BrightWorld

Dreams, Optimism, Wisdom

EDUCATION IS DEFICIENT FOR GIFTED MINDS May 13, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Kabanal-banalang araw! Holiest of Days!

As articulated in earlier articles by me, institutions torment the ‘free spirits’ or souls with ‘individuated minds’. Institutions were designed for the ‘mass mind’ people, for the harbingers of the ‘folkspirit’ or folkgeist. I’d say from my own experience that current education is inadequate for the former, for gifted children and most especially for ‘star seed’ children.

As a young man of Age 22, Erle Frayne Argonza can be described as possessing a ‘conqueror’s psyche’. Barely starting in his work as a community development assistant, he was already very bullish in meteorically rising to top leadership and executive roles. At that age, he envisioned his entry to the presidential palace as an executive in the future, 25 years hence (at age 46 he did become a bureau director in the presidential palace).

Compare that young adult Erle to the boy Erle of preschool and school days. It was a stark contrast, to be sure. This tot was shy, melancholic, and was deeply communicating with his own inner self or detached from the crowd. He went through a traumatic childhood, and he with the ‘gifted mind’ and ‘star seed’ went through a process that, to his surprise, was undergone too by other ‘star seeds’.

Born in 1958 in a typical agrarian-commercial town (today’s Tuguegarao city), my mother was only 18 years old when she delivered me. My father was a soldier than, and was on duty in the field, battling insurgents, on July the 6th when I breathed air for the first time. Imagine the loneliness and depression of my mother at that time, when she was barely out of teenage. That melancholic experience was to gel in me as a boy with a ‘melancholic personality’, a personality that was to dog me till my early adulthood.

Right after that birth, we babies (I was the 2nd child) were motored off to Manila, where my mother had to take her bachelor’s degree (nutrition). After her successful schooling (4 of us were born by then), our family settled in Tuguegarao in mid-1963. There I was to intensively learn my ABCs, arithmetic, and reading proficiency right at home. At age 5 I could read the major dailies with the comprehension level of a teenager, and I never even went to school till 1965 as a Grade 1 pupil.

At age 6 (1964), my grandmother, a teacher about to retire, brought me to the Linao grade school where she was teaching (Linao is a rural village in the town). She pitted me, a mere 6 year old tot, against a 12 year old pupil of hers in arithmetic and other basics of tot learning. To the wonderment of those present, the boy Erle easily beat and out-smarted a pupil 6 years his senior.

Little did I know about the consequences of that behavior. All I recall was that at age 6, I realized that I was too different from the kids around me, my sibs and cousins included. I was all too contemplative and hungry for the creatives, for analytical thought constructs, for challenges. I was almost always in contact with my own ‘inner space’ or whatever even when in the company of fellow kids.

At that age, I began to squirm inside me, questioning why I should be associating with kids whose qualities were different from mine. Why can’t I find kids of my own kind? By age 7 this was compounded when I entered school for the first time, where I could associate with kids with ease but I knew that I was different from them. They were all too playful, learned by rote, and always expecting for candies (high dependency). They were utterly shallow, to say the least. (I realized later that kids are indeed naturally shallow.)

But the really devastating part was the educational system itself. There was nothing in it that was intended for ‘gifted children’ and moreso for ‘star seeds’. It was all rote, there was none of the accelerated system that later on was introduced by the Montessori school. My esteem simply crashed, my morale ebbed, and I attended school largely as a mechanistic behavior: my Dad would whip me dry blue if I didn’t go to school at all.

Add to those experiences the authoritarian personality of my father (he whacked us to the level of physical abuse in today’s legal jargon). My parents were quite poor as they started family life unprepared, at a time when we babies were already around (our poor diets, clothing, toys, teeth were indicative of a bad start of family life). In 1966-68 I suffered from nephritis, had to eat a zero-salt diet for 2 years, and can’t play sports due to my perennially ailing kidneys.

The final blow to my esteem came in 1969 when my Dad met a motorcycle accident. For a year he can’t work at all, due to leg fracture disability. To be able to save our family from financial collapse, we siblings have to sell ice candy around town. We had a newly constructed house then, furnished with a refrigerator and Esso gasul stove (we were among the first to acquire them in town), so our family can mix and produce ice candy and cook delicacies with ease (my mother was good at baking).

It didn’t occur to me then that peddling wares at raw age had a good side to it, as training for entrepreneurship. All I knew was we siblings were forced to peddle wares, forced to labor when we should be focused on our studies. For two (2) years life went on that way for us, and by age 10 the devastating effect of this quite wretched life, added to the bad school system, punitive father, and sickly physique, took its toll on me.

There was utterly no one to talk to about my state. I kept silent about my inner feelings, wept silently when alone. The inspiring presence of my grandfather, who openly chastised my father for his failings and who was surely sympathetic to us grandchildren, quite saved the day for us sibs. But my melancholy was already advancing. It was only the soothing countenance of an Angel whose presence I was very much aware of that made me sustain my inner balance then. That being I later found out was the Archangel Michael himself, Lord of the 1st Ray (warriorship) of the Hierarchy of the Angelic realm.

All along, the school system was badly ill equipped to handle ‘cases’ like me a ‘star seed’. To compensate for the deficiencies of my environment, I read voluminously, and was reading adult stuff as early as Age 11. By that age I learned to play the guitar via self-learning, joined the rondalla (instrumental group) upon entering Grade 6, became a ‘star dancer’ in school by then, and the route to rising above my wretched, shy, melancholic nature was opened up. I also digested what I could learn from my genius grandpa and ex-teacher grandma (till they left for the USA when I was circa 11).

To say of the presence of a brilliant teacher-advisor who could innovate in the classroom to accommodate gifted children? Of a principal who can do the same? In a public school anyway that lacked the decent amenities of a good school (it was damn impoverished)? No, there was no such thing then, no Montessori or Walforf Steinier school that were both designed with enormous genius and wisdom.

