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‘Papaanawa’

IN MY EYES

Edward B. Antonio

I was amused of the news that some of those teachers who trained as election inspectors last March 9-10 were scolded to the max for their inability to follow simple computer-related instructions.

The Comelec-sponsored training tapped the services of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to teach the teachers hands-on. The training had both practical and oral testing to operate the VCM (Vote Counting Machine).

Annie, a young teacher-trainee, said that although the majority of the trainees were computer literate, there were also those who were already “too old” and had very minimal or no knowledge of computer operations.

Papaanawa was the term she used.

‘Hey, what happened,” I asked.

“They kept on reading the instructions, but they do not know what to press in the VCM,” she said.

She overheard these oldies saying that they abhor operating the computer in their schools because they were ashamed of being taught by the younger teachers.

“Is that so? How come they were chosen to join the training of election inspectors,?

“I don’t know. Perhaps they have been in the business since kopong-kopong time when elections were done manually and that their names are still in the Comelec list,” she said.

“Tell me more,” I said.

“Well, we were trained step by step. In the process, our mentors kept on saying, ‘Do not press Write Protect’ as that will already render the VCM unusable for training. These oldies kept on asking what to press when in fact they already had their written instructions. But what made the trainers fuming in anger was when some oldies, after following all the procedures, pressed the ‘Write Protect’ button.

“So, what did the Comelec do?”

“They were so disappointed that they required these oldies to explain why they were not able to follow simple instructions. They also said that the VCMs, which were already ‘write protected’, might be brought to Manila for reprogramming so that they can function well on May 9,” she said.

She also said that during the final demo performed by these BEI (Board of Election Inspectors) trainees, these oldies were quivering in nervousness for fear that they might be pressing the wrong keys.

“They were so nervous that two of them accidentally pressed the “write protect” button which enraged the DOST trainers. It was a very big problem that the Comelec instructed these erring trainees to explain in writing why they did such a big blunder,” she said.

Such was the scenario of the training of the members of the BEI or Board of Election Inspectors.

I asked Annie what recommendations she can give.

“In this era of advance science and technology, I suggest that only computer literate teachers be hired as BEIs. ‘Yong mga masyado ng matatanda na hindi naman computer-literate or who has very limited knowledge on computer operations ay huwag ng kunin. It’s difficult to teach old dogs new tricks ‘ika nga,” said.

I agree, fellas.

The world is now advancing technologically and it is imperative that adults must dance with the trends of the time. Unfortunately, however, many adults find it difficult to learn new things relative to computer education. They are ashamed to be tutored by the young ones.

A writer once said that he acquired his writing skills by continually opening his mind to new ideas, many of these ideas came from young people.

“At first, I only knew how to encode in MS Word, but I kept on learning either through self-study or through the guidance of young people who were patient enough to share their knowledge,” he said.

He said that today, he already knows how to manipulate, aside from MS Word, Excel, Power Point, MS Publisher and Photo editing.

“Aside from being more active physically and mentally, younger BEIs are “more teachable” and their ICT backgrounds are richer than obstinate oldies,” Annie said.

Indeed, the great George Bernard Shaw was correct when he said “All that the young can do for the old is to shock them and keep them up to date.”

Or to say it reversely: “All the old can do is to be shocked and kept updated by the young.”

Otherwise, it would be as worse as these William Shakespeare’s lines: Crabbed age and youth cannot live together /Youth is full of pleasure, age is full of care/Youth like summer morn, age like winter weather/  Youth like summer brave, age like winter bare.

If the old can’t keep abreast with the young ones in this sci-tech world, they would be left behind like “winter bare.”

And then end up papaanawa during BEI training!#