Story contributed by: Dustin Ryan Veridiano
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL – Don Salvador Benedicto is a fourth-class municipality with a population of about 25,000. It has only one high school, Safronio Carmona Memorial National High School, serving over 1,300 students.
When CheckMySchool (CMS) volunteers from the Sowing Legacy Movement (SLM) visited the high school, the principal revealed that their school did not have a single computer.
Many private and public schools in the country already incorporate the technological use of computers in the classroom to further the academic performance of students. But not in Safronio Carmona Memorial National High School. Students in this public high school graduate without ever using a computer in their classroom.
“Because their school has no computers, students have to settle for theoretical knowledge and forego hands-on learning, which is actually the focus of the current curriculum,” laments CMS volunteer Dustin Ryan Veridiano.
This is not the first time the CMS group encountered the issue. On December 19, 2016, the CMS team, together with students of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R), gave five slightly used personal computers to another public national high school.
According to Information Technology Officer Ariel Ballega of DepEd Negros Occidental, computers are coming for Safronio Carmona Memorial National High School. “The school is already included in the list of recipients of computer packages under the 2017 budget. We are aware of procurement delays and other public schools in need of computers. What we can only do is give our best effort in following up on these matters.”
To temporarily fill in the need, the CMS volunteers decided once again to do more than just monitor. On June 6, 2017 they joined representatives of the University Community Development Office (UCDO) of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R) in a donation drive. They brought three slightly used personal computers to Safronio Carmona Memorial National High School.
The students were thankful for the donations. They prepared a short program for their visitors and benefactors.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to help the students gain access to computer education and become 21st century learners,” Dustin says. “Through CMS, we are inspiring young Filipinos to start building the future that they want.”
Meanwhile, CheckMySchool will continue following up on the DepEd’s procurement of computers for the public schools in Negros Occidental.