By Jennifer C. Tilos
About 25,000 pupils in 18 public elementary schools in the city will now be provided with information and communications technology (ICT) tools in the classroom to increase learners to operate in an information age.
Under the innovative ICT-based learning system or e-classroom upgrading, a wireless computer network will be installed in each of the computer laboratory in the 18 public grade schools.
Pupils from Grades 3 to 8 will be able to use the computer learning centers using their tablets.
Science and Technology Provincial Director Gilbert Arbon of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said the schools that have this system will no longer use the conventional desktop but use a wireless network with the server and WiFi router.
“Since there are free open source content providers available like the Kulebre platform, the DOST’s STARBOOKS digital library which has a lot of information related to science and technology, especially in the Philippine context on sciences, can now be accessed by the pupils and teachers,” explained Arbon.
The ICT upgrading initiative is a joint project of the Rotary International with Rotary Club Dumaguete-East (RCDE) as host institution partnering and the city government of Dumaguete providing the hardware for the schools under Department of Education (DpeEd), and DOST which also offered some of the equipment to the schools.
Rotary International represented by Badeeh “Bud” Naifeh said his club provided about $67,000 for the project, of which the city also has a counterpart of $42,000 for the purchase of computer hardware.
Rotary is now providing tablets to each pupil to lessen the electricity bills too.
“As a peace corps volunteer, I saw these under privileged children here do not have access to computer learning. I think this project is a wonderful gift for the children allowing them to be more proficient in English and be more proficient in Math because this kind of computer learning in computer that they are going to experience in their lives,” said Naifeh.
Rotary’s goal is to provide and teach the young people the benefits of educations to break the cycle of poverty.
This prompted the Rotary to start with Grade 3 pupils.
That means they will be competitive when they reach in high school and later on also in college which IT education is needed to digital economy, said Naifeh.
For her part, DepEd Provincial Superintendent Evangel Luminarias said the partnership between the local government unit of Dumaguete, DOST, Rotary, and DepEd provides opportunities for pupils to enhance quality education.
RCDE Past President Don Ramas Uypitching also pledged to DOST that Ramas Uypitching Sons Inc. (RUSI) Foundation will donate at least 10 kiosks in public high schools in the city.
“But as we have experienced, the more needy ones are those in the farthest barangays and so we will need recommendations from DepEd Negros Oriental, of which schools are the most remote ones that really need our attention and support,” said Uypitching.
“I will extend also my donation of computers to San Carlos City where Regional Director Richard Burgos of DOST7 comes from because the city is also close to my heart,” he added.
The benefaction will be done thru RUSI Foundation, RCDE, and Free Masons.
“What is important is letting our pupils learn from this hardware, these computers that are made available to them, said Uypitchin