By Edward B. Antonio
Davo is a Grade 11 student in a government school.
His course strand is ICT (Information and Communications Technology) which offers Computer Programming and Computer Hardware Servicing.
It’s one of the strands flocked by ICT-minded students. They are 50 in the class.
“I enrolled in ICT because I want to become a computer engineer someday,” Davo said.
I learned that computer engineering is now among the most rapidly growing fields. The electronics of computers involve engineers in design and manufacture of memory systems, of central processing units, and of peripheral devices. Foremost among the avenues now being pursued is the design of Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and new computer architectures.
One current trend in computer engineering is microminiaturization. Using VLSI, engineers continue to work to squeeze greater and greater numbers of circuit elements into smaller and smaller chips. Another trend is toward increasing the speed of computer operations through the use of parallel processors, superconducting materials, and the like.
Sounds technically computer-like, fellas.
Davo is keen in pursuing his dream someday. He even dreams of going abroad to help his younger brother study in college. But he is quite dismayed by the ICT strand offered by the government.
Why? Because not a single computer unit is in his ICT class.
“We are 50 in the class, but everything that is taught is through theories only. We are made to imagine the parts of the computer and how they function. We are made to imagine the different terminals, ports etc. etc!” he said.
I was shocked.
“You mean you are taking up ICT and there’s no PC set in your class? Really?” I asked in disbelief.
“Yes, sir. We were better off in computer education and technology when we were in Junior High School or Grade 10. We had 50 computers, then, in two computer labs,” he said.
He said that back in Grade 10, he enjoyed the computer classes under his competent teacher. They used the computers at will based on the lessons taught to them.
“I even won in a division contest on computer assembly, OS installation and internet programming,” he said with pride.
“So, what are you doing inside your ICT class now?”
“We are made to understand the theories via pictures and power points. How we wish we have our own computer lab where we learn more how to assemble and disassemble computers, install applications and programs, troubleshoot software and hardware problems and manage these applications,” he said.
These are the lamentations of Davo as a Grade 11 ICT student, fellas.
He wants a computer lab to apply what he learn from the theories taught.
Last time around, I came across a DepEd supervisor and aired him Davo’s concern
“That’s one of our big, big problems in the ICT strand,” he admitted. “The government has yet to provide computers to these ICT classes.”
“So, what should be done, sir?” I asked.
“I tried soliciting from people whom I know could help, but up to now, there are still no help coming. That’s why I told these ICT teachers to ‘remedy’ muna this problem by providing their own PC for use in their ICT classes,” he said.
“But sir, a computer unit is quite expensive — only to be assembled, disassembled and experimented?” I said.
“Well, we are helpless at this time. I hope the government will fill up this loophole next school year.”
I was speechless. This is now one of the side effects of the government’s decision under President PNoy when he plunged the DepEd to the K to 12 Program in haste.
“Perhaps, PNoy did that anyway his term was expiring and left the problems to the next president to solve,” a principal of a big national high school commented.
“He should have tarried for a year or two to prepare the things needed,” he added.
Aside from the problem of ICT equipment, there are still many schools without a Grade 12 building where the present Grade 11 students will occupy next school year. And school year is about to end!
And because Grade 12 is coming, the government needs more funds for Grade 12 school buildings, more teacher items, more chairs, blackboards and more books.
“And ICT lab and PC units,” Davo butted in.
Davo said his parents are planning to transfer him to a private school where the ICT strand is better taught.
Well, we can’t blame Davo or his parents, fellas.
Every child deserves the best education he can get.
May Davo’s situation be an eye-opener to the K to 12 framemakers, especially to those lawmakers who approved the K to 12 Program without visualizing the current problems cropping out now.
What can you say honorable sirs and madams?#