Six (6) Centers for Technology for Education, Employment, Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (Tech4ED) were launched in San Fabian, Pangasinan in Region 1 during the nationwide community quarantine by the Department of Information and Communications Technology – Luzon Cluster 1 (DICT-LC1).

This is part of the DICT’s efforts to fast track the provision of Internet connectivity and ICT resources in the provinces. This is in preparation for the school year 2020 to 2021.

The six (6) new Tech4ED centers are located in Ambalangan National High School, Anonang National High School, Binday National High School, Mabilao National High School, San Fabian National High School, and San Fabian Integrated School SPED Center.

Students, teachers, and the general public are now able to use the centers’ computers to connect to the Internet for free. Further, these computers are incorporated with the “Tech4ED Platform” which houses resource segments such as “eEduSkills” which contains e-learning modules, and “Starbooks” which contain thousands of digitized science and technology learning materials in various formats such as text, audio and video.

Meanwhile, DICT-LC1 maintains that the use of Tech4ED centers should be in accordance to health protocols imposed both by the national government and the local government units (LGU).

“Amid COVID-19 circumstances, ICT is very vital in education’s new normal. But in many areas in the country, the digital divide still prevails. Many households do not have access to the Internet, gadgets, or both,” Engr. Leo Ugto, DICT Luzon Cluster 1 Director, said. “Through this program, we want to do our best to bridge the digital divide to support the opening of classes,” Director Ugto added.

The DICT-LC1 has collaborated with the LGU of San Fabian, Pangasinan, and with the Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Pangasinan in the establishment of the new Tech4ED centers in the province.

The DICT also donated computer packages to the municipalities of Balaoan and Naguilian in La Union during the quarantine period—two LGUs that are also set to launch their Tech4ED centers soon.

Since the project took flight in 2016, Tech4ED has launched a total of 233 centers in Region 1— 44 of which are in Ilocos Norte, 46 in Ilocos Sur, 11 in La Union, and 132 in Pangasinan.

Tech4ED is a vital component of the DICT’s Digital Philippines Vision under the Digital Classrooms component. The program provides a venue for studying, work, and availing of online government services in digitally underserved and unserved areas of the country.