Saturday, January 16, 2010
“Delubyo” as the locality of Lumban would call it, Bagyong Ondoy massively destroyed majority of the Laguna’s rich natural resources last October of 2009. Indeed a year’s quarter to dredge up tragic memories of once Philippines’ pride for tourism and agricultural richness.
The town of Lumban is no exception; moreover, Lumban National High School’s bedrock as the only public high school in town was devastated by huge amount of flood along the coastal roads of Barangay Wawa. Bulk of water lily and enormous pile of garbage were dump together with mound of mud blocked the street of General Luna which is the only way to school for both students and faculty.
Soon after two weeks of putting back together the damaged houses and properties classes resumed notwithstanding high waters along the path of Wawa. Another problem faced every students and teachers as they crawl up the bangkas of fisherman trying to continue and make up for the lost days of classes.
Calling the attention of the administrators, they meet up and try to extend their deepest help by answering the problem posted by the calamity – reviving the Brigada Eskwela Part II. This targets the severely affected victims of the typhoons and gather networks of help though the involvement of the school and the community.
In response, Relief Giving Operation of the Second Year Department of Lumban National High School is advocated to provide necessary needs of the students and their families. Several collections of in-kind donations and monetary solicitations were geared up to answer the call of the season.
A success! Early morning of Friday flag ceremony was a day to commemorate as students, victims and teachers hand in hand in extending help to every members of the school. A total of 81 students were given relief packs containing canned good, noodles and used clothing were disseminated. Students were sent home that morning brining goods of good news to their families.
• MR. NILO Y. DE ROBLES
Principal II, Lumban National High School
• THE FACULTY AND STAFF OF SECOND YEAR DEPARTMENT
Mr. Rolly B. Caidic
Mrs. Rowena L. Leobrera
Mrs. Jenny Robale
Mrs. Lyn V. Cacalda
Mrs. Zeny B. Baldemora
• PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
• SECOND YEAR STUDENTS and CLASS OFFICERS
• AND TO ALL WHO HELPED FOR THE SUCCESS OF THIS PROGRAM
SCOPE OF WORK DONE
• Repairing and maintenance of the school properties and facilities
• Solicitations and in-kind donations
• Repacking of the relief goods
• Relief giving operations and distribution
It’s the story of life in our planet.
As we dig deeper and collect evidences around us, we tried to gather as much information as possible on ways how we could explain the real reason of how life started on earth and how life on earth has changed through time. How did plants and animals come about? How did the first living cells appear? These are just some of the few questions in our minds that we tried to search for an answer for us to realize our oneness with the rest of the creation in our planet.
Evolution is a complex process by which the characteristics of living organisms change over many generations as traits are passed from one generation to the next. The science of evolution seeks to understand the biological forces that caused ancient organisms to develop into the tremendous and ever-changing variety of life seen on Earth today. The way Encarta Encyclopaedia explains it; it only appears that the definition of ‘evolution’ is as complex as the word itself, it addresses how, over the course of time, various plant and animal species branch off to become entirely new species, and how different species are related through complicated family trees that span millions of years.
Hundreds of debates have flocked biology books on ways how we could trace intricate branches of organisms and how they were related with each other maybe because we only rely on evidences that would validate reality from make-believe. Up to this modern era, evolution of facts is still being altered and transformed into a piece of information that everyone would accept. From monkeys to humans, cockroaches from ancient times, dinosaurs, lochness monsters, unexplained creatures, these are all pieces of the puzzle that we tried to solve. And evolution seems to address all of these.
As life continues on earth, the story of evolution never ends. Our technological era never stops, as we go forward into the future, we also tried to go beyond the past and relate how these affect our present. The only constant thing in this world is change, true enough, facts would change, and by tomorrow there may be lots of new theories and facts that would shake the edifice of science and even evolution. There are thousands of ways how we could explain the existence of life on earth but, let us all remember that “it doesn’t matter how long you live your life... what matters is how well you live it and for whom you live it with”.