To cap all horrors, the school system rewarded rote and called it ‘honors’. Children whose mental prowess were just a bit better than monkeys’ (sorry for sounding condescending) were awarded ‘honors’! What intoxicating hubris! Horror of horrors!

The ridiculous side to this system remains till these days: the ‘banking method’. The system works by presuming that learning is like a ladder, that one goes up the ladder in linear manner. I could only laugh with guffaws today at this pedagogy, as it discounts the possibility of quantum leaps in learning, and of methods that could be more radical and astounding in results than the ladderized methods for morons and subhumans (excuse me again please).

I was already ending my adolescence when I encountered the sociologists, psychologists and topnotch pedagogy innovators. One of them was Paulo Freire, who dealt devastating blows on the ‘banking system’ and innovated on a ‘conscientization’ pedagogy. These innovations were precisely the ones I was looking for, or those that recoqnized quantum leaps and can make geniuses even out of the most moron folks. I also learned yoga meditation inside the classroom, thanks to the psychologist Prof. Alfredo Lagmay, husband of my anthropology mentor Dr. Letty Lagmay, who got invited to workshop us students on yoga meditation. (Dr. Alfredo Lagmay is among psychology pioneers in the Philippines.)

To my own surprise, I discovered that all of us possess the ‘genius within’. Some kids like the ‘star seeds’ and ‘gifted children’ are those who are lucky enough to have evolved faster in the mental realm, and experience their genius as early as childhood. However, I found out that other youths whose IQs were mediocre at age 15 (when aptitude tests for college are administered in the Philippines) were able to achieve quantum leaps in consciousness till they turned brilliant-to-genius by age 20!

And to further my own surprise, I found out that even folks whose only knowledge is mechanistic skills to deliver letters as mailman and pound clothes on rivers as laundrywomen can achieve the quantum leaps via yoga meditation and the inspiring guidance of a sagely Guru. The narratives of master Paramahansa Yogananda positively indicated this possibility, as shown by the case of an ordinary mailman who, after constant yoga practice, turned genius of a seeker, are concrete case studies of achieving quantum leaps in consciousness via another pedagogy: the science of yoga.

Being a yogi myself, I have already graduated from genius to the mystical. And this is another surprise for me: that the mystical is higher than genius. I did it via yoga and universal mysticism, plus constant studies and readings. And, mind you, I will end the ‘mystic phase’ of my life soon and enter an awareness level of ‘nirvanic consciousness’, thanks to the constant work of my Spirit Guides on me.

In sum, our orthodox understanding of learning behavior models (very linear) and educational methods (‘banking system’, rote learning) are largely meant for the simpletons, for the laggards and the middling souls. I wonder whether this general situation can be changed soon, maybe not in my lifetime.

The gladdening news is that there are now personages and environments that can assist the ‘star seeds’ and ‘gifted children’ along the way. Their innovations bring immense hope for many sensitive, intelligent souls. These souls will become dominant probably before this century’s end, when 5% of the population will be geniuses and trans-geniuses, the rest will be the middling souls while no more laggards will be around (they’ll be transferred to other planets that will suit their psyche).

[Writ 17 March 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

 

SELF-LEARNING: MODALITY FOR PRESENT & FUTURE AGES April 4, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Noble Seekers, Fellows in the Path who by now number by the tens to hundreds of millions, this article focuses on the modality of methods for transcendence for the current and future contexts. To begin with, it will be largely the self-learning modality that is now dominant.

While it is a fact that individuation continues to rise and expand in a very dynamic fashion, and that the old institutional methods of attainment are crumbling by the day, it is also a fact that there has been an explosion in the population from the past century onto the present, which constrains the Ascended Host or divine beings in embodying teachers who can attend to Seekers’ needs.

In the language of economics, we have a huge demand for the Teachings, but we are short of the supply of Teachers. We have right now a ‘buyers’ market’ as far as the teachings are concerned, and so this situation raises challenges on the Ascended Host to innovate on means of attainment so that the ‘buyers’ (Seekers) will meet their specific needs.

All souls here must reckon with the fact that the physical plane, nay the planet Earth as a whole, is a school for life. As such, it is an open market for various teachers, both of the Dark Side and the Light Side. It used to be that the Dark Ones were dominant in the physical plane, where they held sway in an almost monopolistic manner. However, beyond the year 1934, the equation had changed, and we have more or less an equal opportunity for both the Dark and Light sides to present their platforms and lessons before a huge ‘market’ of souls.

The new development was made possible by the increased ‘supply’ of more evolved souls in the physical plane. Such souls have graduated to the level of ‘old souls’, to use a Chinese term. There are now a ‘critical mass’ of evolved souls and other advancing seekers, leading a further larger number of enthused devotees, seekers, mystics and masters whom we all refer to as ‘Lightworkers’.

Thus, with a ‘level the playing field’ now optimized, we have a greater opportunity to proceed in the Path than ever. We have an ‘equal opportunity’ situation here, to use the term of civil libertarians. Of course, the Dark Ones would want to shift the balance back to their favor, by sabotaging the operations of the Lightworkers—by attacking us all both internally (within each one of us) and externally, or in situations where we are weak. But their efforts are looking ridiculously slapstick, for they realize that they cannot have the competitive edge in this manner.

One thing that the Dark Ones will never be able to control is the increasing power of the Christ Consciousness on this planet. And this situation, which the Fallen Ones would wish to subtly neutralize via the relentless permeation of the Anti-Christ Consciousness in the private sphere, is shifting the balance in favor of the Lightworkers more or less. You would see in all mass media, for instance, the constant bombardment of the mind with negative images, libidinal messages, and many more imaging devices that leave the folks mesmerized and wallowed in cesspools of crass materialism. But these efforts are largely a panic complex by the Fallen Ones, and they will lose the day as the Christ Consciousness further permeates the private sphere and individual consciousnesses.

