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Surigao del Sur National High School bags top plum in SMART’s Doon Po Sa Amin challenge

Kung Mindanaoan gani, lahi ra gyud! This is definitely what you’ll exclaim after reading this good piece of news. Congratulations to Surigao del Sur and to Barobo National High School! And of course, congratulations to the coach and to the students who bagged the top plum in the finals of SMART Telecoms’ Doon Po Sa Amin challenge. SMART talaga 🙂

For the second consecutive year, Surigao del Sur’s Barobo National High School made it to the finals of Smart Communications, Inc.’s (SMART) Doon Po Sa Amin (DPSA) Learning Challenge.

sweep smart barobo national high school surigao del sur

SMART Public Affairs Community Partnerships Senior Manager Darwin Flores (right) awards the team from Barobo National High School composed of (from left) Jade De los Santos, Jennifer Noveras, head coach Romulo Morata and ICT coordinator Alex Mistula for winning the grand prize during the 2nd Doon Po Sa Amin Learning Challenge.

This time, however, the institution went all the way to emerge as overall champion for its entry, “Sumbada: Buhay Lambat.” The same entry also bagged the Best in Technology and Livelihood category award.

The awarding ceremony of the 2nd DPSA Learning Challenge was held last February 5 and 6 at the A. Venue Hall in Makati City. The competition, a part of the Smart Schools Program’s (SSP) web-based project Doon Po Sa Amin, is a search for the richest and most significant online local content generated by student-teacher groups from SSP partner schools.

Barobo National High School’s winning entry “Sumbada: Buhay Lambat” is a descriptive study on the local fishermen’s practice of Sumbada, its legality and the impact on the fishing industry.

“Our entry is all about awakening the minds of the people in our locality,” says Jade de los Santos, a student-member of the team. Sumbada is an illegal fishing method that uses very fine nets and active gears to catch fish. “Throughout our region, it is only in our locality that sumbada is being practiced,” he adds.

Head coach Romulo Morata, who spent several nights at sea with some of his students to observe the practice, said that “the students knew what sumbada is, but did not exactly realize what it was all about—its effect and how vital it was for us Barobohanons.” Now that his students are better informed regarding the issue, he is confident that they can “contribute to the development of our community.”

The team hopes that through their study, the local government units and the community will work together to find sustainable solutions to address this problem.

Aside from de los Santos, the other members of the team include: senior students Jennifer Noveras and Reiza Tecson; juniors Christine Dianne Angeles and Kevin Jay Gerbabuena; sophomores Gretchen Balahay, Glenn Calamba, Marian Joyce Macadine, Karren Kaye Serrano and Joymae Lyn Morata; freshmen Noren Ruffa Mae Bacsin, Vanessa Gerbabuena, RM David Martinote, John Ruel Dela Peña and Randy Colina; and teacher-coaches Romeo Lepardo, Jr. and Ariadne Cuares, ICT Coordinator/Moderator Alex Mistula and adviser Principal Aida Aribal.

The team won P50,000 in cash, a trophy and a computer unit with LED monitor. They also received a trophy and an additional P30,000 for topping the Technology and Livelihood Topic Category. The team’s webmaster Jade de los Santos also took home P5,000 for winning the DPSA Quiz Bee held during the two-day event.

The other topic category winners were: Nueva Ecija High School for “Mathematics of the Tricycle City” (Best in Mathematics); Batanes National Science High School for “Lime and its Building Power” (Best in Science and Environment); Naga City Science High School for “Tigsik: Pagsalingoy sa Lenguaheng Bikolano” (Best in Language and Literature); Barobo National High School for “Davisol: Mga Likha at Pananampalataya” (Best in Arts and Culture); Science and Technology Education Center for “Binisaya: Myth or Scientific” (Best in Health and Wellness); and Naga City Science High School for “Mike V. Padua: Pag-asa Kan Naga” (Best in Social Science).

Special Awards were also handed out to Agusan National High School (Best in Student Collaboration), Bataan National High School for “Mt. Samat: The Stand for the Fallen” (Best Website), Maddela Comprehensive High School for “Sierra Madre: The Peak of Life” (Best in Community Impact) and Barobo National High School for “Davisol: Mga Likha at Pananampalataya” (Best in Photos). The special awardees each received P10,000 and a trophy.

The ten winning teams were given the chance to exhibit their works during the culminating event and compete for the Best in Booth Exhibit award. Nueva Ecija High School garnered the highest score from the judges and the most number of text votes to win the award and an additional P10,000.

All the winning entries can be accessed through the DPSA’s main website www.doonposaamin.ph.

For its second run (June-November 2009), the DPSA Learning Challenge received 147 entries from 43 participating schools. The distinguished panel of judges included Community of Learners Foundation Head Feny delos Angeles-Bautista, Web Philippines, Inc. President Roger Chua, Netlearn Ventures, Inc. Trainers Christopher Lorenzo and Lloyd Layug, freelance journalist Mozart Pastrano, and SMART’s consultant for Strategic Business Development Ramon Duremdes and Public Affairs Community Partnerships Senior Manager Darwin Flores, Corporate Communications Senior Manager Salome Flores-Aldaba and Maricris Espinosa.

The DPSA program was launched in 2008 to encourage SSP partner schools to use Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to generate web-based information and educational materials. It also aims to provide the schools a venue where they can share what is unique in their hometowns.

“Doon Po Sa Amin has helped a lot in promoting cultures in the Philippines,” relates Evangeline Castillo, Head Teacher III of Batanes National Science High School. “We are actually meeting via our websites — we learn their stories and they learn ours,” she adds.

DPSA Learning Challenge judge Mozart Pastrano believes the program has given the students a sense of pride of place and rootedness. “It allows the students to immerse themselves in the stories of their community and choose which one they would like to tell the rest of the world.”

The Smart Schools Program, implemented through the Philippine Business for Social Progress with the support of the Department of Education, is the flagship education initiative of SMART under its corporate social responsibility program Kabalikat.

barobo national high school surigao del sur sweep doon po sa amin

Dressed as fisherfolk, Barobo National High School students Jade De los Santos and Jennifer Noveras pose with their coach Romulo Morata at their booth, which showcases their winning entry “Sumbada: Buhay Lambat”

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