Back in high school, we were processing spreadsheets in Lotus 1-2-3, typing documents in WordStar 7, and making databases in Foxrun. Even having Windows 3.11 was a rarity in those days: the operating system of choice was MS-DOS 6.22. This was at the turn of the 21st century: in the year 2000, the computers were upgraded to the earliest versions of Windows 95 and Microsoft Works.
So you can understand my sense of relief, now that my alma mater – Baguio City National High School – has its own website (accessible here). While I am disappointed with some bits and pieces of the website, I find it a bit weird: it took too long.
Having been exposed to a more robust information infrastructure in college, I am of the belief that computer literacy is paramount in high school education. The biggest universities of the Philippines – UP, Ateneo, de la Salle, and UST, among others – have information infrastructures that are integral to their other infrastructures. For example, UP’s campuses all over the Philippines are connected to each other in one of the strongest connections in the country. I am told that in UST, the wireless broadband grid goes well up into 1 GB of bandwidth, for a reasonable cost paid every semester.
This was supposed to be the Department of Education’s “Cyber-Education” program. However, the sad thing is that there are a lot of things about public schools that demand urgent attention more than computers and Internet connections, like classrooms, books, facilities, competent teachers, and reasonable teacher-to-student ratios. But for urban schools, I think that strong information infrastructures are necessary for their graduates to stand a chance at university education.