Internet cafés blamed for decline of students’ performance

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Friday, January 31, 2014


THE proliferation of ‘pisonets’ (coin-operated computers) and internet cafés that offer video games and pornographic materials has contributed to the deteriorating academic performance of students in Cagayan de Oro, said city information officer Maricel Casiño-Rivera.

Rivera said that in an education summit that took place last year, officials from the Department of Education (DepEd) and school owners blamed the decline of student performance due to video games.

Rivera added that Synergia Foundation, a coalition seeking to improve the quality of basic education, was also present in the summit.

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Pisonets are computer units that can be installed anywhere that allow students to play video games and search the web with only P1 for five or six minutes online access.

With this, local schools and school boards expressed their concern over the spread of internet cafés and ‘pisonets’ in the city.

Rivera said the students are addicted to computer games including obscene and violent materials from the internet that are readily accessible.

“The students would not go into their classes and play video games instead,” said Rivera adding that pisonets are educational if it is used solely for research after school.

Cherry Mae Limbaco, DepEd-Misamis Oriental’s schools division superintendent, said if pisonets are being used for research after schooling then there is nothing wrong about it.

“But if the students would cut classes and play video games, it is really not good,” said Limbaco.

Jenny Ajuillon, a pisonet operator, said most of the students or children prefer to play video games than use the social media websites like Facebook.

Ajuillon has four computer units that would earn up to P3,500 every 15 days.

She added that if students will use pisonets it should be with the supervision of the parents or guardians.

Limbaco said the supervision of children is the role of the parents.

Information drive

Due to the alarming effects triggered by computer games through pisonets and internet cafés, the city’s Regulatory and Complaint Board (RCB) conducted an information drive regarding cyberpornography, including pisonets and internet cafés as a medium for accessing such.

Rivera said the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) through the Task Force for the Protection of Children deputized some personnel to create reports regarding pisonets and internet cafés.

“They (task force) will deputize personnel to check every barangay and create a report if there are internet cafés and pisonets that have student customers during class hours,” said Rivera.

Rivera added during the onset of their information drive they have seen students playing in pisonets during class hours.

She added through the information campaign the parents will be notified and the internet café and pisonet operators will be reprimanded.

Rivera said pisonets have no business permits and therefore could be seized.

“We have steps on seizing pisonets,” said Rivera.

Parenting

Rivera said parenting plays a very important role.

“The parents should know where their children are during class hours,” said Rivera adding that parents should check if their children are in school.

Rivera also called on teachers to monitor their students and coordinate with the parents in order to preempt the students from playing video games during class hours.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 31, 2014.

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