by Christine Godinez-Ortega
IN THESE TIMES OF RICE QUEUES AND WEEKLY fuel price increases, parents this side of Mindanao need not send their children to study in big cities. They can look to the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) as an alternative to affordable quality education.
|IIT at 40|
Celebrating its achievements for the education of Mindanaoans for 40 years was what the excitement was all about during this year’s Charter Day of the MSU-IIT last July 12.
The weeklong celebration featured educational, cultural, sports and social events that ended with a motorcade around Iligan, a Charter Day program and the Grand Alumni Homecoming bringing in visitors from here and abroad—a no mean feat for an institute that, in 1968, started with six faculty members who were paid, according to pioneer Melvin Roscom, P6 an hour to teach English, Spanish, Mathematics and the Social Sciences to its first 300 students.
At present, there are 544 faculty members teaching 11,120 scholars and non-scholars, who, on the average pay P200 per academic unit because subsidized by government.
In 1968 when the IIT, through back channeling and secret maneuverings led by then MSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Quiterio Miravite, with the blessings of the late MSU President Antonio Isidro, integrated the Lanao Technical School in Iligan. On July 12, IIT received its charter through Republic Act No. 5363 becoming the first external and, later, autonomous campus of what would become the MSU system consisting of six campuses at present.
Today, IIT has various imposing buildings spread around a 13.917 hectares of land facing east beside the Iligan Bay. Recently, it inaugurated its Bahay Alumni beside the about-to-be completed building for Peace education. IIT’s robust development is part of its commitment as it envisions itself to be “a globally competitive institution of higher learning committed to excellence in science and technology for the sustainable development of Southern Philippines. “
And IIT has lived up to its promise in providing technical manpower for the industries in Mindanao and the rest of the country producing each year, over a thousand graduates in its undergraduate and graduate programs. It has also produced outstanding young scientists among its faculty members in mathematics (1), biology (3), physics (1) and chemical engineering (1).
Even as IIT highlights science and technology faculty achievers and engineering board passers in every annual report, it does not neglect a holistic nurturing of its students as the institute continues to develop its academic programs, researches, publications, linkages, infrastructure and cultural activities such as the support of its resident cultural troupes, as well as its hosting, in the last 15 years, the Iligan National Writers Workshop, one of only three workshops in the country institutionalized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
All this is geared towards that dream of achieving “world-class” renown in the words of the present Chancellor Marcelo Salazar thus challenging future leaders who must continue to realize the Institute’s aspirations such as the acquisition of a modern library and with it, the latest information technology equipment, state of the art science and engineering technology laboratories and more classrooms.
Former IIT Vice President and Department of Education Undersecretary Manaros B. Boransing said it well when he proudly declared that IIT has “maintained its standards” compared to “other educational institutions which have declined in quality at the departure of pioneer leadership.”
IIT’s pride, indeed, is well-placed for its achievements have been well-earned at 40.