However, we Lightworkers would also admit that the explosion in our populations have constrained the hands of Teachers in the Path. For while there may be many mystics and masters, not many from our ranks can perform teaching roles. In the Philippines for instance, which is a remnant of the ancient Mu continent, healing has been the chosen mission of about 2/3 of mystics & masters. There is now a revival in this country of ancient techniques, popularized in antiquity by Lemuro-Atlantean priests, of a method that would accelerate the pace of inner awakenings without having to use yoga meditation that will take decades of painstaking practice to achieve desired results. And so we have an explosion of healing ministries in the archipelago today, but too few teachers.

So, whether in RP or in the other countries, we face a low supply of teachers inspite of a huge stock of Lightworkers. The best remedy for the situation is to devise innovative methods that will shift the learning from teacher-centered to seeker-centered learning. The learning situation had in fact already shifted to the self-learning modality as of the last quarter yet of the 20th century.

So what is the role of the Teacher in this situation? As I elucidated in my book Libertosophy & Freethought, the teacher performs the role of a catalyst of change in the new context. The guru or teacher is much like the university professor whose instruction is only 30% of the equation, while the student does 70% of the efforts. There would be an instance when the teacher can recede in the background, and the Seeker programs his/her own readings and lessons, with help of course from shis (his/her) Inner Guide. Just like when one graduates from college, the professors won’t be around any longer, but the alumnus can move on to program his/her readings and thematic learning using various methods such as enrolling in special seminars.

The same thing is true for the Seeker. The physical Teacher will help you begin the courses, explain to you the ‘program’, then supervises and monitors your undertakings for a specified or expected period. Each seeker will absorb lessons differently for sure, so the Teacher will recommend to you whether to continue with the existing program or move on to a succeeding set of lessons. Be prepared to hear the Teacher recommend that you get instructions from some other Teachers who may be adept at certain courses and methods.

And so, just like in the university where a student encounters many professors before graduating, a seeker will encounter many teachers along the way. It’s possible that you, Noble Seeker, will be a disciple of a single Teacher, and it cannot be avoided that you will develop a strong, devotional attitude bordering a filial bond with the Teacher. There’s no problem with that. Still, your main Teacher may encourage you to seek lessons from other teachers, and then you go back later to your main Teacher who can help you assess where you are situated so far in your spiritual compass.

Such a Teacher is truly noble, and has the proper mark of a ‘true teacher’: one who will respect your autonomy from the very onset, and encourages you to get instructions from others. S/he will never show a sense of jealousy towards other teachers at all, but will be deeply happy over the disciple’s expanded learning from other physical teachers. True teachers never call themselves ‘master’ at all, it is the disciples who out of deep filial respect will call the teacher a master, or papa/baba (father), or mama (mother).

Any Teacher who labels himself/herself master is suspect. Likewise would the trait of trying to control seekers by using the “I am your only teacher” or “you cannot have any teacher other than me” line. You may even end up being forewarned of the dire consequences of leaving the teacher for another teacher if ever. A very egotistical teacher this one is! Beware of their kinds, they are manipulative and deceptive and they abound in our planet.

In my case, I would go for a formula of 10% learning from me, and 90% of learning self-programmed by the Seeker. For the advanced seekers, who are bound to become mystics, I’d have it a residual 3%-8% learnings from me, and the rest from the seeker. Most of you seekers are out to be handled by your own ‘true guru’ who is no other than your own respective Inner Guide, and my role is simply to help connect you to that Guide. But I will always open my gate to you, as my own commitment of co-partnering with your Guide in instructing you, and will have to clarify questions and lessons every now and then or when you feel a need to. The time will come when it will be largely you and your Inner Guide co-partnering, as I am done from my duties for you.

My main guru, the Master El Morya, does the same thing to me: he instructs me approximately once every 1 & ½ years only, with 1%-2% lessons coming from him. He also helps me to assess lessons learned from other teachers (who are non-physical). Sometimes he calls for me urgently, to which I oblige very willingly, and then lets me go quickly. His occult powers are beyond my comprehension, as he can summon me and transport my etheric body right in front of him in the higher dimensions, while my physical body is taking a ride for work in the big city (Manila), instructs me in 20 minutes or so, and then brings back my subtle body to my physical body before I alight for work.

But there are those phlegmatic types who it seems are former laggards who have quite evolved compared to their own kinds. They absorb lessons so slow, that sometimes I keep on repeating the same lessons or subjects to them. Their long-term memories don’t work as much as the smart seekers whose IQs border the genius. So for the phlegmatics I am compelled to raise the formula to 50% learning from me, and 50% self-learning. And I have to pray to the Almighty God for additional patience to handle them because no matter how slow they are, they keep on going in the Path and no teacher has a business to throw them away just because they’re slow.

Now, for the smart ones, who admirably absorb lessons so fast, I can take on a merely residual of 3%-8%. And there are seekers whose IQs are genius level. Genius is the highest level of awakening that a seeker can develop. Geniuses in IQ who are also geniuses in emotional & social quotients are those highly evolved types and are Big Siblings unto others. Provided that they are focused in their lessons, meditate regularly, and they do the 7-ray program consistently, they can become mystics by middle age. By that time, their main guru will shift from a physical teacher to an Ascended Master who may be non-physical but of a higher-dimensional nature. In my experience, I never was initiated by a physical guru, but rather guarded & guided by an archangel and then instructed by an Ascended Master from young adulthood onwards. I became a mystic at Age 36. It was 98% self-learning for me from the inception.

Now, are you somebody else who’s dependent on a teacher 90% of the time? Whose lessons are doctrinal, never learning from texts outside of scriptures? Who regards the words of the teacher as the only true and correct expression of the divine? Then please stick to your church. Your teacher is your priest and/or patriarch and not a guru. You are rest assured of my goodwill, as we are all ‘children of God’ (emanations from the Cause of all Causes).

But if you wish to combine seekers’ and devotees’ lessons, like many phlegmatics and laggards do, well and good. No problema! Please consult matters with me, as I’m very willing to help you out.

So, Noble Seekers, good luck to your learning! I’ll be with you as much as I can as your Big Brother.

[Writ 01 October 2007, Quezon City, MetroManila. See: http://raefdargon.mysticblogs.com, http://erleargonza.blogspot.com%5D

 

S & T POLICY AND INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: IRAQ UPDATE October 12, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good morning from Manila!

