Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Happy Problem: ARMM & MSU System Teachers need more PCs

Excellence Awardee Maryam Manalundong with her family strikes a pose with MSU president Ricardo De Leon (left) and USAID representatives during graduation ceremony at Grand Caprice, Cagayan de Oro City.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mike Baños / Dec 21) - Teachers in the MSU-System of High Schools and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have what EduQuest, Inc. general manager Teresita Medado calls a "happy problem". They don't have enough computers and peripherals to integrate computers and the internet into classroom instruction.

During the Recognition and Awards Night for the IBM eMentor Scholarship program held last week at a local restaurant in Cagayan de Oro, Ms. Maryam Q. Manalundong, who was cited as the "Best Trainer" among the 27 graduates of the program, said they don't have enough computers to enable students to learn "hands-on". They also lacked LCD projectors to make up for the lack of PCs by projecting their lessons to the board for all students to see.

But Ms Medado called this is a "happy problem" because that particular batch of eMentors have "found good use for their PCs" and said she "wanted it recognized." Apparently, EduQuest worked with other schools before which "over-invested" in hardware and software but eventually found little use for it.

Even prior to that, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Growth in Equity for Mindanao (GEM) program already recognized the need to develop the "humanware" for this project by bringing in the IBM eMentor scholarship program for its Computer Literacy and Internet Connection (CLIC) program.

CLIC aims to promote computer literacy and the use of information and communications technology (ICT) among students and teachers in the ARMM and other conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. It provides internet-linked computers, software, printers, reference materials on computers and the internet, and training on basic troubleshooting and repairs to CLIC-beneficiary schools.

To improve the quality of ICT-facilitated learning in the ARMM, IBM and USAID through GEM launched the IBM eMentor Scholarship Program (also known as the IBM eMentor Teacher Professional Training and Practicum Program) in the ARMM and the MSU System of High Schools.

The IBM eMentor Scholarship Program is implemented and managed by EduQuest, Inc., an affiliate of Asia Pacific College, an institution founded by IBM Philippines and the SM Foundation. As a training provider and consultant on teaching strategies and tools, EduQuest designed the training course and certified the acquisition of competencies gained by teachers through the program. It was also responsible for monitoring the implementing the program by qualified and trained teachers in their own schools.

The program was developed with the rationale that improving the quality of education in the ARMM would help accelerate economic growth in Mindanao, improve the quality of life and bring about a just and lasting peace in the region.
ALUMNI 2006: Views of the video showing featuring the graduates.

In January 2006, 30 teachers were selected from a pool of 85 program applicants using a highly competitive process managed by GEM. Selection criteria included reading diagnosis rating, technology skill level and professional qualifications. As program beneficiaries, each teacher-scholar committed to share the skills they acquired with at least 10 teachers from their schools within 7-10 months after graduating from the program.

From the original pool of 30 qualified applicants, 28 teacher-scholars went through an intensive 8-day training program at the STI computer laboratory in Davao City last January. The training taught them how to maximize ICT applications, tools and resources in the classroom to inspire greater interest and increase the motivation to learn of students, thus increasing the quality of classroom instruction in the region (which has among the lowest literacy rate in the entire country) and also improved their ability to facilitate community participation in the learning process. Outputs and peer feedback were discussed on the last day of training.

Upon returning to their respective schools, the teacher-scholars now turned mentors applied their newly acquired skills and trained at least 10 other teachers, thus increasing the base of trained and qualified teacher-users for CLIC-partner schools.

Through the next 10 months, CLIC and IBM, through EduQuest, monitored and evaluated the implementation of the teacher-mentors' portfolio in their own schools. Twenty seven teacher-mentor scholars completed the requirements of the program and were graduated last December 3, 2006.

The three highest achieving teacher-scholars and who excelled in their specific fields were recognized with awards from IBM and EduQuest. The teacher-mentors were evaluated based on three major criteria: 1) Development and Implementation of Instructional materials using ICT; re-echo training or passing on what they have learned from the IBM eMentor program to their co-teachers, and teacher collaboration through various tools in the internet.

