In yesterday’s Bloggers’ Kapihan forum, Mr. Tonchi Tinio of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers gave a briefing on the dubious multi-million dollar Cyber Education Project of the Department of Education. To be fair enough, here’s the government’s spin on the issue. Now, though we all know that this is another white elephant, that does not truly address the basic problems of our education system, one of the multi-million dollar contract’s provisions that we are probably not aware of is that the contractor of this cyber-education project is Chinese company Nuctech which specializes in, guess what, X-ray inspection technology. And whose company president, is interestingly the Chinese President’s only son, Hu Haifeng.
So now it is clear that while President Gloria Arroyo, in her very timely trip to China, was able to beg off from the National Broadband Network contract (by, perhaps, agreeing to return whatever bribe was given–ever wonder why the First Gentleman left immediately for Germany, where the Arroyo family’s purported bank accounts are, right when the issue erupted?), she could not back off from a loan and a contract that involves the Chinese President’s only son. Fair enough, the President and her minions can keep their lucrative bribe money–only they have to fend off political backlash with spindoctors’ propaganda.
One such spin is this. Contrary to its name, the Cyber Education Project is not a project that seeks to provide internet access to our public schools. It is a project that seeks, primarily, to provide long-distance instruction through a satellite-backed broadcast network. Yes, we shall spend billions of pesos in such a network–while, on the other hand, we already have three government-owned and controlled television networks. The need, really, is not there. People, it is a loan. Ultimately, it is us who will pay for this white elephant and these people’s kickbacks.