Pisay board to tackle how to teach ‘responsible use of technology’

Sofia Tomacruz
Pisay board to tackle how to teach ‘responsible use of technology’
Amid the Philippine Science High School controversy, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña says they will better educate students on ethical behavior and proper use of technology

MANILA, Philippines – After outrage over 6 male Philippine Science High School (PSHS) students who shared nude photos of their female classmates, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the country’s premier science high school will tackle how to teach the responsible use of technology.

De La Peña, who is ex-officio chairman of the PSHS board of trustees, said the issue highlighted the need for teachers and parents to reevaluate and educate students on how to use “new technology.”

“We will take this up in our next board meeting. After all, the trustees are representing agencies and sectors dealing with young people whom we hope to mold as leaders particularly in bringing our country to a more developed and competitive level – but not at the expense of good moral character, ethical behavior, and respect for others,” De La Peña said.

“As it is now, there are more things we should monitor in the activities and behavior of our young people, our scholars, our students. While new technologies can make living more convenient, their use can also be abused.”

De La Peña said these were among his “concerns” after the PSHS board decided to bar 6 male students from their graduation rites for sharing nude photos of their female classmates online. (READ: Pisay board defends final decision on students who shared lewd photos)

He said that while the issue involved only PSHS students, using social media “is not just a PSHS or Pisay problem.”

“Educators, parents, and others who have a hand in molding our young should join hands to look into these concerns and do something about it. We are concerned with the future of our youth, including those who make mistakes in the process of growing up,” he said.

De La Peña’s statement comes after a week of internal protests at PSHS and public outrage on the initial decision of the school board to allow the 6 students to join the school’s graduation rites.

It eventually reversed its decision and barred the 6 boys from marching, but allowed 3 of them to still receive diplomas. The 3 others got certificates of completion.

In an official statement, the PSHS board urged the media and the public “to respect the privacy and maintain the dignity of our scholars, and not aggravate the issue further which unnecessarily puts those children’s future at risk.” – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.