The 27 IBM eMentor Teacher-Scholars are Kusain M. Abas, Leticia S. Adjaril, Ma. Venus P. Aman, Floravel K. Ambas, Saliah Datucali H. Amin, Nor-ain M. Ampang, Aquil S. Andog, Arnold B. Asotigue, Achmad Dimalutang, Camaro T. Edzraphil, Arnel B. Hajan, Renette H. Jecostan, Aidyl Jeffrey A. Jikiri, Florida D. Maddie, Ma. Corazon G. Maguate, Mayleen P. Malagamba, Maryam Q. Manalundong, Caroline T. Marohom, Barbara Ann E. Pangcoga, Ranilo R. Remonde, Jemima O. Ruiz, Rheinjohn A. Sampang, Mariam A. Sunggod, Reynald L. Sykimte, Arlene B. Tawan, Ricardo B. Tarro and Nazer K. Usman.
(Left photo) MSU System President Ric de Leon addresses the graduates. Right photo shows Best Trainer Maryam Manalundong with De Leon and the USAID representatives.

Recognized as the top eMentor Scholars were Ms. Maryam Q. Macalundong, MSU Balindong, Lanao del Sur (1st place), Ms Caroline T. Marohom, Malabang National High School, Lanao del Sur (2nd Place) and Ms Nor-Ain M. Ampang, MSU Balo-i, Lanao del Norte.

Also granted special awards were Marohom (Best in Classroom Demonstrations), Manalundong (Best Teacher's Portfolio, Overall Best Online Discussant, Best Online Discussant/IBM Mentor Place, Best Online Discussant/IBM Yahoo group, Best Trainer), Edzraphil (Simplest Use of Technology to Achieve Maximum Impact) and Mr. Aquil S. Andog (Best Online Discussant/IBM eMentor Blogspot).

Although the program partners committed to continue supporting CLIC through the program, a formidable obstacle over which they basically have no control continues to hound the integration of computers and the internet in the ARMM, especially in Lanao del Sur: inadequate and unstable supply of electricity.

Dr. Ricardo de Leon, MSU- System President, acknowledged this problem but said the National Transmission Corporation (Transco) can hopefully address it in the near future upon the completion of a 69KV transmission line in Lanao del Sur aimed at stabilizing the power supply. Ironically, Lanao del Sur, together with Iligan City, are the hosts communities for the Agus hydro-electric power complex which supplies over half of Mindanao's present power needs.

The CLIC program in the ARMM is managed by Arcille Catherine "Happy" Raagas, herself a former teacher and mentor based in Cagayan de Oro City.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Peace pact struck with NPA breakaway group

Hostilities between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Mindanao (RPMM) panels as they sign on December 19 the guidelines and ground rules for the implementation and monitoring of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities. GRP Panel chairman lawyer Franklin Quijano shaking hands with RPM-M panel member Armando Orbis as independent secretariat head Kaloy Manlupig of Balay Mindanao looks on. Photo by DANTE SUDARIA

Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Mangagawa ng Mindanao (RPM-M) Peace panel Members Armando Orbis, Freiderick Montes and RPM-M panel adviser Ike de Los Reyes signing on Tuesday the agreement with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) on the cessation of hostilities in Mindanao at Pryce Plaza hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce / Dec 20) – An agreement for a cessation of hostilities between government and a breakaway group of the New People's Army (NPA) here in Mindanao was signed at the Pryce Plaza here Tuesday, paving the way for the resumption of peace talks.

Signing the agreement, which was the third round formal talks, were government Peace Panel chairman Franklin Quijano, and RPMM Peace Panel Moniva Pascual. Other signatories were GRP Peace Panel member Froilan Melendrez, RPMM Peace Panel members Freiderick Montes, Armando Orbis, and RPMM political consultant Enrique delos Reyes.
The GRP and RPMM panels agreed on the following:

To commit the GRP and RPMM to the guidelines and ground rules operationalizes the implementation of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities that previously signed on Oct. 28, 2005.

To create of monitoring and coordinating committees, both at national and local levels, and mutual adoption of rules to handle issues relating to hostilities.

Also the RPMM signed with the government peace panel and independent secretariat Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. the "Joint Resolution to Further Advance the Gains of the government-RPMM Peace Process", in order to provides directions in terms of safety protocols and environment threats.

The third party, Independent Secretariat Charlito Manlupig and Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. executive director Ariel Hernandez also signed the agreement.

“These peace efforts exerted by the government with the RPMM shows how the current administration is trying to reach out to all groups in its pursuit of peace, Quijano said adding the focus of the talks is purely on development and not on violence.

Quijano said they both (GRP, RPMM) hoping that with the new development would contribute to address the inequity, underdevelopment and poverty in areas in Mindanao.

