by Anonymous Mindanaoan Student
While it is okay for other courses to have their On-the-Job Training online, it is a different story for engineering courses that require hands-on experience.
As a civil engineering student, having my OJT in a virtual setup is very frustrating. I have at least expected that the tasks assigned to us will be relevant to my course. For example, we can design building systems or estimate a bill of quantities. These activities are already redundant since we already did them in school. The company that our school partnered with has an awful idea: they made us type documents throughout the entire duration of our OJT.
What will the students gain from typing documents? Nothing. Sure, those documents are related to my course. However, what we are doing is searching the net and copy-pasting information. This is not an isolated case. Other engineering schools from the Philippines are also experiencing the same dilemma. How do I know? The company that my school partnered with also partnered with other universities. Their task is just the same as ours: to type useless documents.
Because of the pandemic, the school staff is struggling, but this is not an excuse to provide substandard education. There are ways to give a high-quality education without sacrificing the health of the students. For example, engineering schools could partner with the Technical Education and Skills Authority (TESDA) that opened a web-based platform that offers free courses relevant to engineering. The school can help the students get a certificate of competency or even a national certification. The school can also partner with other companies who offer training on highly valuable computer applications.
As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, we have to produce competent engineering students who can design disaster-resilient infrastructures. How can we do that if schools are not providing us with proper training?
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