It seems the excitement in Iraq’s S&T is moving to higher pitches, despite the noise and flames of the ensuing war there. The policy environment is getting to be more definitive, and a new state institution is being installed to address S&T research and development needs of the country.

See the exciting news below.

[Writ 06 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

 

New authority and law to push Iraqi research

Wagdy Sawahel

26 September 2008 | EN | 中文

Flickr/rxwarren

Iraq is to establish a scientific research authority (SRA) to promote science and technology research and improve science policy, and will consider a new law offering scientists significant financial benefits.

The SRA was announced by Abd Dhiab al-Ajili, the Iraqi minister for higher education and scientific research last week (15 September).

It will function independently from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) and have a separate, as yet undisclosed, budget. Its exact start date has yet to be decided.

The authority will oversee all of the science and technology centres associated with universities and have the capacity to fund research directly. It will also prepare science policy reports reviewing subjects including best practice for funding research, measuring the quality of scientific research, and methods for knowledge dissemination.

The SRA will suggest educational programmes and provide analysis for the MHESR on Iraq’s needs to build its scientific and technological capacity. It will also provide advice to the MHESR and university science centres on topics such as ethics, socioeconomic impact, health and environmental concerns and intellectual property rights.

The Iraqi government is also set to consider a new law aiming to persuade scientists, innovators and engineers abroad to return to the country.

Samir Ibrahim Abbas, deputy director-general at the Iraq Ministry of Science and Technology and a member of the ministerial committee preparing the law, says a draft will be ready within six weeks and submitted to the government.

The proposed law also offers incentives to top scientists and innovators working in Iraq.

These include increased salaries — currently on average less than US$1,000 a month — of 300–350 per cent making it equivalent to the Iraqi deputy ministerial salary level. Other benefits include exemption from the mandatory retirement age of 63 years and preferential treatment and reduced prices when buying land for housing.

Abbas says the law will reward different levels of scientists and innovators depending on their scientific achievements.

Scientists would be expected to apply for the benefits, overseen by a central body comprising representatives from scientific committees in different scientific and technological fields who would be responsible for the evaluation and assessment of candidates. 

 

ICT TRAINING OF PERUVIAN WOMEN – IN THEIR MOTHER TONGUE September 22, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

As late as a century ago, Americans and Spaniards made the public claims that Filipinos were “monkeys without tails.” Before they left the islands, the Spaniards believed that “Indians (including Filipinos) are animals that talk like humans.”

 

That being the case, then let us say to those Americans and Spaniards: “thanks Brothers!” Yes, we are all siblings on Earth, and if one regards the other as monkeys then we are all monkeys for that matter.

 

Now, por las Indias de Peru, there’s good news about their potentials for learning technology through their mother tongue. Read the good news below.

 

[28 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Erle Argonza is 75% Malayan blood, or is an Indio Bravo, a “monkey without tail” from Manila.]

 

 

 

Perú: mujeres aprenden en quechua a usar computadoras

Zoraida Portillo

15 agosto 2008 | ES

Mil quinientas mujeres rurales hablantes de quechua, están recibiendo capacitación en su propia lengua para emplear tecnologías de comunicación e información (TIC), como parte de un  proyecto que busca acortar la brecha digital en América Latina.

Las mujeres pertenecen a 33 comunidades de la provincia andina de Pampa Cangallo, en Ayacucho, una de las zonas más pobres del Perú.

El proyecto se denomina 1@+tú=1€ y es promovido por la Fundación CTIC (Centro Tecnológico de la Información y la Comunicación) de Asturias, institución sin fines de lucro que según un comunicado de prensa de fines de julio, desde 2007 ha capacitado a más de siete mil personas en América Latina. Su objetivo es acercar la sociedad de la información a personas que no tienen un fácil acceso.

En el Perú, el proyecto se denomina “Incorporando las TIC en la Acción Comunitaria de las Casas del Bien Estar” y es ejecutado por la ONG Movimiento Manuela Ramos (MMR), con más de 30 años de experiencia en proyectos de igualdad de género.

Claudia Rosas, asistente del proyecto, confirmó a SciDev.Net que el proyecto ha resultado altamente beneficioso para las mujeres, que ahora se sienten “menos vulnerables, mejor empoderadas y más comunicadas” y ya están enseñando las TIC a más hombres y mujeres de sus comunidades.

Gracias a la capacitación ahora saben, por ejemplo, qué hacer y dónde buscar información sobre sus derechos en cuanto a violencia doméstica y abandono familiar, pueden gestionar demandas, conocer nuevas fuentes de ingresos y realizar actividades de desarrollo comunitario, especialmente en salud.

Como la capacitación se hace en quechua, ellas se sienten cómodas y aprenden con facilidad, precisó Rosas.

Las Casas del Bien Estar han sido equipadas como infocentros. Las mujeres las denominan Rimanacuyta Yachana Wasi (Casa donde te enseñan a comunicarte).

El proyecto, que terminará a fines de agosto, ha permitido incluso que muchas personas ubiquen a sus familiares desplazados de la zona por la violencia política que sacudió a Ayacucho en la década del 80. 

 

YOUTH NOVEL PARK FOR INNOVATIVE FUTURE September 19, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Who says that the youth can’t share much about hard creative products aside from their classroom outputs that are largely novitiate or apprentice level? So many great works of genius have already gone out of universities, straight from the mental banks of adolescents and youthful instructors.

From Latin America comes a welcome news about a ‘creativity park’ whose purpose is to facilitate the build up capabilities for future innovativeness.

See the news item below. Venceremos!

[28 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

Futuros innovadores se forman en original campamento

Lisbeth Fog

9 agosto 2008 | ES

Elvis Perea y otros estudiantes en el Parque de la Creatividad

Carlos Andrés Sánchez, cortesía Parque de la Creatividad

[BUCARAMANGA] Desde el 25 de julio, 30 jóvenes se encuentran reunidos en la capital santandereana, al noreste de Colombia, en una experiencia a la que no fue fácil llegar: el Parque de la Creatividad.

