DepEd preparations for poll automation in full swing

March 25, 2010 10:09 pm 

MANILA, March 25 — The Department of Education (DepEd) continues to prepare for the successful conduct of the country's first automated national and local elections on May 10, 2010.

The department is conducting training/orientation seminars among teachers, administrative and legal officers who will help man the forthcoming polls.

“We want to assure the public that our teachers and administrative personnel are fully prepared to carry out their electoral duties thoroughly, accurately and professionally,” said Education Secretary Mona Valisno.

According to Valisno, the orientation aims to educate DepEd administrative and legal officers on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) general instructions for the members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs).

These officers will in turn cascade their learning and orient public school teachers who will serve as members of the BEIs.

Valisno expressed confidence that the teachers will be able to adjust to the new election procedure since many of them are already familiar with a similar optical scanning machine used in correcting answer sheets for the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) and National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE).

“The entire department commits to this collective undertaking. The stakes are way too high and failure is not an option in this first fully automated election,” Valisno stressed.

During the orientation, Atty. Marcos Lauron, election officer of Comelec Marikina, delivered a lecture on the use of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

On the other hand, DepEd Undersecretary Franklin Sunga discussed the general instructions for BEIs and other election matters.

The orientation also touched on Election Task Forces that will be established in DepEd Central Office and in different regional and division offices which will be specially created for the May 2010 elections.

DepEd and Comelec earlier signed an agreement that guarantees fair compensation for DepEd employees who will serve in the elections.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines has also agreed to provide free legal assistance to teachers who may face legal suits in the performance of election-related duties. (PNA)

scs/HCT

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