SMART, AUP inaugurate wireless lab
[June 11, 2009/Manila] - Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) and the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) recently inaugurated the wireless laboratory set up in the campus under the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP).
Through SWEEP, SMART seeks to help raise the level of engineering and technology education in the country, particularly in the field of electronics and communications engineering (ECE). This is done through the provision of equipment through the wireless lab for hands-on training as well as a continuing education program that includes seminars and lectures on the latest technologies by SMART engineers and industry experts, faculty immersion and student on-the-job training.
“We are very grateful to SMART for providing us with a state-of-the-art wireless laboratory and cellular equipment that helped us get accreditation for our ECE program,” said AUP President Gladden Flores.
The inauguration of the SMART wireless laboratory was in part a celebration after AUP successfully defended its course offering before the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA) and got the approval of its International Board of Education to continue offering ECE just last month.
AUP has yet to see its first batch of ECE graduates, having offered the program only in 2007. Although its autonomous status granted by the Commission on Higher Education gives AUP the privilege to offer new courses/programs in the undergraduate or graduate levels without securing government authority from CHED, the university is required to have the same approved by its International Board of Education through the AAA.
“Telco is one of the bright spots in the Philippines today and we intend to keep it that way by investing in education and helping universities produce graduates with fresh ideas and armed with a better understanding of the real world of telecommunications. With SWEEP, it’s not only the students, faculty and the school that will benefit, but also SMART, the telecommunications and ultimately, our country,” said Roger Flores, head of SMART’s Network and Platforms Services Division Network Services Assurance-Luzon.
Dr. Miriam Narbarte, AUP’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, sees the wireless laboratory as a teaching facility that will help prepare their students in passing the ECE board exams to become viable engineers.
This view is shared by College of Arts, Sciences, and Technology (CAST) Dean Edwin Balila. “Through the SMART wireless laboratory, students will surely be equipped not only with theoretical knowledge but with practical skills as well. Now our students can readily see, touch, and manipulate the highly sophisticated equipment they only read about in textbooks.”
Students have already been able to do laboratory work starting with the wireless broadband training conducted by SMART engineers last month.
AUP’s ECE coordinator Milky Garrino is optimistic about the future of AUP’s first engineering course because according to him “as local demand for communications engineers soars, AUP is now equipped to provide ECE students with competitive skills in the field of ECE.”
With the wireless laboratory in campus, students will have access to the equipment anytime and “won’t have to go on a field trip just to see a cell site and various radio base stations,” he added. @