JUST as it was celebrating its past through its centennial festivities, Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) this week took a giant leap into the future when university President Dr. Eldigario Gonzales ianugurated its first five ICT-equipped interactive classrooms. The classrooms contain a total of 206 workstations, each getting 40 units and the rest used in servers.
This ICT project is transforming the university into an even more competitive center for quality and excellence in education, Dr. Gonzales said during the short inauguration program last Monday. With these interactive classrooms, he said, students wil have vast new opportunities for learning and greater academic achievements.
The facility is connected to the internet and links will enable the university students to access many sources of information. Dr. Gonzales said the system will soon have about 1,600 e-learning software modules related to the various sciences and social disciplines to provide students with the latest knowledge in their study programs. WMSU graduates from here on will not only be highly computer-literate, but also highly ICT competitive, he said.
Dr. Gonzales said the ICT classrooms project culminates his administration’s computerization program for WMSU’s various departments, which now include an e-library and the internet-based Knowledge Development Center set up by the World Bank.
Of the ICT classrooms, three are located in the College of Engineering and Technology (CET), one in the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), and on in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA)
The facility was installed by a private company under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme. It will be paid out of students’ usage fee within the next five years at the most.
Dr. Gonzales said the same private company is installing similar facilities in various state universities and colleges under a general BOT agreement with the Philippine Association of State University and Colleges (PASUC), of which he is incumbent president. The agreement includes training for faculty members in its use and management.
In another activity during the centennial celebration, Dr. Gonzales signed a “Adopt-A-Wetland” memorandum of agreement with the Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office last Tuesday.
Under the agreement, WMSU, particularly its Institute of Physical Education, Sports and Cultural Affairs (IPESCA), was provided an area in the Mampang-Talon-ATlon Mangrove Rehabilitation Project site where faculty members and students will plant bakawan trees.
IPESCA Dean Alicia Lourdes Soriano said WMSU’s involvement in the project is targetted to “accelerate the revegetation of the denuded and less vegetated mangrove areas” along the city’s eastern coasts and “promote effectively the protection of the natural mangrove forests as a habitat of endangered marine organisms and endemic species for educational and scientific research purposes.”
DENR Regional Technical Director Eduardo Bisquerra, who signed for DENR, said “wetlands play a vital role in flood control, groundwater replenishment, shoreline protection, storm protection, nutrient cycling, climate change mitigation, water purification, carbon sink, reservoir of biodiversity, wetland products, ecotourism and other recreational amenities.”
Dr. Gonzales said WMSU’s efforts in mangrove rehabilitation is vital to its commitment to the city’s development in terms of the protection and enhancement of its natural resources and ecology.
WMSU kicked off its centennial celebration last Monday and Tuesday with various activities, with many others to follow until December, climaxing with the annual alumni homecoming during the month. (Rey-Luis Banagudos/PAO-WMSU)