We doff our newsroom cap and join the rest of the country to honor three Filipino students who recently won bronze medals at the 33rd International Olympiad in Informatics.
They are Vincent dela Cruz, Raphael Dylan Dalida, and Frederick Ivan Tan, who outsmarted hundreds of contestants from more than 80 countries.
The Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute said this year’s IOI, hosted online due to the pandemic by Singapore, featured a metal glove of programming challenges that tested the competitors’ coding skills and creativity, with problems involving everything from a dungeons game to a mutating DNA.
“The IOI is a proving ground for some of the brightest upcoming minds who are in the best position to solve the world’s problems. Apart from coding skills, contestants also need to think on their feet and find solutions to anything that’s thrown at them,” said Marte Soliza, president of the National Olympiad in Informatics-Philippines .
NOI.PH put together and organized the Philippine contingent in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute.
But as we applaud the performance of the Filipino students, what really is informatics?
This is the study of computational systems, especially those for data storage and retrieval, synonymous, according to ACM Europe and Informatics Europe, with computer science and computing as a profession, in which the central notion is transformation of information.
This is really something that we can collectively take pride in.
But even as we congratulate them and ourselves for a job well done, we must posthaste look at the greater picture at the need to improve and maintain basic education so that coming home with medals would be part of the norm, the median as it were, and not the out-and-out peculiarity in academic performance.
Instance, while the global assessment Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2019 disclosed that the Philippines lags behind 57 other countries in Math and Science achievements, the study also reported that less than 50 percent of Grade 4 learners only were receiving instructions with “high clarity.”
This is the all-embracing scenario where our academics and others interested in our track record should have their heartbeats on.