By Minerva Newman
DUMAGUETE CITY – Civic clubs have joined government agencies in introducing the electronic classroom in 18 public elementary schools in this city.
The project will be carried out by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Rotary International with Rotary Club Dumaguete-East (RCDE) in partnership with the city government and the Department of Education (DepEd).
DOST Negros Oriental Provincial Director Gilbert Arbon said that under the project a wireless computer network will be installed in the schools’ computer laboratories.
The e-learning system will benefit more than 25,000 pupils.
Rotary International, who is represented by Badeeh Naifeh, said the club provided about $67,000 for the project with a counterpart of $42,000 from the city government to purchase computer hardware. Rotary has provided tablets to each pupil to cut electricity bills.
“Schools that have this system will no longer use the conventional desktop but use a wireless network with the server and WiFi router. Pupils from Grades 3 to 8 will be able to use the computer learning centers using their tablets,” Arbon said.
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, which can be accessed by both pupils and teachers.
Naifeh said that as a Peace Corps volunteer, he became aware of underprivileged children with no access to computer learning, and Rotary’s goal is to teach them the benefits of education to break the cycle of poverty.
“I think this project is a wonderful gift for the children, allowing them to be more proficient in English and Math,” Naifeh said.
The club will start with Grade 3 pupils so they could be competitive by the time they reach high school and later on in college where IT education is vital in the digital economy, he said.
RCDE past president Don Ramas Uypitching pledged to DOST that Ramas Uypitching Sons Inc. (RUSI) Foundation will donate at least 10 kiosks in public high schools in the city.
“We need recommendations from DepEd-Negros Oriental which schools are the most remote ones that really need our attention and support,” Uypitching said.
DepEd Provincial Superintendent Evangel Luminarias said this partnership between Dumaguete, DOST, Rotary, and DepEd enhances the pupils’ opportunities in the digital world.