Starting kids young: DepEd backs teaching robotics in schools
Acknowledging the importance of innovation and technology in the success of learners, the Department of Education (DepEd) has expressed support to the current robotics program offered in some private and public schools nationwide.
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), DepEd Undersecretary Ann Sevilla said that robotics is a new concept for the department but they are looking into strengthening the current programs related to it.
“We have observed that a lot of participants and even winners from the robotics Olympiad are from the public school…so, we are really looking forward to enhance the support to the robotics program too,” she said last Friday.
Robotics is a branch of technology and engineering which involves the design, construction, operation, manufacture and application of robots in automation of different processes.
Currently, robotics as a subject, is applied or taught in science high schools only and in some private schools. It has become an elective in other high schools because of the K to 12 program.
“We are aware that in the future robotics and its study will be an ordinary or regular thing in the future, like technology becoming a tool for advancement and improvement of education,” she said.
Sevilla cited as example the use of QR code stickers in checking class attendance.
“There’s this one public school teacher who created QR codes for the students, the only investment she made is printing on sticker paper. She doesn’t check the attendance, she simply scans students’ ID’s which have the QR code stickers and the parents would know through their cellphones that their children are in class,” she said.
Sevilla explained they are considering the teachers’ capacity, especially those who are close to retirement, to learn new computer skills in line with the inclusion of the robotics program in the DepEd curriculum.
“The challenge actually is the children are more knowledgeable about technology than the teachers except for the newly-hired because they’re new blood. Some teachers who have been with DepEd for quite some time, they’re not confident in using computers,” she said.
Despite such challenges, Sevilla stressed that DepEd will prioritize the provision of tools, equipment and laboratories which will encourage more students to learn and excel in robotics.
“This is the kind of investment that the department wants to be committed to and we want to give recognition not only the learners who excel but also the trainers because we want to motivate them because they will coach or train the next generations of students in this field,” she said.
To encourage the robotics learning and advocate the inclusion of robotics in the school curriculum, Sevilla said DepEd will be organizing a cyber expo by November this year.
“It will become every year to feature the best practices in the use of Information and Communications Technology in the classroom and schools and we will also hold competitions in the different aspects of ICT, Cyber Protection Security, Practical Robotics Application, so both the students and the teachers will be motivated to think further, to explore more about developing robotics,” she added. (PNA)