As COVID-19 continues to dramatically change the learning landscape, the University of Southeastern Philippines ensured that education must continue amidst the greatest threats to global education through the conduct of a virtual tour with Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University (SNRU), Thailand on December 12, 2020.
“Education should not stop even at this time of pandemic. We have to utilize available resources to ensure that the objectives of the program are achieved and to guarantee that learning continuity takes place. This virtual tour is one best alternative to an educational tour in our partner universities which we usually do when there was no travel restriction,” stressed Dr. Edna H. Jalotjot, professor of EDD 319, Comparative Education, College of Education.
Meanwhile, the former president of Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University and a faculty of the Graduate School , Asst. Prof. Dr. Watana Suwannatrai expressed her gratitude to the realization of the virtual tour. She said that they were delighted to share the educational system of Thailand and present the best practices of their university, thereby ensuring learning continuity amidst the pandemic. Likewise, she said that this activity is a practice to hone the leadership strategies of the students as they face unprecedented issues in educational management.
Sharing of Educational System and School’s Best Practices
One of the highlights of the virtual tour was the mutual video presentation of the two countries. The said video presentations contained facts about the country, history, government, culture, educational structure, educational organizational set-up managing its operations including their tourism, and more importantly educational performance in relation to international standards.
“I am happy to see the video presentations concerning the educational system. We learned something from the video presentation,” exclaimed Assistant Professor Dr. Sirilak Sriphachan, Assistant to the President for International Relations, SNRU.
Reactions on Issues and Challenges in Education
The virtual tour was also opened up to a panel of reactors on issues and challenges in education by experts of both countries to give their views particularly Dr. Cesar A. Adegue IV, Education Supervisor II of the Commission on Higher Education-Region Office XI (CHED-RO XI) and Associate Professor Dr. Chaiya Pawabutra, Dean of Faculty of Education who both gave expert views from the Philippines and Thailand respectively.
Dr. Adegue stressed that CHED took the challenge of responding to the call of quality education thereby implementing outcome-based education and typology- based quality assurance to contribute to building a quality nation capable of transferring social, political, economic, cultural and ethical issues that concerned the country’s human development, productivity, and global competitiveness.
Discussion and Exchange of Ideas about Comparative Education
Of equal importance during the virtual tour was the discussion and exchange of ideas about Comparative Education. Both the PhD students of SNRU and the EDD students of USeP threw in relevant questions pertaining to the integration of English curriculum in the educational system, cases of violation of student rights and bullying, current issues in education, advantages of educational system, and school-community partnerships and the like.
In attendance to the virtual tour were the following:
Dr. Bonifacio G. Gabales Jr, Vice President for Academic Affairs, USeP, Dr. Gilbert M. Gordo, Dean, Advance Studies, USeP, Dr. Cesar A. Adegue IV, Education Supervisor II, Commission of Higher Education, Region XI, Dr. Reynaldo M. Nogodula, Dean, College of Education, USeP, Dr. Genna J. Carmelo, Dean, College of Teacher Education and Technology, USeP, Dr. Edna H. Jalotjot and Dr. Jocelyn A. Matildo, EDD 319, Faculty In-charge, USeP, EDD Faculty, and EDD students of USeP.
From SNRU, in attendance were the following: Assistant Professor Dr. Watana Suwannatrai, Associate Professor Dr. Chaiya Pawabutra, and Associate Professor Dr. Sirilak Sriphachan and PhD students of SNRU.
The success of the virtual tour was attributed to the rigorous and comprehensive team planning lead by Mr. Felix D. Ramirez Jr., USeP EdD class president and Mr. Teerapong Weerachanon, SNRU PhD class president in coordination with the International Offices of both universities.