Pascual on his part said the strong convictions that the political crisis the country is going through will not be a hindrance or discouragement to their efforts to find peace in Mindanao. Manlupig said RPMM submitted a list of 104 barangays that need consultation and immediate intervention. ”Already 93 barangays have been attended to by the panels and the development are still ongoing,” Manlupig said.
The former NPA members dubbed as the "rejectionist group" also voiced their commitment to pursue attaining peace in Mindanao.

Manlupig said there are 93 of the 104 barangays have been consulted and rendered "immediate intervention" by the government-Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Mindanao (RPMM) Peace Panels. In an interview, Lanao del Norte police provincial director PSSupt. Laut Sarip said the current political crisis that presently encounter by the State is not a bar to the pursuit of peace. Laut who represented Police Regional Office 10 regional director Chief Supt.. Teodorico Capuyan said the signing would benefits not only both parties but the civilian communities in Mindanao.

Both the GRP and the RPMM also regarded the signing of the two documents as an important gesture in support of the fulfillment of confidence-building measures and in the eventual signing of final peace accord.

The parties also jointly acknowledged the threat to the environment caused by illegal logging operations in Upi, Shariff Kabunsuan and some other areas in Mindanao.
The panels also agreed to follow and enforce environmental protection laws such as the Indigenous People's Reform Act (IPRA) and other customary laws and implement sustainable environment programs. The GRP and the RPMM panels also specifically lauded the Independent Secretariat who witnessed and signed the above guidelines and ground rules.
Pascual said that “pursuing peace is more of paramount importance today and onward” and that the signing is “another significant milestone forward for the peace process.”

Quijano lauded the talks as “a much welcome development in arriving at a just conclusion to this peace process.”

“It must be noted that the “just end to all peace process” or the completion of comprehensive peace agreements with the rebel groups resulting in the permanent cessation of armed hostilities by 2010, is a major component of the President 10-point Agenda,” said Quijano.


Monday, December 18, 2006

URGENT HELP: Ysa, 2 year old, missing since Nov. 23

Warm greetings,

I apologize if this appears to be an unsolicited mail, an off-topic message (in an e-group), or if you have received more than one copy of this. I rarely send messages to multiple recipients, unless I have carefully verfied it.

Please help a family recover their 2 year old daughter by sending this to as many recipients possible, particularly those residing in Metro Manila and nearby provinces (Cavite, Rizal, etc). Thank you very much. You kindness is very much appreciated.

Please forward.

This 2 year old girl had been missing since Nov. 23, 2006. She had been featured in QTV Channel 11 last Dec. 12, 2006, 10 PM, in the program "Sana'y Muling Magkapiling".

There's been a suspicion that a syndicate might be using her right now to beg on the streets, so please try to remember her face (or print this out and help in letting other people know). You might come across her during your Christmas shopping. If you do, please immediately seek the help of proper authorities. If you have companions, stay with her while someone gets help from nearby policemen, barangay tanods or other persons of authority. We hope that she could be found soon and be reunited with her family before Christmas.

Here is another reason not to give anything to beggars...instead, course your acts of charity to the appropriate institutions. Help keep children off the streets, especially the highways. Don't give these syndicates a reason to abduct children and make them beg. If nobody gives anything, there's no reason for people, especially children, to beg on the streets. Support the institutions that help the homeless and the poor. Do what is right.

- M I S S I N G -
Name: Ma. Ysabelle Sim Age: 2 years & 7 months old(Wearing Pink Sando and White Pajama)If found, pls. contact: Ms. Gilda Sim / Ester Rosales / Chairman Elvin "Allan" Patao Tel. No. 563 00 11 / 563 38 12 / 589 02 16 Add: 336 Kaingin St., cor. Labores Extension, Pandacan, Manila, Brgy. 858, Zone 93

