For the New Year, cyber classrooms from Victorias Milling Company-A A +A
Thursday, January 3, 2013
KARYLL Aguilar, 11, walks to and from school daily. Her slippers bear the signs of wear and tear as the prongs holding her “smuggle” slippers are about to give. No matter, she happily skips in them past the Internet café on her path home. Painfully shy, she seldom lets go of her best friend’s hand when in class. She peeks through the glass door of the shop, and wonders what her schoolmates see in the box in front of them. Karyll has never seen or touched a computer before.
Karyll is one of the 1,300 students of the Victorias Elementary School that is hopeful. A new batch of high tech equipment, namely seven computers, a high end PC server, an interactive white board termed the Panaboard and a projector were recently awarded to her school as part of the E-Class package of the Department of Education’s national computerization program. Recipient schools should provide counterpart classrooms or laboratories to be awarded the package.
“We have been on the Department of Education’s list for the longest time” narrates ICT Coordinator Jessica Desaliza. “We had three months left to comply with the program and didn’t know what to do,” she continues.
Through the assistance of Victorias Milling Company, an old classroom in the school was quickly repainted, rewired and fitted with freshly painted tables. Desaliza stresses that they were awarded the E-class package when they met the deadline set by the Department of Education to have a room prepared for the E-class package before it could be awarded. “If we did not make it in time, we could have lost the E-class package award,” Desaliza adds.
These days, Karyll lets go of her best friend’s hand and uses both hands to touch and interact with the clip arts popping in and out of the Panaboard. She quietly giggles as she spells her name on the interactive white board. She can now research and use the Encarta programs to do school work like history and science projects and most importantly, use the computer to interact with others, use it to ping or IM her friends and join E-groups to talk to people she would be too shy to approach offline.
The parents are grateful as well, since they themselves come from a generation where computer access was limited. Teresa Libao, 50, says her child now has the chance to compete with other students already on the cyber education train. Demsey Dacanay, 44, is thankful that the classroom was prepared by Victorias. She herself has never touched a computer. “This gives my child a chance to compete,” she beams. Iris Laz, another parent, looks at the awarded computers as an extension of her child’s extended imagination. “A lot of doors will open for my child now that the computers are here” she says.
Teachers point to a more efficient way of measuring a student’s productivity via the computers. They prepare lesson plans summative tests faster and use the computers to monitor interactivity among students. Teaching modules are also programmed in the computers and easily manipulated by teachers and students.
Desaliza concludes: “The computers help them to communicate better!”
Karyll is done with her clipart contribution and goes back to her seat. She tugs at my sleeve and asks: “What is Facebook? Can you teach me?”
I smile at her—The kid is taking the lead!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 03, 2013.