Malacañang has released P150 million to the Department of Education office in the Bicol region for the procurement of 600 desktop computers, along with educational compact discs, for elementary and high school students at a cost of P250,000 per set, according to sources at the DepEd.Now, if I were DepEd-Bicol Regional Director Dominador Layon, what can I do if the P150 million suddenly falls on my lap? Assuming the transaction is straightforward and free from shenanigans, it can fund any of the following:
- 9,585 entry-level PCs at P15,650 each. This is what the Naga City School Board paid All-Electronics for the computer acquisition it made for the just concluded school year. That will allow each of the 3,117 public elementary schools in the region to have 3 computer sets each, with 18 units to spare for each of the 13 schools division offices comprising Bicol. The datasets on public elementary schools in the country can be accessed here.
- 20,833 units of the US$150-One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) notebook PCs at P7,200 each. These will allow all public elementary schools in Bicol to get six units each -- one per grade level. In addition, it will make available 164 additional units for each of the 13 divisions, allowing them to put up three pilot classes (at 55 pupils per class) where every child will have one laptop each for his use.
- Two 29" TV sets and free Knowledge Channel connection to all public elementary schools in Bicol. The basic assumption is each connection costs US$50 (or P24,000 per set), based on the pricing structure here.