A top official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) revealed here that at least 24 percent or 299 of the country’s 3,359 public high schools are still without science laboratories.
Dr. Filma G. Brawner, director of DOST’s Science Educational Institute (SEI) stressed this when she graced the opening today (June 28) of the 19-day “Adventure in Discovery”, a Philippine Science Centrum Traveling Exhibition at CSI Stadia Jimmy L. Fernandez Center here.
The 19-day science exhibit, is hosted by Dagupan City Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, chief executive officer of the CSI Group of Companies, which is co-sponsoring the event as part of its ongoing 25th Anniversary celebration.
The fair is slated from June 27 to July 15 this year in time for the Science Month in July, after which it will move to Benguet and other provinces in Luzon.
Brawner said that to date, only 4,060 out of the existing 5,359 public high schools or 76 percent have science laboratories in their campuses when the ideal ratio is supposed to be one public high school to one science laboratory.
She lamented that due to the classroom shortage throughout the country, especially in the rural areas, some of the science laboratories are being converted into classrooms.
“What is more appalling is the nationwide ratio of students to science laboratories which stands at 1,325 students to one laboratory,” she said.
It is sad to note that despite having science laboratories, the science laboratories in these schools are still inadequate, adding that some have science laboratories but merely contains tables, chairs and outdated, if not dilapidated, posters.
Some have equipment but these equipment are reduced to museum pieces and one can only see them but can not touch them, she added.
It is in these conditions, she added, that her office (SEI) came up with a pioneering way of bringing to the schools a fun yet enriching experience in science.
Dr. Brawner said that the “Adventure in Discovery” or “Science Explorer” is the Philippines’ first and only mobile inter-active learning facility that features exciting hands-on learning through fund and easy science activities.
This contains laboratory facilities, audio-visual equipment, interactive exhibits, and various learning materials that will be helpful in facilitating learning of students.
The local exhibitors include the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center and the Divine World Academy of Dagupan which is showcasing its robotic technology.
She said this is the Science Explorer’s first road trip since the opening of classes, adding that she is optimistic that being the first “this will get us a long way into the school year.”
Before Dagupan, the exhibition brought fun of science learning to students of Ilocos Norte, Metro Manila and other places and later to more schools in Benguet, Camarines Sur, Visayas and Mindanao.
She said the students of Dagupan are very privileged as the Science Explorer will be piloting two new modules that SEI has developed–biodiversity and fun mathematics.