“El Parque de la Creatividad es un foro que congrega a jóvenes de últimos años de colegio y algunos de primeros años de universidad, donde a través de su interacción con mentores científicos inventores se promueve la creatividad”, explica el microbiólogo colombiano Raúl Cuero, creador de la iniciativa, actualmente investigador de la Universidad de Texas Prairie View A&M, en Estados Unidos.

Es la segunda vez que sucede en el país. Los jóvenes seleccionados se reúnen en una ciudad colombiana durante casi tres semanas, a crear.

En Bucaramanga hay jóvenes de distintas ciudades colombianas y dos estadounidenses. Hombres y mujeres, negros, mestizos y blancos, de colegios privados, escuelas públicas y universidades.

La filosofía del Parque, dice Cuero, es que de la diversidad sale la creatividad.

“Tuvimos que escribir un ensayo de 800 palabras en el que buscáramos una solución creativa a un problema”, cuenta Elvis Perea, un joven recién graduado de bachiller.

Los seleccionados participarán hasta el 10 de agosto en vivencias que van desde entrenamientos de laboratorio para descubrir el ADN o entender los procesos que desencadena la clorofila, pasando por actividades artísticas, entrenamiento en mercadeo y manejos administrativos.

Se trata de formar jóvenes innovadores, que no solamente realicen investigación, sino que sepan plasmarla en un producto o un proceso eventualmente comercializable en el futuro.

Por eso, también visitan industrias, escuchan a presidentes de empresas, oyen música, una sicóloga los pone a pensar. El programa no está escrito; no saben qué pasará en la siguiente hora.

En mensaje enviado el primer día del campamento, el presidente de Colombia Álvaro Uribe dijo confiar en que “este campamento internacional de invenciones “Raúl Cuero” dará a nuestros muchachos numerosas oportunidades para que despierten su creatividad en beneficio de la ciencia, de cara a lograr su activa participación en nuestras regiones”.

Los Parques de la Creatividad tienen el apoyo de universidades como Harvard, MIT, California en Berkeley y en San Francisco y la de Texas. En Colombia apoyan empresas como Alianza Team y Casa Luker.

 

INDONESIA SHOWCASES E-LEARNING FOR SMEs, YOUTH September 15, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

From our esteem neighbor Indonesia comes a very heartwarming news about enabling its e-learning programs for (a) the small & medium enterprises and (b) youth. E-learning is not new to Indonesia nor to any of the 10-member states of ASEAN, though there are admittedly certain sectors where the technology divide is still a reality.

Taiwan’s stakeholders entered the scene as co-partners with the Indonesian stakeholders to fast-track the e-learning services and bridge the digital divide in the sectors concerned.

Below is the news caption about the e-learning project.

[28 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

 

Indonesia profits from Taiwan e-learning scheme

Ella Syafputri

12 August 2008 | EN

Indonesian students are among those benefiting from the scheme

Flickr/kinjengnet

[JAKARTA] Indonesian students, businesses and government officials are benefiting from a Taiwanese scheme to bridge the digital divide in developing countries.

Some 3,500 people and businesses have been trained in six e-learning centres sponsored by the Taiwan government in three Indonesian cities: Bandung, Jakarta and Yogyakarta.

The programme of transferable ICT skills has proven to be useful for participants, says Lester Leu, deputy director at the economic division of the Taiwan Economy and Trade Office (TETO).

“After taking part in e-learning programmes, some students and small and medium enterprises [SMEs] start to access technology and get better life opportunities. Many students and SMEs immediately set up e-commerce both for domestic and international markets,” Lester told SciDev.Net.

Lester said Taiwan started establishing the centres in 2006 and the work was finished by May 2008.

“The centres aim to bridge the digital divide as well as enhance ICT capabilities in Indonesia. Some specialisations occur in e-learning centres, such as increasing access for women, SMEs or children,” he says.

Lester says the programme has been particularly beneficial for participants from poorer communities, and the centres train high school teachers so they can pass on the skills to a larger number of people.

“Every year, we invite ICT experts from Indonesia to Taiwan to exchange experience and competencies. There is an annual local competition in e-commerce utilisation and the winners are invited to Taiwan as well,” he adds.

By the end of this year, Taiwan expects to have opened 41 e-learning centres in seven developing countries — Chile, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam — under a programme approved by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

The Taiwan government proposed the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) initiative during the 2003 APEC leadership summit in Thailand, with the goal of using Taiwan’s advanced ICT experience to assist other APEC member states in upgrading their technology capacities.

Lester hopes there will be a second phase of the initiative, with centres built in more Indonesian cities. It is due to be discussed in ADOC Week 2008, set for 29 September–4 October in Taipei.

 

EPIDEMIC CONTROL VIA EDUCATION: SRI LANKA’S KIDNEY DISEASE CASE September 4, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Kidney diseases are potentially fatal, and I’d say this from out of experience. I suffered from nephritis at Age 8, and lucky was I to survive a two-year agony due to medication availability in my home town (it was almost a 4th World town then!). That ailment ruined my chance to do athletics in grade school, it made me shrink in esteem, and the weak kidney (aside from weak tonsils) contributed to my sickliness since then.

 

So it pays not only to understand the ailment, its diagnostics and medication. It pays all the more to know the preventive side of the ailment or any ailment for that matter. If the diagnostics side shows some shades of grey, then that could surely baffle the experts (medical scientists) and specialists, as a case proves in Sri Lanka.

 

Read the news below about Sri Lanka. The ‘good’ news about it is that the ailment has provided some nice research problems for the public health experts and pharmacologists.

 

[28 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news. This expert/analyst was former Silver Medal, National Powerlifting Class A Competitions, Middleweight Division, early 90s, Philippines. He is also a yogi & health buff.]

 

 

Sri Lanka kidney disease epidemic leaves doctors baffled

Chesmal Siriwardhana

12 August 2008 | EN | 中文

Almost all those affected are men from farming families

Flickr/World Bank

Doctors and researchers are puzzled by a sharp rise in chronic kidney disease among farming communities in the North Central province of Sri Lanka.

