The Problem and Its Background
Globalization has practically changed societies all over the world. It has paved the way for the so called “borderless economy”. With the advent of the Internet, the role of information has dramatically changed the way people live and do business. As Naval points out in her paper, an immense reduction of time and space barriers among great nations is made possible through interconnectivity. She illustrated that such interconnections result to global transactions being done in the comfort zones of one’s home. This characteristic of the Information Age provides for accessibility to vast reservoirs of knowledge, which is power. 1 It is for this reason that all nations all over the world are adopting ICT-based solutions to address their information needs in this modern era of knowledge explosion. In the Philippines, the government anticipated the importance of Information Technology (IT) as early as the Ramos administration. Ramos in his speech at the First Information Technology and Telecommunications Education Congress outlined the National Information Technology Plan (NITP) of the government. He stressed that IT must be applied to the education sector as a means for national strengthening.2 In 1997, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) reported that the General Appropriations Act of the previous year provided some funds for the CHED-SUCs computerization program. Chairman Angel C. Alcala stated that majority of the fund was used to upgrade the computer capabilities of state-funded institutions. The biggest threat pointed out in the CHED computerization program was the readiness of the people in the educational institutions in the form of computer literacy to cope with the said technological changes. 3 Similarly, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) engaged in its own computerization program. Undersecretary Alejandro W.D. Clemente described the computerization project as two main thrusts, which are (1) improvement of learning/teaching environment and (2) management of education. While improvement of learning/teaching environment mainly involves direct use of IT tools in the classroom such as multimedia, computer-based training, etc., Clemente stressed that management of education through IT centers on three groups. These groups consist of support staff using application programs such as wordprocessors, spreadsheets and the like for processing. The second group is for the number crunching processing such as accounting, budgeting and others. Finally, the third group affected by IT in educational management is in the area of databanking. Storing of voluminous records such as student scholastic records may be kept and retrieved using computer technology. 4 In addition to government efforts, Malacañang has issued on July 12, 2000, under the Estrada administration, Executive Order No. 265, “An act approving and adopting the government information systems plan (GISP) as framework and guide for all computerization efforts in the government.” The order aims to provide a wide-ranging set of reforms to enhance government efficiency and effectiveness in its operations and delivery of basic services to the public. Furthermore, the executive order requires all government units to align their respective computerization projects to the thrusts of E.O. 265, also known as the Philippine Government Online. 5 In the light of these ICT undertakings at the national level, most specially in the education sector, former PUP President, Dr. Ofelia M. Carague was inspired to embark on a university-wide computerization project to address the information needs of the university, as embodied in the PUP Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP). The ISSP, in general, aims to address the mission-critical areas of the five sectors of the university, namely: Administration, Finance, Student Services, Academic Affairs and...
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