****Just in case you may spot her. . .dear all,pls find attached picture & some info of my niece, Ysabelle. Nawawala since yesterday, Nov 23, around 11am, naglalaro malapit sa gate ng haus nmin. May nagsabi nakita daw xa away from our place kasama 1 badjao na babae, around 4pm nman nakita daw nung isang jeepney driver iyak na ng iyak, tulala na, karga nman ng isang badjao na lalake naghihintay ng masasakyan, pinagpapasa-pasahan xa para cguro maligaw kung sino man ang nakakita sa babaeng unang kumuha (i think isang grupo 2 ng nangunguha ng bata, d din cgurado kung talgang badjao un or nagpapanggap lng) Meron din kami nakausap kagabi isang batang pulubi, nakita nya nga daw c ysabelle may kasama isa pang bata along Taft Ave namamalimos na. Since yesterday na nawala xa until now naghahanap p din kmi, d kami makatulog kakaisip kung ano na ngyayari sa kanya, im sure gutom na un. Nag-report na kmi sa pulis, madami na nga daw case ngaun ng nawawalang bata.Pls include her in your prayers, na sana makita nmin cya agad. Baka makita nu cya, pls inform us immediately. U may also contact me thru Mobile No. 0919 2756394. Malaking tulong ito sa pamilya nmin. PLS. PASS....Maraming Salamat!Sandra Sim-De Niro
Below is the most recent information about Ysabelle.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Daddy Jojo Date: Dec 18, 2006 1:22 PM
Subject: Ysabelle update 1 Day Agosandra_ysabelle

HI GUYS! ds s sandra, ysabelles aunt. update re ysa: somebdy txtd me earlier...her name is diobel... they made a search ds aftrn along pedro gil & U.N. ave malapit sa ABE school May nakakita daw ky ysabelle ksama maliit na lalake last nyt sa UN, inutusan p daw manlimos c ysa, nakita daw nung 1 tindero. Kanina 1pm nakita nman daw ng tga-ABE sa pedro gil. they searched the place bt didnt find ysa. cguro timing lng tlga makikita dn natin xa. we really appreciate all ur efforts. GOD is really GOOD, knowing na marami kming karamay sa paghhnap ky ysa, it makes us strong. we hope & pray na sana makita n nmin xa before Christmas. May GOD listen to our prayers. 2 Weeks Ago hondatwin (friend of Ysabelle's aunt, about an inquiry on other marks to recognize Ysa)she has a scar on her upperlip, 6to7mm.well update pics..X X XThe above information is from a discussion forum of motorcycle enthusiasts:

This may also be a good source of information on the search for Ysabelle.You may want to read their exchange of messages, especially the sentiments of the daddys in the group and those that search even if they are alone. There have been organized as well as individual searches to find her. Many would like to find her and reunite herwith the family before Christmas. Please be aware na lang po kung sino ang mga kakampi natin at magtulong-tulong tayo dahil siguradong nasa paligid lang ang mga abductors. If she's found, someone has to get the police while the others secure her safety.
May mga medyo mainit na (because they've been searching for days and worried about Ysa's condition), kaya ingat lang po ang mga mukhang badjao at baka mapagkamalan po kayo...tumulong na lang po kayo sa pagtawag ng pulis.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bruce Date: Nov 28, 2006 11:27 AM
Subject: Help find missing child
Forwarded by my friend na si Herald....

Hope we could help the family to find their child (kindly forward it to your friends para madaling mahanap ang batang ito

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Guys,I confirmed the authenticity of this....nakausap ko yung nanay and totoo nga since Nov. 23 pa daw nawawala yung anak nya.....hope we can help.... thanksHeraldHere is her pix.

---------- Forwarded message ----------From: DaddyJojoDate: Nov 28, 2006 12:07 PM
Let's all pray that God is taking good care of this child right now while her folks are looking for her. It has been 5 days and this 2 year old girl could be out there with strangers, scared and hungry. Let's keep a close watch at the children in our homes so that they will remain safe with us, Please forward this so that Ysabelle can be found immediately.


December 05, 2006 07:21 PM Tuesday
Article read 134 time(s)
Badjao gypsies tagged in kidnap of girl, 2
By: Ferds Sevilla

