The U.S. government is embarking upon an audit of over 35,000 public schools in order to assess the extent of educational technology deployment—the extent of deployment, that is, in schools across The Philippines.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) yesterday announced that it awarded a $280,000 contract to carry out the project, formally known as “Understanding the State of the Art of Information and Communications Technology for Education (ICT4E) in the Philippines – An Assessment.”
The award (#AID-492-C-12-00006) went to the Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development, Inc. (FIT-ED), a Makati City, Philippines-based non-profit organization. The chairman of FIT-ED is Roberto R. Romulo, a Georgetown University-educated ambassador.
Romulo also serves on the board of McClarty Associates, an international consulting firm founded by Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III, former White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton. John D. Negroponte, former U.S. ambassador to The Philippines, currently is the firm's vice chairman.
The two-fold project will perform an:
- Inventory of current and ongoing ICT4E projects in basic education
- Assessment of [the Philippine Department of Education] computerization and connectivity (C&C) program for public secondary schools using a survey and case studies.
A USAID solicitation document (#SOL-492-12-000011) explained that the rationale behind the study:
is to provide USAID/Philippines and DepED with the information necessary to apply lessons learned from the implementation of ICT4E programs in schools, especially with regard to how these programs help improve the quality of education.
The specific aim of the study is to determine "factors that may have accounted for successful and unsuccessful programs," as well as to identify "institutional barriers or opportunities for replication or expansion" of such computerization and connectivity programs.