Sunday, January 4, 2009

Looking from the hourglass.....

missives from a midset

I was looking at all of the people rushing to get their shopping list filled up in preparation for a long break... christmas break as they would say. It was a very long year.... The school had accomplished a lot of things deemed unimaginable by ordinary standards by we made it and yet... we still missed the target we set for ourselves.

We were able to prepare new courses to be offered in school and apply them in TESDA, as well as get some (not all of our teachers accredited as Trainors/assessors in TESDA), although we had filed and applied formally for several courses in TESDA both as courses and as assessment centers for such courses, we still have to wait for formalities and ministerial processes to take place.

As a school that has tried to cater to class C,D and E families, we were quite in dire straights considering that indeed in a global recession that strongly influences an already problematic national economy... tuition fee not being payed on time also means delayed payments on our operatinal expenses.....From a managers point of view, we have to improvise and ensure that indeed we can sustain the expenses of the school through alternative means .

We had foreseen these events in advance... and we prepared a little for this. As advocates of Free and Open Source Software as well as EDTECH, we tried to find ways on how to earn while advocating.

We stumbled upon creating a computer literacy module that aimed to train seafaring cadets in Desktop applications as well as training them to become Captain's aide and on-board secretary in a shipboard environment... we called this C-Office (short for Shipboard Office Productivity Suite) which aims to equip Navigation and Engine Cadets with Conputer literacy skills as well as Office Management Skills, soft skills that is required for global seafarers. This program was made a part of the official training program of one of the premier maritine agencies, POBAR Maritime LTD, this course was the brainchild of Capt Leo Mirante, MM, the manager of this company and DR Joel S. Garcia, president of the school. Thus although initially three Shipping manning agencies took part among them POBAR and OSM, it was POBAR that eventually adopted the program as an integral part of their manpower development program. Instead of wholly teaching MS Office , Adobe Reader for PDF and Internet explorer for web browsing.... we taught them the Linux desktop system, the Open Office system and document viewer/foxit reader for document preparation and mozilla firefox for browsing, we have shown that Linux alternatives exist for usage in office productivity.

We also initiated trainings fr Blender 3d animation as a tool for 3d animation.We are also looking into creating courses for PhP MySQL for web administrators and developers as well as for Java, C++ and other FOSS programming languages.....

Although we may not yet received approval for the other courses and programs... we are hoping that the backlogs and leftover targets we have left for 2008 can be finished before the end of January 2009.

wish us luck.

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