By Asa Madale
INFORMATION and communication technologies are powerful tools in enhancing learning and communication processes for marginalized communities and individuals. Such technologies are vital in advancing peace for sustainable development. However, such technologies contributed to the emerging “digital divide” between the information-rich (those who have access to these resources) and the information-poor (those who not have).
Thus, the challenge everyone faces is in developing the capabilities to provide and offer access to such technologies.
According to Mindanao State University president Macapado A. Muslim, “One of my top priority programs when I assumed office on January 2008 was to provide the main campus an improved capacity in instruction, research, and extension by equipping it with relevant modern technologies such as the establishment of the College of Information Technology (CIT). This will create more employment, livelihood opportunities and economic growth among the people by developing potential IT business applications for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the rest of Mindanao.” Muslim said the construction of the College of Information and Technology (CIT) three-story school building is near completion, including work to modernize its facilities.
Earlier, President Benigno S. Aquino III, who led the groundbreaking of the CIT school building on April 23,2013 said in his speech in Filipino “For more than five decades, the MSU has cultivated and shaped the mental abilities of thousands of children in Mindanao. Once the project is completed , President Aquino III said students and the community near MSU will benefit from the modern computer training center, new teleconference , and multi-media room and laboratory for teaching information technology.
The MSU’s College of Information Technology building is to be utilized as the Information Center of the university, Mindanao’s biggest, which operates as an umbrella outfit for several other state universities across Southern Mindanao. Muslim said the visit of President Aquino marked a new milestone in the MSU main-campus enhancing to pursue its dream to become “a world class university by 2020”.
Muslim said the move to modernize, improve and develop the ICT facilities at the main MSU campus here will provide an improved capacity in instruction, research, and extension by equipping it with relevant and modern technologies. The system will also establish an information technology literacy program that is responsive to the multi-sectoral needs of the ARMM. The establishment of the CIT will likewise serve as a host for information relevant to the socio-economic development of the region. Muslim further explained that the idea of improving and modernizing the ICT at the main campus will provide greater opportunities for the university to effectively carry out its role in providing the less-privileged population of the ARMM region access to information and quality education, which are both essential and crucial to ensuring sustainable peace and development in the area.
The CIT building will also house classrooms and computer laboratories, a computer training center, system department computer studies, support services, training department services and training department server farm, personnel office, an information technology library, books/holdings and other amenities.
For this school year 2014-2015, the CIT’s on-going projects iclude the upgrading of existing local area network, design and implementation of comprehensive fiber optic backbone for MSU-Marawi, establishment of CCTV camera network in the campus, enhancement of MSU website portal, and improvement of payroll system and computerized enrollment system.