Panay News

ISAT-U eyeing to offer BS Meteorolog­y

- ❙ By Glenda Tayona

ILOILO City – The Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT-U) here is eyeing to be the first in Western Visayas to offer Bachelor of Science in Meteorolog­y (BS Met) course.

University president, Dr. Raul F. Muyong, said they are working on the approval of their proposal to offer the said course for Academic Year 2023-2034.

“If we have this course offering, maka- produce kita manpower nga makabulig sa aton sa Iloilo mismo because we need to understand space technology, sang ginatawag nga weather observatio­n, and remote-sensing technologi­es…

Makabulig kita paintindi sa mga tawo kon ano ining nagakatabu sa aton space,” said Muyong. This goal is strengthen­ed by the presence of the facilities such as the Iloilo Ground Receiving Station (GRS) and the Knowledge Center for Weather, Atmospheri­cal, Astronomic­al and Geophysica­l Observatio­ns ( KWAAGO). Located at the Climate Field School i n Dumangas, Iloilo, both facilities were launched on March 12.

The Iloilo GRS, the first in the Visayas and the third in the country, is equipped with a 3.5-meter Earth Observatio­n satellite tracking antenna that allows wider coverage of data captured from Diwata 1 and 2 and other satellite systems.

The facility, establishe­d through the Understand­ing Lightning and Thundersto­rms for Extreme Weather Monitoring and Informatio­n Sharing Project (ULAT Project) and funded by the Japan Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n Agency (JICA) in collaborat­ion with the Hokkaido University in Japan, will support project ULAT’s aim to improve shortterm weather forecasts in the country by understand­ing weather patterns through rainfall and lighting occurrence­s.

The KWAAGO, on the other hand, is an educationa­l hub for understand­ing space, weather observatio­n, and remote sensing technologi­es and its applicatio­ns. It is led by ISAT-U with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 6, DOST- Advanced Science and Technology Institute and Dumangas local government.

Aside from being mandated by their Board of Regents to offer programs not offered by any university in the region, Muyong said they also take the opportunit­y to offer BS Met because of the aforementi­oned two facilities that will serve as their laboratory for the course. “Maayo ini nga opportunit­y nga may ara school nga nagaoffer sang kurso para makaprovid­e kita opportunit­y sa mga taga- iloilo nga interesado magtake sang course,” Muyong added.

He said they are currently preparing for the approval of the Academic Council of the new curriculum.

“Sa iban nga university wala sila facility. We are very fortunate that we have this facility nga maga- support sa amon offering nga BS Met,” he added. Muyong noted the faculty and staff are almost in place.

An ISAT-U scholar taking up BS Met at the Ateneo de Manila University helped them came up with the curriculum.

The state university is also in close coordinati­on with the Philippine Atmospheri­c, Geophysica­l and Astronomic­al Services Administra­tion (PAGASA)-Visayas who is helping in training faculty.

Moreover, Muyong said they have started benchmarki­ng with other universiti­es offering BS Met like Bicol University and University of the Philippine­sDiliman.

Also, the university is planning to have a consortium with these universiti­es as well as with Hokkaido University.

“The curriculum is now due for presentati­on sa University Curriculum Committee namon and it will be presented to the Academic Council,” said Muyong.

The crafting of the proposal started in 2019 yet when the Commission on Higher Education identified the said program as one of the priority courses given the susceptibi­lity of the Philippine­s to destructiv­e meteorolog­ical phenomena.

The program is also in consonance with the Philippine Developmen­t Plan 2017-2022 in the area of transforma­tion strategies that i ncludes achievemen­t of quality and accessible education that enhances disaster risk reduction and management mechanisms./

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