Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nationalism In DPSM

By Roderico A. De Armas

It was in the first semester of 2004-2005 that the National Service Training Program (NSTP) was offered as an alternative to ROTC, which used to be required of all male college students.

The university's administrators designated the implementation of the program to the heads of the academic units. As a result, DPSM had to take charge of the NSTP program for its BS Biochemistry and BS Computer Science majors. This consequently became an additional burden to the department, which was already faced with the problem of overloaded faculty. However, everything came into place eventually.

Guided by NSTP's primary objective of instilling a deeper sense of nationalism in students, Prof. Harry Engle, as department chair, and the unit heads, together with some faculty members, sat down to plan the activities to implement the program.

At the start of the first semester, the majors were made to choose between Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) and Literacy Training Service (LTS), the two programs to be handled by DPSM. The students were given an orientation, after which they underwent psychosocial training. The activities designed by the department were then carried out for the remainder of the semester.

Students in CWTS were trained to teach proper sanitation in identified communities. They were also taught to make useful products from raw materials commonly found in the surroundings. Prof. Soledad Yao of the Chemistry Unit was the CWTS coordinator. On the other hand, students in LTS were trained to teach science and mathematics to elementary students. This was done in collaboration with the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod of UP Manila under the guidance of the LTS coordinator, Mr. Aldrich Colin Co.

In the second semester, the CWTS students were deployed as ecoguards in the university, while the LTS students were deployed as tutors at C. Salvador Elementary School.

Despite being an addition to the department's perennial problem of faculty overloading, NSTP, through proper implementation, can achieve its noble objective. And with the full cooperation of its faculty members, DPSM will continue searching for ways to improve whatever it has started for the successful implementation of its NSTP program.

This article has been originally published in Faura, Number 2.


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