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The Philippines: Preparing Students for the Digital Era

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The Philippines is dedicated to equipping students with the education, training, and skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly digital world. This commitment is showcased by the recent schemes from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), aimed at fostering interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and IT and Robotics across the nation. Through various initiatives, DOST is working to ensure that the nation’s digital ambitions are met and that citizens are prepared to participate in and benefit from the digital transformation.

Image credits: Philippine News Agency

In Calabarzon, the Department of Science and Technology, through its Rizal Provincial Science and Technology Office (PSTO), has provided high-tech learning kits to two high schools in Rizal province. The Tanay Senior High School (TSHS) in Tanay and San Jose National High School in Rodriguez have both received the Versatile Instrumentation System for Science Education and Research (VISSER) technology kits, which are anticipated to significantly enhance STEM education.

Developed by the University of the Philippines Diliman and funded by DOST, the VISSER technology kits aim to stimulate students’ curiosity and encourage careers in science and technology.

Rizal PSTO Director Fernando Ablaza described these “Laboratory in a Box” kits, which include electronic devices, sensors, and pre-designed laboratory modules, as tools to make STEM education more interactive, effective, and efficient, fostering enhanced learning, real-world applications, critical thinking, and the cultivation of future scientists.

The PHP80,000 (US$ 1,375) VISSER kits aim to bridge the gap between theory and practice in STEM education, inspiring students to pursue lucrative and nationally beneficial careers in science and technology. He noted the potential for broader adoption of these kits by the Department of Education, highlighting their capacity to perform over 50 experiments and provide a hands-on learning approach.

Image credits: Philippine News Agency

In Palawan, about 50 students from Puerto Princesa City National Science High School (PPCNSHS) have been given the tools to pursue careers in robotics, thanks to DOST and various technology companies. These students, ranging from Grade 7 to 11, are participating in the Invent School Programme, which started with lessons on research methods and hands-on experiences with state-of-the-art equipment donated by a Cebu-based holding company working in technology.

A PPCNSHS science teacher and programme focal person noted that the goal is to develop students’ creative thinking and problem-solving skills. The faculty members are also undergoing familiarisation sessions with the new equipment to effectively integrate them into their teaching. Favila highlighted the importance of these sophisticated tools, which the school could not have acquired without the support of the private sector.

The Invent School Programme, spearheaded by the DOST’s Technology Application and Promotion Institute-Palawan through the Provincial Science and Technology Office, aims to teach the process of invention in a fun and engaging way through games and workshops. This initiative not only empowers students with essential skills but also inspires them to pursue careers in this rapidly evolving field.

These initiatives showcase the Philippines’ commitment to fostering innovation in the digital era. By providing advanced learning tools and collaboration platforms, DOST and its partners equip students with essential digital skills. This preparation ensures students are ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, such initiatives play a crucial role in shaping the future of the creative economy and driving sustainable growth and development across the nation. The Philippines’ dedication to digital transformation and inclusivity guarantees that every individual has the opportunity to participate in and benefit from the shift toward a more digitally empowered society. Through these concerted efforts, the nation is positioning itself as a leader in digital innovation, ready to embrace the future with confidence and competence.

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