Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes announced a few days ago that the Comelec will not anymore conduct another mock polls prior to the May polls. This is despite the many major glitches that were observed during the February 2 mock elections and the still unresolved issues of the source code powering the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines. During the mock trials, volunteer observers from Kontra Daya and other groups documented some ballots being rejected by the PCOS machines and delay in the transmission of election results to the canvassing centers.
I had an interesting discussion last Tuesday with a young PhD faculty from the UP Physics Department who is about to go to his postdoctoral studies abroad. He came from the Philippine Science High School program, took his undergraduate and graduate physics degrees from the UP and is one of the most promising young faculty in the department. We were discussing about the serious problem of the lack of science and engineering faculty and researchers in the country and how many of his high school batchmates find jobs either out of the country or in lines of industry outside of their expertise.
Despite the rain last Monday, the College of Science of the University of the Philippines in Diliman held a recognition program for its students who have garnered grades that qualify them as University and College scholars. These are those students who have grades higher than 1.25 and 1.75 respectively. Their recognition as scholars do not carry any monetary remuneration but is a testament to their academic achievements and is a source of pride for their parents.
LAST week, news reports carried the announcement of Education Secretary Armin Luis-tro that Science would be dropped from the subjects being taught at the Grade 1 level. This decision of the Department of Education (DepEd) is based on the design of the K+12 curriculum and the department’s efforts to decongest the Basic Education Curriculum. Instead of Science, the Grade 1 curriculum will focus on “oral fluency” and include learning areas on the Mother Tongue, Filipino, Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao, MAPEH (Music, Art, Physical Education and Health), Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) and English. Science will be introduced as a subject only when the student comes in at Grade 3.
Yesterday marked the birth anniversary of Andres Boni-facio, Filipino nationalist, revolutionary and Supremo of the Katipunan. His anniversary yesterday was marked by protests actions in the metropolis by workers and peasants due to the ever increasing costs of living nowadays. Pressed by current economic concerns, people made the celebration of his birth also a time to reflect on the value of heroism in our time.
THE trend to democratize is inherent in many technologies especially in information technologies which makes the communication and consumption of information more and more participatory in nature.
The preliminary results of a recent study by the Department of Science and Technology Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) show that the “brain drain” phenomenon continues and has even worsened during the past few years. According to DOST-SEI Officer in Charge and Deputy Director Dr. Leticia Catris, the number of emigrating science workers from the Philippines has ballooned to around two and a half times compared to the figure 11 years ago. In 1998, there were 9,877 outbound science workers from the country. More than a decade after in 2009, the number has grown by 148 percent to 24,502. More than half of these are health professionals and nurses while a fifth are engineers.
The pot for the Grandlotto 6/55 prize remained elusive as of last Monday’s draw. It has risen already to around P574 million last time and would likely breach 600 million. The large pot is a big payoff for the stream of bettors that line up the Lotto outlets everyday. Their dream is to get this prize for just P20 per combination.
An urgent appeal to President Benigno Aquino III and the Philippine Legislature to effect a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation on the killing in Kananga, Leyte of Leonardo Co, a renowned Filipino scientist, and his two companions
Sign up at http://www.justiceforleonardco.org
Every semester, I get the op-portunity to lecture about national industrialization and its relation to science and technology development at several Science, Technology and Society classes in the University of the Philippines in Diliman. I discuss about the need to develop domestic industries, not only to provide local employment and goods, but also to push for local science and technology to flourish outside the academe and have an impact on a larger part of Philippine society.