Might fallback but I won’t abandon
All traces of her keep me holding on
Righteous love never dies for it reckon
Regretting her is not the solution
All that is left is an unanswered hope
Mark of forgiveness and elucidation
Yet delusional that love never slope
Amity of chances is for us with faith
Remained tranquil in our silent trait
Yesterday’s a past, tomorrow’s a bait
Much happiness for her is what I wait
Memories of her preoccupy my mind
Yearning her sweet smile and hair wind
Render those eyes, breathe my existence
Awe of her shove me into intense eloquence
January – March 2009
Embarking its new insignia, Lumban National High School continues to bring forth excellence in secondary education equally in academic and extracurricular activities for this year’s first quarter. Elevating essential developments in trilogy of focal areas such as students, curriculum and staff, its mission envisions a full throttle of its science and technology engines.
As renascent as its new name, the visionary leadership of its Principal Nilo Y. De Robles calibrated student’s performance thru intensive school-based management. Faculty enhancement trainings were implemented and reechoed to outbrave the challenges of modern-day curriculum.
Programs and projects have fully met the final output catering its target clienteles from first year to fourth year high school students. Strategies using modules, peer teachings, conferences, assessments and evaluations were parallel to the needs of the students.
II. Goals / Objectives
The following are targets and objectives employed under the action plan in science and technology for the school year 2008 – 2009 under the last quarter of January to March 2009.
· to develop the student’s achievement level in Science and Technology
· to establish science organization
· to instill environmental awareness
· to develop a teaching module
· to learn more on how to teach Science and Technology effectively and efficiently
Students’ performances were improved by 53% showed on last March’s final departmental examination results. Established Science Clubs from first year to fourth year have developed scientific attitudes, awareness of environmental problems and solutions, leadership and responsibility among students.
Improvement of the teaching – learning situation inside the classroom were bring into line as selected science faculty members did some research works. “Involvement of Students in Magic Activities in Physics” by Ms. Julie Ann Natividad was introduced to fourth year students to engage them in learning science and technology IV while having fun. “Dissection Handbooks on Selected Indigenous Plants and Animals” were performed by the second year students for the application of morphology, coordinated by Mr. Rolly Caidic for science and technology II.
Mastery of the subject matter in science was upgraded since January. Continuous education by some faculty members improved their teaching science and technology more effectively and efficiently. Ms. Julie Ann Natividad is currently attending Ph.D in Science Education at the Philippine Normal University where she is already obtained a total of 36 units. While Mr. Rolly Caidic under the scholarship of Congressman Edgar San Luis of fourth district is still pursuing his Diploma in Science Teaching, Major in Biology at the University of the Philippines Open University where he is now enrolled as a 2nd year.
Attending seminars are essential in keeping up with the modern trends in science and technology. Constec Seminar in Physics last February 19-20 and Chemistry last February 26-27 was attended by two faculty members Ms. Julie Ann D. Natividad (fourth year) and Mrs. Victoria R. Almario (third year) respectively.
IV. Problems Met / Encountered
With the National Achievement Test became upfront for the last quarter of this year, rigorous and intensive reviews every Saturdays and several remedial classes were done every afternoon from Mondays to Fridays.
Major problem resurfaced as pre-tests revealed low performances in science and technology. One of the findings suggests that poor comprehension and problem analysis were the reasons why students failed the preliminary exams.
Lack of school facilities and laboratory apparatuses also affects student’s learning and performances during laboratory experiments and activities. Thus, science investigatory projects were only introduced to fourth year students but failed to materialize.
V. Suggestions / Recommendations
It is for the intellectual challenge? Or is it to make the world a better place?
Margarita Alegria believes that science researchers must change their focus “from a science of recommendation to a science of implementation.”
The core focus of science evolves in three folds – knowledge, process and application. The distance between the people who produce the information and the people who use the information is vast. We do not do much to minimize this distance—not even asking if the information we are producing will be valuable to the end-users. We basically produce the evidence and go on to the next research problem.
ROLLY B. CAIDIC
N O T E D :
ROSALINA P. GARCIA
Head Teacher III
Genetic Engineering doesn’t address world food problem and malnutrition
One of the more current and controversial issue in the field of biotechnology is the use of bioengineering in food production. Personally, I would not support the use of genetic engineering in food production based on the several reasons I will present in my position paper. I do not think that scientists should be able to use their knowledge and social prestige in society to be able to play the role of God in creating new or better living things even if their justification is for the purpose of serving mankind.
SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CONCERNS
Supporters of this technology (Genetic Engineering) maintain that it ensures and sustains food security around the world as the population increases. As time goes on, the science behind genetic engineering is no doubt improving. Biotechnology could be the wave of the future and genetically modified foods could really provide alternatives to help increase food production. However, there is a growing wave of concern from citizens, farmers and scientists who question the way the research is currently being handled by a few large, profit-hungry corporations.
• The problem of food shortages is a political and economic problem.
• Food shortages and hunger are -- and will be -- experienced by the poorer nations.
• GE Food is an expensive technology that the farmers of the developing nations would not be able to afford easily.
• Patenting laws go against the poor around the world and allow biotech companies to benefit from patenting indigenous knowledge often without consent.
• This is a very young and untested technology and may not be the answer just yet.
• Crop uniformity, which the biotech firms are promoting, will reduce genetic diversity making them more vulnerable to disease and pests. This furthers the need for pesticides (often created by the same companies creating and promoting genetically engineered crops).
Hence this leads to questions of the motives of corporations and countries who are using the plight of the developing world as a marketing strategy to gain acceptance of GE food as well as dependency upon it via intellectual property rights. A quick acceptance of GE foods without proper testing etc. could show corporate profitability to be very influential, while a thorough debate and sufficient public participation would ensure that real social and environmental concerns are in fact adhered to.
There is also the issue of do we actually need genetically engineered food, given that agriculture in small biodiverse farms are actually very productive. World hunger is extensive in spite of sufficient global food resources. Therefore increased food production is no solution. The problem is that many people are too poor to buy readily available food. Therefore measures solving the poverty problem is what is required to solve the world hunger problem.
I would like to point out an important factor that “many people in the world are suffering from malnutrition and hunger because they cannot afford to buy food, not because it is unavailable.” As highlighted in the poverty and hunger part, most of the causes of hunger are found in global politics, rather than issues of agriculture and technology (though of course those causes do exist too). As a result, a variety of groups and people are questioning the motives behind biotechnology as the political causes of hunger appear to be ignored.
An article from Miguel A. Altieri and Peter Rosset “Ten reasons why biotechnology will not ensure food security, protect the environment and reduce poverty in the developing countries” makes the observation that “most innovations in agricultural biotechnology have been profit-driven rather than need-driven” and it questions whether GE technology will really ensure food security, protect the environment and reduce poverty in the developing world. And with GE Food being an expensive technology, that does not help the case, either. Also, in some cases, it has been noted that some GE crop yields are less than conventional crops.
“Genetically engineered crops were created not because they're productive but because they're patentable. Their economic value is oriented not toward helping subsistence farmers to feed themselves but toward feeding more livestock for the already overfed rich” as stated by Amory and Hunter Lovins, Founders of the Rocky Mountain Institute in their article “Are Genetically Altered Foods The Answer to World Hunger?”
The majority of the poor and malnourished in the world depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods – making it essential for small farmers in developing countries such as our country, Philippines, to become more productive. Simply increasing food production is not the only answer, as there are many political, economic and social factors that play a part. Indeed, solutions do not necessarily require additional production, as much as addressing political and economic causes of inequality and hunger.
MORAL AND ETHICAL CONCERNS
However, despite all of its advantages in creating better crops, many people are very skeptical about its safetiness and possible long-term health effects. Moreover, the social issue lies deep in the realm of ethical and moral concerns. Many people feel that scientists might have gone too far in terms of experimentation. We have now come to the end of the familiar pathway of leaving everything to the creation of Mother Nature.
With the rise of advanced technology in genetics, scientists now possess the ability to manipulate genes, and redirect the course of evolution. They can reassemble old genes and devise new ones. They can plan, and with computer simulation, anticipate the future forms and paths of life. Hence, the old ways of evolution will be dwarfed by the role of purposeful human intelligence.
However, just as nature stumbled upon life billions of years ago and began the process of evolution, so too would the new creators of life find that living organisms all have a destiny of their own. To evaluate the validity of the benefits of this technology, we need to answer three simple questions: Is it safe, is it wise, is it moral? (Sinsheimer 1987).
