Olsim: 'DevCom': Archaic and cute?

The Eternal Student

ALTHOUGH Senator Imee Marcos already apologized for the last time for branding Development Communication as "cute" and "archaic," to a point of being obsolete. I still wish to help her in her request to understand them, in her own words, "Nitty Gritty of the Development Communication program."

Development Communication is defined as "the art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass of its people from poverty to a dynamic state of economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and the larger fulfillment of the human potential."

As an eternal student of the Benguet State University Open University/Graduate School, I have completed 31 units of the DevCom program. This doesn't really make me an expert in the field, but at least I did spend years learning a bit of the "nitty-gritty" of this course (before I can open my mouth and judge it).

So as a young modern person, I can confidently say that DevCom is not "archaic." The curriculum includes disciplines and tools that look to the future: E-communication, Communication of Scientific and Technical Information, Production of Development Communication Materials, Social Marketing, among others -- all of them are still relevant and very much needed in this modern world.

In fairness to the good senator, I do agree that DevCom is 'C.U.T.E'. "C" means Community-driven and people-centered, "U" means Useful and relevant as it is purposive and value-laden, "T" means Technical as it is scientific in outlook, and "E" means Educational and pragmatic. Yes, DevCom is CUTE.

In our study, we learned about development and the ideal development that we should communicate. A development that is "people-centered," and not production-based which only highlights the vague numbers of GNP and GDP. A development that is holistic, humanistic, and sustainable -- that development which "meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs." Since development is centered on the community and humanity, we also learned about the human culture; norms, values, material culture, and others -- laws, philosophy, and science.

With that ideal development. The discipline regard communication as the ultimate tool and facilitator towards its attainment. Communication is the foundation of our species' evolution, it is a most valuable tool of humanity, not only in the past but of the present and the future. In the course, we learned about theories, models, and strategies of communication.

We learned that communication should be a two-way process for sharing ideas and knowledge using a range of communication tools and approaches that empower individuals and communities to take action to improve their lives.

That kind of communication is communication with a social conscience. We learned about "emancipation communication," that is aimed at combating injustice and oppression. We learned about community communication and the production of communication materials. We immersed ourselves in both the traditional and new media-our projects include radio spots, video production, web blogs, and the crafting of digital IEC materials, among many outputs.

To further facilitate development using communication, we learned about social marketing and social mobilization. We learned the strategies and planning involved in that specific marketing designed to create social change in contrast to purely commercial marketing. We learned to be useful to our community through our social mobilization projects-advocating for cleanliness and orderliness in our community, and organizing activities and projects that will ultimately redound to the welfare of the community.

In this age of corruption, chaos, fake news, misinformation, and trolls, Development Communication is evidently a discipline that is needed more than ever.


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