The number of cases has been steadily rising since the disease first came to light around eight years ago. Over 18,000 cases have now been reported, with cases in Eastern and Uva provinces as well as North Central.

In 2003, almost 200 hundred patients died from renal failure in the North Central province and the figure is increasing every year. Over half the population there is engaged in agriculture.

Almost all those affected are men from farming families without pre-existing conditions than can lead to renal disease, such as hypertension or diabetes.

The absence of clinical symptoms until the late stages of renal failure is also puzzling researchers and making early diagnosis difficult, leading to many deaths.

Local researchers have come up with several possible risk factors for the disease, including high groundwater fluoride content in some affected areas, leaching of heavy metals such as cadmium from agricultural chemicals into water sources, exposure to inorganic pesticides and fertilisers, and usage of aluminium vessels to store drinking water.

Several studies conducted by local researchers have found a strong link between high cadmium concentrations in water sources and high disease prevalence.

A team of medical experts from the WHO visited Sri Lanka to assess the situation in May this year. They recommended that non-affected agricultural regions be used as control areas in studies to find the disease’s cause, and preventative measures such as using clay pots to store water are used.

A long-term clinical study was also proposed by the WHO but has yet to be implemented, Rohana Dayaratne, a geneticist and physician attached to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka in Colombo, told SciDev.Net. 

He says local and international researchers should lead a combined effort to identify the causes and preventive measures, and that local researchers have a good knowledge about ground realities that should be combined with the financial and other resources of the international community.

The majority of the affected farming communities were settlers from different parts of the country, he says, meaning that there could be a genetic component to the disease.

The growing number of patients suffering from chronic renal disease is becoming a heavy burden on the health sector, as the treatments — dialysis and organ transplants — are costly procedures.

Efforts are underway to educate the public about risk factors, maximise early diagnosis with weekly clinics and field visits to vulnerable areas, and introduce preventive measures.

 

CUBA’S KIDS SMARTEST IN SCIENCE – UNESCO REPORT September 2, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Amigos y amigas en los todos paises, Buenos dias!

 

Here is a very surprising and brightening news from the South, about a research done led by the UNESCO aimed at measuring the science aptitude of children in the entire Latin America. Surprise, because Cuba’s children were shown to be ahead of the pack.

 

How does that news go for Uncle Sam, whose own kids are lagging behind in science and mathematics tests? White kids in the USA are particularly less smart than their Asian compatriots, which devastates in no small measure the ‘racial supremacy’ hubris of White America.

 

Below is the news item about the most gladdening news about Cuba so far.

 

Happy reading! Venceremos!

 

[14 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

 

 

 

Cuba: Niños, los mejores en ciencia en la región

Daniela Hirschfeld

5 julio 2008 | ES

Estudio de Unesco analizó educación primaria en 16 países de la región

Eduardo Barrios, UNESCO

Los escolares cubanos son los que tienen mejor rendimiento en matemática, lectura y ciencia, mientras los dominicanos ostentan los menores resultados, según un estudio comparativo elaborado por la Oficina regional de Educación de la UNESCO difundido el 20 de junio en Santiago de Chile.

El informe —titulado Segundo Estudio Regional Comparativo y Explicativo (Serce)— evaluó entre 2004 y 2008 a 200.000 alumnos de 3º y 6º año de educación primaria (que tienen 8 y 11 años, respectivamente) de 3.000 escuelas de 16 países de América Latina, además del estado mexicano de Nuevo León.

En la prueba, que fijó un nivel de resultados medio regional de 500 puntos, los niños cubanos de 3º año obtuvieron entre 600 y 700 puntos.

Luego se ubicaron Costa Rica, México (incluido Nueva León), Uruguay y Chile, con una calificación de entre 500 y 600 puntos en todas las áreas. Después, en el promedio regional, están Colombia, Perú, Argentina y Brasil.

Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, República Dominicana, Ecuador, Paraguay y El Salvador están por debajo de la media en todas las materias evaluadas, con entre 400 y 500 puntos.

El estudio halló que la diferencia entre el rendimiento regional es más notoria pues mientras la mitad de los estudiantes de Cuba alcanzaron un nivel de excelencia, en Panamá, Paraguay, Guatemala, Nicaragua y República Dominicana, sólo tres por ciento de los estudiantes son excelentes.

Esto supone que aún los alumnos de menor desempeño en Cuba están en un punto de partida muy adelantado comparados con la región.

Asimismo, la investigación —que no diferenció entre instituciones públicas o privadas— analizó factores como el clima estudiantil, el nivel socioeconómico y la ubicación de la escuela.

“El clima escolar es la variable que mayor influencia ejerce sobre el rendimiento de los estudiantes”, señala el documento. Un buen clima escolar “produce un alza en el rendimiento que va de 20 a 50 puntos”, detalla.

“La generación de un ambiente de respeto, acogedor y positivo es esencial para promover el aprendizaje entre los estudiantes”, destaca.

La segunda variable que explica el menor rendimiento fue la segregación escolar por condiciones socioeconómicas y culturales de los alumnos, y su incidencia es mayor en lectura que en matemática y ciencias.

Esta conclusión explicaría por qué países con mayores ingresos, como Chile, Argentina y Uruguay obtuvieron mejores resultados.

También incidió en el desempeño estudiantil la ubicación de la escuela, pues los centros rurales obtuvieron en casi todas las pruebas resultados inferiores a los colegios urbanos en los mismos países. 

 

COLOMBIA’S MASSIVE SCIENCE FUNDING August 25, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Colombia is no mere provider of dark images of drug wars and phoney rebellions that seem to end nowhere. Science research has been scaling up in the country, as shown by massive funding of relevant efforts.

Below is a news caption that highlights the encouragement of the Colombian government on project proponents to apply for funding from out of the massive cache of funds (rather than cache of arms) for research.

Enjoy your read!

