~Dhanna Bautista -Rodas
Greetings PACU members!
Important milestones for the education sector have recently unfolded. First, the Universal Access to Quality Education Act was passed on third reading at the Bicameral last May 29, 2017. Second, the Turnover of Chairmanship of the Coordinating Council for Private Educational Associations was held last June 13, 2017 from the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines to the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities. The President of CEAP and Ateneo de Davao, Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. COCOPEA Chairman (2016-2017) transferred the leadership to COCOPEA Chairman Pio Baconga, President of ACSCU and Pilgrim Christian College.
While Philippine education policy constantly develops nationally and internationally, recent PACU presidents, Dr. Vincent K. Fabella, Dr. Peter P. Laurel, Dr. Pat Bustos-Lagunda and Dr. Karen Feliciano-De Leon remain supportive and encouraging. Our regional Vice-Presidents : Rev. Fr. Marcelo V. Manimtim for NCR; Dr. Patricia Bustos-Lagunda for Luzon; Dr. Nuevas T. Montes for the Visayas and Dr. Guillermo P. Torres, Jr. for Mindanao have been in close contact with the officers and board members.
Many members of the board selflessly and voluntarily assist in one way or another towards the successful implementation of quality assurance, research and advocacy to strengthen private higher education institutions. Just last June 19, 2017, we appreciate that Dr. Beth Quirino-Lahoz. President of the Technological Institute of the Philippines offered to host all three PACU committee meetings at their Quezon City campus.
The proposed bill on Free Tuition in State Universities last year set into motion close scrutiny of free access to higher education. Kudos to our PACU Public Policy Committee Chairperson, Dr. Vincent K. Fabella who brought together many brilliant minds that unleashed an impetus of research and collaboration to ensure quality education. Dr. Fabella personally studied the unintended consequences of free tuition. A study on the complementarity of public and private higher education institutions is in the pipeline. PACU officers and board members were able to consult legislators and economic managers regarding the implications of universal access. Dr. Bernadette Nepomuceno, PERAA President, also went out of her way to assist the PACU Board. Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) Presidents Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J., CEAP; Dr. Mike Udtohan, ACSCU; Dr. Chichoy Campos, PAPSCU and Dr. Horace Montefrio, TVSA with their member representatives united with PACU in the advocacy.
PACU participated in the PASUC-COCOPEA CONVERSATIONS. The event was conceptualized and led by two known leaders in education: Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J., Chairperson (2016-17) of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations and Dr. Ric Rotoras, President of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges. From 15 presidents of both public and private higher education institutions who convened in the first meeting, the number of presidents in attendance increased to over 30 in the second meeting. The presidents agreed to work together towards quality assurance, academic freedom and the complementarity of public and private higher education. In the third meeting, research committees were formed. Fortunately, they agreed to represent PACU in the committees: Dr. Francisco B. Benitez in the committee on “Academic Freedom and Self-governance”; Dr. Rey Vea in the committee on “Improving Quality of Higher Education in both SUCs and Private HEIs”; and, Dr. Vincent K. Fabella in the committee on “Universal Access Towards Quality Higher Education”.
Relevant news to mitigate the impact of the second batch of Grade 11 students this coming school year 2017-2018 concerns many of us regarding the Voucher System. Secretary Briones assured to fast track processing of the vouchers. CHED Chairperson Licuanan and her team have a system in place to process graduate study and research grants to cushion faculty displacement. Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) Executive Director Doris F. Ferrer and her team inspect schools for the eligibility of voucher assistance, conduct in-service teacher training and provide research grants. Our PACU representatives to PEAC are Dr. Patricia Bustos-Lagunda for the Assistance to Programs and Initiatives to Reform Education (ASPIRE) Program and Dr. Vincent K. Fabella for the Research and Innovation for Success in Education (RISE) Program.
Gearing up for ASEAN integration and internationalization, Dr. Peter P. Laurel President of Lyceum of the Philippines University (Batangas) leads the PACU Accreditation Committee in conducting the Seminar on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Institutional Sustainability Assessment (ISA) Part I & II. Dr. Cristina Padolina President of Centro Escolar University, Dr. Ester Garcia, President of the University of the East and Dr. Elizabeth Quirino-Lahoz President of the Technological Institute of the Philippines were very active in these concerns. The first seminar was held last November for our members in Luzon thanks to the President of Adamson University, Fr. Manimtim who also hosted our Expanded Board Meeting for PACU members at NCR. The same seminar was held last March hosted by President Willie Torres at the University of Mindanao for our members in the Visayas and Mindanao after the Expanded Board Meeting. Upcoming is the PACU Expanded Board meeting for the members in Luzon hosted by Dr. Calingo, President of Holy Angel University.
The Academic-Management Seminar Series done through the PACU Programs Committee led by Dr. Francisco B. Benitez, Philippine Women’s University, President conducted several seminars. Last November 2016, Our Lady of Fatima University President Caroline Enriquez welcomed us to, their Valenzuela campus where we had a jam packed session of very lively discussions on “Teaching Grades 11 and 12 : Content and Pedagogical Approaches”. Industry Immersion, Trends in Teaching Math and Research for Grades 11 and 12 were heartily tackled by the speakers and participants. In January 2017, University of the East President Ester Garcia hosted the event at their Caloocan campus where Innovative pedagogical approaches to encourage creative problem solving, interaction and less structured learning outside the classroom were discussed in the seminar on “Thinking Out of the Box : Education Beyond the Classroom”. University of Santo Tomas President, Fr. Dagohoy and Ms. Giovanna Fontanilla rolled out the red carpet for PACU last March on “Critical and Creative Thinking”. The scientific research method and the artistic therapeutic method were eye-openers for the participants. In spite of the unexpected holiday last April 2017, University President Vincent K. Fabella, welcomed us to Jose Rizal University for a seminar on “Team Teaching Strategies and Industry Collaborations”. All participants eagerly discussed academe-industry linkages with the speakers. All events of the Programs Committee were very well attended.
On the research front, Far Eastern University President Michael Alba leads the PACU Research Committee in a study on Critical Thinking among other research proposals on education.
Speaking of a Labor Market Intelligence system, providing employment for Senior High School graduates and designing a possible industry accreditation system, Dr. Chito Salazar, President of the University of Iloilo leads the PACU Industry Linkage Committee. He proposed PACU membership in the National Industry Academe Council and partnership with the Philippine Business for Education (PBED) to improve workforce development, teacher quality and basic education.
As we prepare for the coming 85th Anniversary of PACU, Perpetual Help University President Anthony Tamayo leads the team that is developing the new PACU website while Fatima University President Dr. Carol Enriquez spearheads the Commemorative Book Project.
I am very happy to report that we, the PACU officers, board members and the Secretariat, led by Executive Director, Fabian Quitales, continue to provide updates and activities relevant to our concerns in delivering quality education in our institutions, caring to serve our PACU member schools. May this coming school year flow as smoothly as possible for all of us while we manage the details along the way.