CyberFair Project ID: 6330

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Defending the Gateway of the Poor
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

School: University of the Philippines High School Cebu
    Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

39 students, ages 13-16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 23, 2010. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

Classes and Teachers: Prof. May Christina Bugash, Research classes

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is the entire Cebuano population, both here in Cebu and abroad. This community encompasses the students, parents, teachers, alumni, supporters, and prominent figures who really helped our school, among others. To be inclusive, we consider the whole global community as part of our community since there are a lot of Filipinos, who play an important role in the movement of saving UP High, scattered all over the globe. This community that we’re working with or working for is composed of people who believe in education, particularly the ideals of UP High School Cebu, people who experienced what it feels like to be a UP student, and people who are against the violation of education rights. Our project would never have materialized without that abetting community, for it is that same community that is very involved, that is part of the flesh of our project.

2. Summary of Our Project

This project is about how our school, the University of the Philippines High School Cebu, survived amidst the threats of closing it. The continued existence of our school is not just merely for our own sake, but also for the sake of the poor but deserving students that are yet still to come. This project includes the efforts of students, parents, faculty, alumni and even people outside the institution (community) and how we believed and united in order to save our institution. For the future generations to gain access to the quality education that the institution gives, we will continue to fight for our school’s existence.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

One of the difficulties in accomplishing this project are the facilities. We only had a few computers working burdened with slow internet connection. This gave us a hard time in downloading big files & even building a simple page took us a long time. So, the others used their computers at home and some did their work in Internet cafes where internet connection was faster.

Next in line, we had an adversity with our time management. The school was at the peak of its battle against closure upon the opening of Cyberfair 2010. The faculty, students and staff were all busy fighting this denunciation led by our very own Dean. The official start of our project-making was on the early week of the last month enclosed in the Cyberfair season, leaving us with less than 20 days to work on our project. Besides, the project had to compete for time with the other academic subjects that really mandated attendance too since we’re nearing the end of our school year. To add, the members had a lot of commitments to fulfill and they had to weigh down their priorities.

But in the end, we were able to find solutions to these looming time-management problems that we had. First, we stayed late at night in school for discussion and progress monitoring. We also set a timetable to follow. To save time, we were divided into groups and assigned topics. With the help of our teacher-in-charge Ms. May Christina Bugash, doing things went faster. During weekends, we had to stay in the school too & had to sleep inside the computer laboratory. Others who have appointments during the day return at night and stay awake till the dawn, not sleeping in order to make up for the time when they weren’t able to work on the project. But, we just like to point out that even if this was the case, our health wasn’t affected for we were sustained with ample food. We always kept snacks with us and upon returning to our homes, we had the chance to go to a deep slumber.

Another seeming obstacle was the fact that the topic was just so close to home. Unlike our previous entries that featured Filipino delicacies like tuba and puso, focusing on our own university itself was more challenging. We had to think of the topic as if we were 'outsiders' looking in. Sometimes, we just assume too much that the outside world knows about these things, not really placing ourselves into the shoes of others. So, our teacher had to constantly remind us to assume the thinking of other people who don’t know about …

5. Our Project Sound Bite

This project is made possible not just with four to seven students but with three different year levels, involving a total of 39 students, working on content, layout, graphic and web design. It also involves the community’s voice about the issue of our school thus making the viewers realize that everything can be made possible if everybody is united, even if the worse case scenario might happen.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Teamwork and time management were the lessons we learned while we were working on our project. It’s not easy to work without the help of other year levels since we have our different task assignments. Interdependence is key and we learned to value each other's ideas and efforts.

This Cyberfair project addresses content standards and requirements in our classes in Computer, Social Studies, Research, and English.

For Computer, we learned how to use photo-editing software, create our own website from scratch (no ready-made templates), and write CSS and HTML code. If not for this Cyberfair project, we would not have been able to learn all these skills in such a short period of time.

For Social Studies, we learned how to look back at history and appreciate the heritage of our Filipino and Cebuano culture, particularly, the core values of our national university, the University of the Philippines. Learning about our school and its problems has made us value our education all the more. Most importantly, this has taught us how to fight for our rights and those of other students and children who wish for quality education.

Our Research subject has taught us how to organize and present our data in an objective manner.

And of course, since we are not native English speakers, this project has greatly improved our communication skills in English. Thereby enhancing our connection with the global world.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

* desktop computers at home and in the computer lab * laptop computers (courtesy of our teachers who own them) * mobile phones (those with built-in cameras were especially helpful in data gathering) * the traditional pen and paper tandem (for taking notes) * the telephone (for conducting phone interviews or for setting appointments) * the internet itself * Photoshop, Dreamweaver, among others for the website-making * digital cameras * mp3 digital voice recorder and players (for saving our song and interviews) * USB flash drives (for storing our precious data) * Ubuntu Linux (the operating system of the computers in the computer lab) * YouTube (for hosting our video streams) * various newspapers with articles regarding UP High * oral interviews with people involved

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

By fighting for our school front and center---joining rallies, talking about the issues, writing about it, making this Cyberfair project---we have become ambassadors of education, not only representing the Cebuano community but fighting for the rights of the underprivileged to quality education.

Another circumstance wherein the students served as ambassadors and/or spokespersons was during personal interviews. In order to find reliable and substantial information for the content of our project, aside from relying on the secondary information, the students needed to do interviews. Leaving all hesitations and anxiousness behind, the students set for appointments and conversed with high-ranking officials from various organizations and parties. Talking to prominent and influential people was no easy feat but the students used their communication skills to get the aim of attaining data.

Some personalities who will really be helpful once interviewed were very hard to reach because either they don’t have the time to entertain us or we don’t have the resources and time as well to set up an appointment. So, as a remedy, we opted to reach them through the cyberspace. The students acted as spokespersons when they contacted different personalities through e-mail and had a correspondence with the figures, asking questions and opinions about the topic.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

We strongly believe that we could exude a great impact on our community through this project that we have. Our past entries for the Cyberfair have informed a lot of people and with this project, we hope to do the same thing—--to inform and open the minds of the community. We will also stand in our belief that the community has learned a lot of new things (especially about forces binding us together) through our project.

With this project in hand, we are aiming for a community that will repulse any manifestation of violation of rights for education. We aim to empower the community and show them the yielded effort of a community and an institution working hand in hand. We want the world to know that when it comes to issues like ours, a strong and united community can really make a difference. To add, we would also like to inform everyone that UP High students, like any member of the society, can have a voice in the proceedings that are swirling around in the community. We want to note that our school is developing students that know how to cherish and defend their rights, students who take any endeavor for the realization of their goals.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Our project involves different sectors of society, from students to the alumni including politicians, newspaper editors, businessmen and many more. They aired out their thoughts about the closure of such a prestigious school like ours which supports poor but deserving students.

Yes, we needed the advice and the help of many. Special mention would be to our teachers, parents and those who helped in the web design.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We picked up a lot of insights and lessons as we made this project. One is that we knew more about the involvement of our community in our endeavor of saving the school. When we dug deeper, we were surprised to know that some were really passionate about this, fervent enough to risk their own tranquility. We learned that individuality is a concept that one should fully embrace. There are always those who will support you and will stand by your side.

Another thing we learned is that if one is really zealous about a certain goal, then, the feasibility that that goal will be fulfilled is very enormous.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 6330)

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