[03 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

Colombia abre convocatoria masiva para apoyar ciencia

Daniela Hirschfeld

30 junio 2008 | ES

Colombia financiará actividades de ciencia y tecnología

Flickr / De Gevaarlijke Chemicus

Por primera vez en sus 40 años, el Instituto Colombiano para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (Colciencias) abrió una masiva convocatoria de 11 propuestas para promover la formación avanzada y las actividades de ciencia, tecnología e innovación en el país.

Una de las más esperadas por la comunidad científica colombiana es la de intercambio y movilidad internacional de investigadores e innovadores, que permitirá participar en eventos y pasantías cortas de alto nivel en cualquier país.

Carlos Nupia, jefe de la División de Internacionalización de la Ciencia de Colciencias, informó a SciDev.Net que es la primera vez que se unen todos los programas y convenios que tiene el país con otros organismos de ciencia y tecnología.

“Esto se pudo hacer gracias a que el intercambio ha aumentado y a que Colciencias tiene la meta de aumentar en tamaño y complejidad los programas de movilidad. Es una convocatoria robusta y de gran alcance”, detalló.
Cuatro de las convocatorias ofrecen capacitación a través de programas de doctorado nacionales, apoyo a jóvenes investigadores e innovadores y estudios de maestría, doctorado y pasantías en el exterior para gerentes.

Otro grupo está dirigido a promover la innovación nacional a través de cofinanciamiento y créditos a programas estratégicos y proyectos de investigación, desarrollo e innovación.

También se ofrece la modalidad de riesgo tecnológico compartido y asistencia técnica a planes de negocio de empresas tecnológicas, además de la vinculación de investigadores colombianos y extranjeros en empresas.
También se ofrece cofinanciar solicitudes de patentes de invención y certificados para quienes obtengan variedades vegetales.

La cantidad de investigadores que podrán beneficiarse con estas propuestas y el dinero que se destinará a cada llamado varía según la convocatoria.

La financiación proviene del presupuesto de Colciencias, sumado a recursos que puedan otorgar otros organismos de ciencia y tecnología de Colombia y agencias
internacionales.

Convocatorias en www.colciencias.gov.co

 

BOOSTING SCIENCE FOR YOUNG: MERCOSUR’S LEAD August 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Boosting science and technology among the young has been the dream of many countries across the centuries. In the United States, this dream is being rekindled after studies show that its kids lag behind those of other countries’ in science and math tests.

To be lackadaisical on the quality of science instruction to youth have dire repercussions in the economy in the long run. A growing emerging market can crash back to Stone Age if it does so for a period of two (2) decades straight.

Incidentally, the Mercosur experts know the lessons well regarding S&T and the physical economy, and so they are taking the lead in boosting S&T education. Read the news caption below for the report.

Enjoy your read!

[31 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

Ministros del Mercosur promueven ciencia en la escuela

Fuente: La Prensa

18 junio 2008 | ES

Ministro Juan Carlos Tedesco, durante la 34º Reunión de Ministros de Educación del Mercosur

Ministerio de Educación de Argentina

La matemática y las ciencias exactas deben enseñarse desde los primeros años de la infancia, pues está comprobado que eso favorece el posterior desarrollo de estos conocimientos, fundamentales para formar ciudadanos más calificados.

Así lo aseguró el ministro de Educación de Argentina, Juan Carlos Tedesco, durante la 34º Reunión de Ministros de Educación del Mercosur (Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay y Uruguay) realizada en Buenos Aires la semana pasada, según informó el diario argentino La Prensa el sábado 14 de junio.  

En este encuentro, las autoridades educativas del Mercosur debatieron sobre la enseñanza de las ciencias y discutieron sobre la necesidad de una mejor capacitación y acreditación docente y de las carreras científicas. 

“La salud, los alimentos, el consumo de transgénicos o el problema de la energía no son objeto del debate democrático. Es más, forman parte de las decisiones de empresas multinacionales y creo que a muchas de ellas no les viene nada mal el analfabetismo científico de las personas”, opinó la ministra de Educación uruguaya, María Simón, durante el debate. 

“Las mujeres en Uruguay representan 60 por ciento del alumnado en la universidad, pero sólo ocupan 25 por ciento en carreras de ingeniería”, detalló Simón, quien fue decana de la Facultad de Ingeniería estatal.

“Se asume prejuiciosamente que las ciencias son para los varones”, agregó.

Por su parte, según detalló La Prensa, el ministro colombiano, Gabriel Burgos Mantilla, estimó que habría que evaluar a los docentes “que hacen que los niños aborrezcan las matemáticas” y capacitarlos. 

Asimismo, la viceministra de Paraguay, Marta Lafuente, dijo que hay que pensar cómo lograr un efectivo aporte de la universidad en la enseñanza de las ciencias básicas, una opción que sólo elige 30 por ciento de los que ingresan al nivel superior en ese país.

Enlace al artículo completo

 

COLOMBIA’S CHILDREN GET THOUSANDS OF COMPUTERS August 13, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Colombia has been wracked in internecine conflicts and drug wars for many decades now. This republic has to struggle hard to keep itself afloat, as the conflicts and the war against drug cartels has rendered it into a ‘failed state’ of the south.

The recent good news is that the war against drug cartels had seemed to turn around towards victory in the long run. Added to this good news is the recent move of relevant stakeholders to provide thousands of computers for children, thus boosting basic education in this country.

Happy reading!

[28 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

 

Colombia: 65 mil escolares tendrán su propio computador

Lisbeth Fog

11 junio 2008 | ES

Colombia entregará 65 mil computadoras portátiles a escolares

Fundación OLPC

[BOGOTÁ] Como producto de la gestión del gobernador del departamento de Caldas, en Colombia, este año 15 mil estudiantes de primaria de las escuelas públicas recibirán computadores portátiles, como parte del programa educativo Una portátil por niño.

Mediante un convenio suscrito en Boston (Estados Unidos) entre el gobernador Mario Aristizábal Muñoz y la Fundación One Laptop Per Child (OLPC, en su sigla en inglés), en total los niños caldenses beneficiados llegarán a ser 65 mil en un período de tres años.

