Boon Award: Evelyn Taguiba

“Our mission is to prepare the students to survive in the ever changing outside world, so that when they graduate from high school and pursue their studies in the cities, they will be at par with others in training. This is where the need to be connected is very important, where the information they need are just waiting at their fingertips, even while they live a great distance from the cities.”

The above statement is attributed to Evelyn Taguiba, principal of Mountain High School in Bontoc. She was recently recognized by the Civil Service Commission as Cordillera’s Most Outstanding Principal in 2006.

You can read an article about her by the Sunday Inquirer Magazine at mountainprovince.net.

We think the good principal also deserves a Boon Award from us. Why? Because long before computers and the internet became all too common (although it’s still not common in the Philippines) she was already looking for ways to train her teachers and students to be adept in using them. [Read this old site for instance.]

Only a person with a vision can turn a school in the boondocks into one that is “internet-savvy”. It’s good too that she is building partnerships with different groups, like Smart and Microsoft for instance, and not cocooning herself in the classroom or the principal’s office.

Way to go ma’am. We hope your teachers and students emulate you!

RELATED POST: Boon Award: Mayor Artemio Galwan; The Boondock Awards; Smart Gets Smart But it Should Be Smarter. INFO SOURCE: mountainprovince.net. PHOTO CREDIT: Smart Schools Program.

4 Comments
  1. Oh my! I just have to write a long comment for this. I was so put off by the article on the Sunday Inquirer Magazine that you cited here. I think they have not been to Bontoc to verify their facts.

    For one, Bontoc is not “far from the world’s rapid information technology strides” that they always keep on emphasizing just so they can squeeze the tribal-far-from-civilization angle and make the story interesting. Bontoc has a computer school, XIJEN, which has been in operation for many years now. Computer shops/cafes have been around for many years as well, and continue to sprout because of broadband connection. In fact, one of the problems that schools in Bontoc face, even in Principal Taguiba’s school, is that students escape from their classes because they get addicted to computers and computer games.

    I don’t have anything against Principal Taguiba, but even if she did not set up computers in her school, students from this ‘far-flung town’, which is ‘set apart from the world’, can still be computer-literate because of the factors I mentioned above. Still, we have to give Principal Taguiba credit for making computers available in her school.

    I wouldn’t have minded coming from a place that is depicted as very out of touch from the rest of the world, if it were true. What ticked me off is that the reporter wrote the story from an angle that is unfounded.

    By the way, in case there are non-Cordillerans reading the article, students in Bontoc do not go to school in their native attire. The picture is cute, and I think the native attire would be a good alternative to uniforms, but it’s not a reality.

  2. Congratulations to good leaders. It is a great beginning.

    Remember, technology and computers are tools- very powerful tools. Indigenous people have the extra burden to know who they are and be invested in the intimate details of their environments. These require excellent education in applied, hands-on science, math, history, language, humanities, economics—

    Just watched a research channel and
    it was interesting to hear what Computer Science degree holders had to say. The biggest misconception, according to Computer Science graduates is that “computers in the classroom are most important”. According to these degree holders, it is knowing how to think, knowing how to learn, knowing how to apply tools like computers in real world problems. To them, new knowledge about the world means new opportunities for applying computer technology. [*This ties to the indigenous people and MNC conflict over rights].

  3. Hi All,

    Beli beli good to know dat computers and computer geeks abound in da cordiriera! True, we need computers to reach through tech da unknown and unreachables! Kudos to Ms. Taguiba!

    Kaya lang, on da oder hand, pero, hwego…., we should also know dat in India, China, USA (not Besao ha!), Singapore, Europe etc., dey are painfully realizing dat da COMPUTER IS NOT GOD!

    BOON BOON to computers and Ms. Taguiba & Mountain High & fongakhan but BOO BOO to COMPUTERISM!

  4. Hi Fongakhan,
    Oo nga ano hehe. I guess I’m so used to writers using that kind of slant so it doesn’t register in my “critical” radar anymore. But you’re right and thanks for the reminder to keep the radar active 🙂

    Hi Anonymous (2:32),
    A very good reminder as well that computers are just tools which should not replace actual learning. Thanks.

    Hi Anonymous (2:21)
    Good point. I think the important thing is that we know how to balance these things. On the one hand, computers and the internet are important tools which makes life/work easier. On the other hand we should not, to use your words, look at it as a god. Thanks.

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