ICTzation is the trend – Limson



In this last in a series of interviews with Dr. Joel P. Limson, president of Negros Oriental State University (NOrSU), he outlines what is forthcoming for the state university and for its stakeholders, but emphasizing the joy he would derive to see students coming physically to class in due time.

Negros Weekly (NW): How has NOrSU fared in the national licensure exams? And, do you have a tracer study of your alumni? Where are most of them now?

Dr. Limson: In 2016, we placed number 1 in the Geology examination. Of late, we placed number 4. In past Geology licensure exams, we placed either number 5 or 6.

That’s one of the challenges that we have encountered, especially in our Alumni Affairs Office, the tracking down of our graduates. Since I came in, we have done some tracing where our students are now. Our study is not yet complete, but most of our graduates in the College of Education are employed in the Department of Education. Those who are in business are into their private practice, while some of our business graduates are in call centers. Our engineering graduates are mostly gainfully employed. I could hardly find our graduates who we may want to take in to do some of our engineering works because we have many infrastructure projects. Most of them are in Cebu or Manila working in private engineering firms. There was a time when we were number 4 in Criminology in the entire region. Our graduates are quite known and they are easily employed in the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Penology, and other similar organizations. For our Agriculture graduates, this is most rewarding because many have gone back to their farms. The university has helped them get some loans in banks to start their agricultural entrepreneur undertakings. Some municipalities have a lot of agricultural programs. In Bayawan City, for example, if you’re going to plant one hectare of bananas and other priority commodities, they will be given assistance for free. It’s very encouraging, there’s really money in agriculture and fisheries. Moreover, the former NONAS or Negros Oriental National Agricultural School is now part of the campus of NOrSU Bayawan-Sta. Catalina.

NW: What is the primary thrust of NOrSU, and how does it differ from other state universities and colleges (SUCs)?

Dr. Limson: SUCs are unique because they have their own thrusts and strengths. Like my former school, the Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College, it is along the Visayan Sea and the thrust is on fisheries. The Visayan Sea, as you know, contributes something like P25 billion in the fisheries industry in the country. The Visayan Sea is one of the richest in the world in terms of marine biodiversity, second only to Madagascar. It used to be the fishing grounds of Estancia, of Northern Iloilo. Thus, the focus there is on marine biodiversity and coastal resource development and fisheries, and other related products. I have gotten a lot of support from the national government at that time because of the development of the Visayan Sea. You must have heard about the Gigantes Island, that is the center of the Visayan Sea, the center of the world, according to experts. Government has poured a lot of support for that project.

NOrSU is a unique institution and it covers the entire Negros Oriental. We have been told that if we could generate 30 percent of the budget given to us by the national government, then we would be effective and efficient. We have actually generated 35 of 40 percent of our budget. Our goal for my second term is to strengthen agricultural production. Our goal is to provide every employee of NOrSU, 800 of them, one tray of eggs every week, one sack of rice every month, one kilo of pork every week, one kilo of dressed chicken every week produced by the university. They are our captured market. We are going to sell it to them at a lower price and they can pay the university at the end of the month. Each campus has its own flagship program. For Bayawan-Sta. Catalina, it’s agriculture together with Pamplona. In Bais campus, it’s fisheries. In Mabinay campus, it’s upland agriculture.

NW: What are your most immediate plans in the coming months?

Dr. Limson: Because of the challenges brought by the pandemic, the basic thing to do is for us to impart effectively the teaching-learning process, thus, our ICTization or connectivity. This would involve the strengthening of our connectivity, procurement of a learning management system, equipment, training of our full-time and part-time faculty as this is now the trend, the direction. We are strengthening the e-resources of the library. We have placed an electronic library in Bayawan campus, the second biggest campus, and another one, hopefully, in Bais campus. It will make things easier both for teachers and students. Education is important, but today, it is important to take care of our health. – NWI