AR 1884 and 1885 captured using ETX 125 and Toucam Pro. November 3, 2013
The news about a student who has committed suicide has brought once again issues regarding a school’s policy on students financial obligations. Different schools impose different policies but one thing keeps me in question, which does provide greater importance, the schools measure to secure operations or students current financial capabilities? As isolated as this case maybe according to the officials, but this is only the tip on the iceberg on how a student feels every time tuition fees are pressed against their right to access education which for some is their ticket out of poverty. While most students do not resort to suicide, many most would be in emotional torture dilemma since they have to think of a way out of it. How can one be at their best form in reviewing for their final exam if they are in the midst of the uncertainty of having be able to pay their tuition debts?
My school is implementing which what we call as Examination Permit Policy, students are only allowed to take examination if they have either an examination permit, which means they had paid their dues or a provisional permit if they can’t settle their accounts on the agreed date. It might look pretty convenient but I find it really difficult as a classroom teacher. Though it is true enough that the school does not also offer me a promissory note during paydays, however I believe that examination is still a part of teaching learning process. Examinations provides a feedback to teachers the gauge of a students understanding and barring them the right to take exam because of their parent’s lack of financial obligations is like also robbing them the right to learn. Assessments and evaluation is a vital part of teaching learning process, without it a teacher can not say that they have done their part of the bargain. Schools would always wave their grandeur vision and mission in developing children but they should also include that it comes with a price, no such thing as a free lunch after all! And students do not really have a choice in this and I believe that it poses a negative impact on students attitude in taking exams and coming to class. I am sure there can be ways to be strict and stern in fees and other financial matters that does not include barring exam or even attendance.
While I do well understand that the life blood of the school’s operation is based solely from its tuition and fees but let’s not forget the fundamental reason why a school was founded and that it to teach students.
The Philippine Astronomical Society hosted a deep-sky observing marathon at the dark skies of Big Handy’s Ground located at Tanay Rizal. It was an off-the-grid camp site, literally – no signal, electricity, water supply and is away from buzzing sounds and blinding lights of the metro, a perfect get away from daily urban lifestyle. The site offeres 360 view of the skies with minimal obstruction from mountain tops and though light pollution from Manila can be seen afar in the west, faint stars that are usually invisible in the metro doesn’t shy away and glitter fantastically and steady that you’ll get lost in the sea of stars! Its such rare occasion for me that I stared in awe above and have to reorient my self to what constellation I am looking into. Faint DSO’s are resolved easily that hunting them was a breeze, only if clouds had not rolled in quick!
View from Big Handy’s Grounds
Members of the Philippine Astronomical Society
Members of the UP AstroSoc joined us also in this event
Big Handy’s Ground is located at Brgy. Cayumbay, Tanay Rizal and welcomes camping, star gazing and other stuff. For more information in the site you may send Mrs. May Serrano an email at email@example.com
For anything about astronomy, you may attend events of the Philippine Astronomical Society which is free and open to the public. Clear Skies!
We were greeted with a warm shine from the sun during our club meeting so we went to the roof deck to have a closer look at it.
The school roof deck is actually a good observing site, except for the lights from the North Express Way.
Basics of setting up a telescope. Next time they will have to do it by themselves.
Checking out the sun.
After my first mountaineering adventure with a heavy telescope on my back, I told my self I won’t be doing it again, well at least not with a heavy 5 inch telescope. So this time we chose a mountain, more like of a hill rather, which is really easy and not quite far from Manila which is Mt. Balagbag located almost in between of Bulacan and Rizal Province. The trail there was quite easy and we had the luxury of not getting burned by the scorching heat of the sun since we trekked in the afternoon, apparently no trees are present around the trail, I would not suggest going up on near noon time.
The cool breeze in the afternoon was very relaxing after the trek to the registration area where we were entertained by the caretaker’s cat.
Mt. Balagbag is not difficult to climb but the scenery around is nevertheless spectacular.
A 3.5″ Maksutov Cassegrain telescope named “Karen” which is short for kaladkaren. A bring it everywhere telescope, lightweight and portable!
It was cloudy the whole night but the early morning skies was majestic. Moon, Saturn, Mercury and Venus in line.
Sunrise over another mountain peek. Taken using a Canon 550d on a SkyWatcher 3.5″ Mak using a Thousand Oaks Solar Filter.
Recording 2 minute avi instead of 1 min significantly increases frames which results to more detail in post processing. However blur due to Jupiter’s rotation becomes noticeable if one record longer.
In this current set up atleast, it rotation has little effects on the image which was captured at f10.
Images were captured using PAS’s Celestron Nexstar 8se and Philips Toucam. Acquired via Sharpcap, processed using Registax V5 and CS3. Observed from Malabon City, Philippines
An isolated rain in the afternoon posed a threat the planned observation for the night. It cleared up in late evening but seeing was mediocre. I’ve waited for GRS to transit while it was a luck that Io was captured within the FOV.
12/7/12 10:32 PM Local Time (+8 UTC)
Using a 2x barlow lens was rather difficult to keep it at center. This image was processed with 2 AVI file stiched VirtualDub. Hint of Red Spot Jr. (Left of GRS)
12/7/12 10:47 PM Local Time (+8 UTC)
Images were captured using Celestron Nexstar 8se and Philips Toucam. Acquired via Sharpcap, processed using Registax V5 and CS3. Observed from Malabon City, Philippines.