NO WORDS can probably describe the pain and suffering of the family of the two-and-a-half-year-old girl who has been missing since Nov. 23.Witnesses accounts said Ma. Ysabelle Sim, together with other young children, has been spotted begging on streets with a woman and her group of Badjaos. Young Ysabelle was last seen standing at the gate of the family compound at 336 Kaingin St. in Pandacan, Manila, shortly before noon. Her mother Orencia "Ching" Sim, 29, said she found only the young girl's step-ins when she came out to check on her daughter. "Naglalaro siyang mag-isa sa gate at saka pinapanood niya 'yung mga batang lumalabas ng eskuwela, tapos bigla na lang nawala," recalled Mrs. Sim.The family compound is a block away from J. Zamora Elem. School. "Mahilig kasi siyang bumati sa mga batang nagdaraan. Parati nang nagboo-boom-tarat-tarat 'yan, tapos sasabihin joke lang," mumbled Orencia as she broke into tears.A tricycle driver told the Sims he saw a scarfed-woman carrying a girl that resembled Ysabelle around the time she disappeared. "Nu'ng ipakita namin 'yung picture ni Ysabelle, iyung-iyon na nga raw 'yung batang dala-dala nu'ng babaing naka-belo. Wala ngang tsinelas iyung bata," said the girl's grandmother Gilda, 52."Magulung-magulo pa ang aming isip na mag-anak. Paskung-pasko pa naman. Humihingi kami ng tulong sa mga awtoridad na hanapin ang anak ko," Jomar, Ysabelle's 30-year old father, appealed. The Sims are engaged in small-scale manufacturing of dry-goods and upholstery.Ysabelle's only sibling Pamela, 14, has also been traumatized by Ysabelle's disappearance.Hours after Ysabelle was abducted, the parents reported her disappearance to the Manila Police District (MPD) but no concrete action were taken. At one time, the Sims responded to a phone call about a sighting of Ysabelle outside Harrison Plaza, however, only a policewoman was available to accompany them."Nakita raw 'yung anak ko na kasa-kasama nu'ng mga Badjao na namamalimos pero nakaalis," Orencia said. The Badjao gypsies were reportedly seen Friday night at a slum area in San Marcelino, Malate but no policemen were available to assist the Sims.P/Supt. Hilario Orallo, MPD Station 9 commander in Malate, ordered his men search for the girl but the official was apparently ignored. The Sims also went to a house in a squatters area on Batallion St., Fairview, Quezon City, last Saturday following a call that Ysabelle was again seen with a group of street people begging for alms."Nakita raw sa bahay ng mag-asawa pero, nang puntahan namin, wala naman doon," said another relative, Ester Rosales, 56.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: suzetteDate: Dec 12, 2006 1:09 PM
nabasa ko yung rgarding dun kay ysabelle (missing), sya po ba yung ipapalabas sa ch. 11 mamayang gabi? 10pm hosted by jessicasoho yung pic kc na inattached d2 pareho cguro sya yun... yung title mamayang gabing show is SANAY MULING MAKAPILING..

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: DaddyJojo
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 1:46 PM
Subject: Re: ysabelle (missing)
Hindi pa ba siya nahahanap? I have reformatted the email to show the pic with the text and sent the message to all the discussion groups I participate in. I continue to pray for her and hope that she'll be found soon. My God, I can't imagine how a 2 year old child could cope with being abducted by strangers...crying out, perhaps, hungry...sleepless...on the street. My prayer is that she will not be in such a condition and that God is taking care of her. Inaabangan ko rin ang TV program tonight. Akala ko nahanap na siya.
I just txted the cell number. Hindi pa rin daw nahahanap si Ysabelle.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Shirley wrote:
Yes, am also praying that she'll be found the soonest time possible. The email made me cry imagining the condition of the child, without herparents... It's sickening to think why and how such people who have kidnapped her could ever exist. I pray that nobody will experience this.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: johannDate: Dec 13, 2006 8:41 AM
Subject: Re: ysabelle (missing)

Qtv episodeNapanood ko sa Qtv yung episode sa paghahanap kay ysabelle, oh, napaka cute na bata... sobrang na fefeel ko ang sakit na nadarama ng mother nya pati nung lola nya, kahit madaling araw talagang naghahanap sila. napakawalang puso naman ng kumuha sa batang yun para maging kasangkapan lang sa panlilimos... haynaku! bakit pa kaya may nilikha ang Diyos na ganun klaseng tao... Pardon me, pero sobra talaga yung mga taong dumukot sa bata... Nakikiisa kami ng pamilya ko sa pagdadasal para mabawi nila ang bata....



6,000 teachers flocked at Misor Capitol on Teacher's Day

Senator Joker Arroyo poses with Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno and a group of teachers during Teacher's Day held at the Provincial Capitol grounds last Friday.

At least 6,000 teachers and non-teaching staff from all over Misamis Oriental flocked at the Provincial Capitol yesterday to grace the 2006 Teachers Day celebration. Sen. Joker Arroyo, who used to shun invitations for such gatherings, honored the teachers by his presence in this momentous occasion. All the teachers received an amount of P1,500 each as cash gift from the Provincial Government. Gov. Oscar Moreno increased the cash assistance from P1,000 last year to P1,500 this year. Capitol allocated an amount of P8.3M to cover the cash gift and expenses of the entire event. (Photo Supply from Prov'l Capitol Press Office)