this light, the Philippine Online Library can supplement the required books, especially for students who have internet connectivity,” he said.

Under Estrada’s proposal, the Department of Education (DepEd) will be responsible for digitizing textbooks and reference books while the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) will provide fast and reliable internet to ensure access to these materials.

Such copies shall be compiled in the proposed Philippine Online Library, to be jointly managed by DepEd and DICT.

An initial amount of P500 million, which will be jointly managed by the DepEd and DICT, shall be appropriated by Congress for the implementation of the project.