I believe that scientists’ knowledge is still very limited in trying to understand what led to these organisms' existence and modes of adaptation. Thus scientists cannot really predict whether all their new discoveries and creations might somehow lead to a new and unexpected group of harmful species since potential organisms that could be converted by one or more mutations be transformed from harmless bugs to serious risks.
Finally, to answer the question of the advantages of genetic engineering in terms of morality and ethics, I can only say that the more we create, the more problems we will have in the long run in trying to solve them. Life has evolved on this planet into a delicately balanced and fragile network of self-sustaining interactions and equilibrium (Sinsheimer 1987). If we try to change or replace the creatures and vegetation of this earth with human-designed forms to conform to human will, I believe we will forget our origins and inadvertently collapse the ecological system in which we were found.
Moreover, do we really want to assume the full responsibility for the structure and make-up of our world? I think that we seriously need to intervene between the scientists and engineers to consider a solution that will help slow down all of these experiments so that we could step back and look at what we are doing.
If not, I think that these practicing scientists and researchers should be more broadly educated in our humanistic values and traditions. They need to understand the implications of what they are doing in order to be able to balance the concerns of the natural environment and that of society's humanistic needs; to bear in mind that technology exists only to serve and not create.
Human beings, are of course, sprung from the same DNA and built of the same molecules as all other livings things. But if we begin to regard ourselves as just another group of subjects to test our experiments on by altering or tampering with the foods we eat, just like another crop to be engineered or another breed to be perfected, we will surely lose our awe of humanity and undermine all sense of human dignity.
The use of genetic engineering in agriculture and food production has an impact, not only on the environment and biodiversity, but also on human health. Therefore, thorough biosafety assessment requires, not only an evaluation of environmental impacts of genetically engineered organisms, but also an assessment of the risks that genetically engineered food pose for the health of consumers. Let us take deeper look at some of the aspects related to genetically engineered foods.
A massive destructive sound awakened Maria one morning. Followed by the shaking of the ground, she tries to get up from the bed to get ready for school. Mining has started again in their town and scene like this is no longer a surprise to them. Almost three fourths of the hill has already been literally flattened and miner’s job seems not yet done.
Crasshhh... creaaak... rrumble...
Big rocks and trunk of woods toppled down the slope. Destruction of our natural resources and mass consumption of fossil fuels lead to global warming and extreme climate phenomena. In fact, the year 2005 was recorded as the hottest in recorded history and over the past century human industrial and agricultural activities have started to the build-up of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases which traps earth’s outgoing radiation leading to an enhanced greenhouse effect and a warmer earth.
Education is still an effective vehicle for bringing global warming into our collective consciousness. Knowing the how’s and why’s of our mother earth could lead to better understanding about frightening warm weather, extreme floods, extinction of animals, and even melting of the polar ice caps. Youth plays an important role on mobilization of everyone.
Don’t let Maria’s dream of a cool fresh breeze of air be a dream forever. Working together with our peers and the community can address the problem of our mother earth. This is the role of youth-led initiatives in the green economy. Young people are not only the future, they are also the now. More than 45% of the world’s population is under 25, with 1.3 billion young people living in developing countries. Over the last two years, consultations and research work with youths have demonstrated that they can make a difference in fighting earth’s destruction through their actions and advocacy activities in youth organizations. Youths are key agents of change.
Roaar… croaak… tweeet…
Nature’s harmonious sounds, do we still hear these today? Or the future lies on the ipod’s and flat screen TV’s just to experience these natural wonders.
Earth’s clock is running out and its calling everyone’s attention before it is too late. Climate change is one of the biggest threats of our time, like a big bomb waiting to explode, don’t let this happen to the world we live in. The alarm of hope is ringing and it’s calling our awareness, this is the perfect time to act now before it’s too late. Solutions are lying within the hands of our future generations. Green economy such as environmentally sustainable enterprises, technological innovations (new sources of clean renewable energy), energy efficiency measures, etc... Youth can contribute! And yes! There is hope for Maria and her town.