“De esta forma se garantiza una cobertura con el programa del 100 por ciento de los niños de básica primaria en el departamento de Caldas”, dijo el gobernador a SciDev.Net. “Este es un ejemplo del compromiso social y educativo del Plan de Gobierno de Caldas”.

De acuerdo con Aristizábal Muñoz, el fundador y presidente de OLPC Nicolás Negroponte visitará próximamente Caldas, departamento de aproximadamente 1.170.000 habitantes, para conocer de cerca el programa de TIC en educación primaria.

Además de entregar los computadores, se llevará a cabo un proceso de socialización de la propuesta con docentes, alumnos y padres de familia.

Según el portal de la Gobernación de Caldas, Aristizábal Muñoz explicó que Una portátil por niño es definitivamente la revolución de la educación en Caldas, que les brindará a los niños grandes posibilidades para expandir sus conocimientos.

El propio gobernador mostró el equipo a la prensa el pasado 27 de mayo. Se trata de un computador blanco con verde, y muy liviano. 

“En este computador”, afirmó Aristizábal, “están las bibliotecas necesarias a nivel mundial, cultural y académico. Aquí está el Skype, a través del cual los niños se pueden comunicar entre ellos a nivel nacional e internacional”.

Nicolás Bueno, asesor del proyecto OLPC, anunció que ya existe la infraestructura necesaria para ponerlos a funcionar, en tanto la cobertura conseguida hasta el momento es del 95 por ciento de las escuelas.

Las pruebas piloto se realizarán con 400 computadores. Con éste, y otros proyectos de TIC en el departamento, se busca aumentar la calidad en la formación de maestros y estudiantes, aseguró el gobernador Aristizábal, a través del uso pedagógico de las TIC.

Eso significa usarlos en ambientes de aprendizaje apropiados, que estimulen la creatividad, el autoaprendizaje y el desarrollo de competencias para fortalecer propuestas de desarrollo cultural, competencias laborales y el rescate de saberes tradicionales. Estaremos formando “mejores hombres para el mañana”, remató el gobernador.

 

ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, MEXICO: BIG SCIENCE PLAYERS August 12, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Magandang umaga! Good morning!

Playing it big in science is a surefire formula for making it big economically. Conversely, downplaying scientific research & development is a hell-fire formula for bringing down the productive sectors of nation’s economy, and bring it back later to a 3rd world status.

Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, the three (3) mightiest economies of Latin America, had learned the developmental lessons well across their history. The said economies are today the leading ones in science, which partly explains their relatively robust economies, as observed in the news below.

Happy reading!

[28 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

Tres países concentran ciencia de América Latina

Fuente: Clarín

10 junio 2008 | ES

Alberto Ricardo Dibern, secretario de Políticas Universitarias de Argentina, en la reunión de Cartagena

Galería Pública de CRES

Argentina, Brasil y México concentran más de la mitad de los universitarios de la región en carreras de grado y de posgrado y producen el 82 por ciento de la producción científica, de acuerdo con texto de Juan Pablo Casas, publicado en Clarín, la semana pasada (6 de junio).

Los datos fueron presentados durante la Conferencia Regional de Educación Superior (CRES) que congregó a casi 3.500 delegados, funcionarios y representantes de 37 países de América latina y el Caribe, del 4 al 6 de junio, en Cartagena, Colombia.

 
De acuerdo con
Clarín, los sistemas de educación superior de estos tres países son los más avanzados y complejos de la región, al concentrar, juntos, el 55 por ciento de los estudiantes de grado y posgrado.

Asimismo, los tres países concentran el 82 por ciento de la producción científica y el 78 por ciento de la solicitud de patentes.

Enlace al texto completo de Clarín

 

IRAQ’S S&T THRUST FOR HIGHER EDUCATION August 11, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Iraq is moving definitely moving forward. After the devastation wrought by the Anglo-American forces in the country, a devastation that continues as warring ethno-religious communities clash with one another for hegemony, Iraq has been saddled with gargantuan problems of rebuilding its S&T base as a prerequisite for reconstructing its economy.

The effort to move forward has been paying off. The thrust on S&T for higher education has been designed and put forward by the stakeholders, with foreign support for the next five (5) years. The ambitious $1 Billion project is reported in the news below.

Enjoy your read.

[27 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

Iraq puts forward ambitious higher education plan

Wagdy Sawahel

10 June 2008 | EN | 中文

Iraqi students will benefit from the initiative

Flickr/lakerae

Iraqi officials have proposed a five-year, US$1 billion higher education plan to increase the science and technology workforce and promote science-based sustainable development.

The Iraqi Education Initiative, which would run from 2009–2013, was announced by Zuhair A. G. Humadi, senior advisor to Iraq’s vice president Adil Abdul Mahdi, at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference last month (25–30 May) in Washington DC, United States.

Under the plan, which will be financed by revenue generated by Iraq’s oil reserves, university infrastructure will be rebuilt, including new laboratories and establishing Internet connections.

Over the next five years, the plan would see 10,000 students sent abroad each year on full scholarships to earn two-year technical degrees as well as Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees from world class universities in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The degrees would be in a variety of fields including engineering, health, science and technology — to increase the scientific capacity of the country — and education.

As a condition of the scholarship the students must either return to Iraq after completing their degree or repay the government.

The plan was first proposed to Iraq’s parliament on 11 May by prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and is awaiting approval following parliamentary voting in the next three months. Upon final approval, an action plan will be prepared.

Fawzi Al Naima, former dean of the College of Engineering at Nahrain University in Baghdad, Iraq, told SciDev.Net the plan is “essential to put the higher education system in Iraq back on the right track, as it is in desperate need of rehabilitation of the existing universities and the building of new universities”.

Al Naima, who is now working in the Faculty of Telecommunication and Information Engineering at the University of Engineering and Technology Taxila in Pakistan, adds that the initiative should include plans to encourage university professors who have been forced to leave the country to return.

 

 
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