Dr. Edizon Angeles Fermin, of Miriam (formerly Maryknoll) College, recalls being told when he was growing up to memorize formulas and study using Bato Balani magazines.

Now Fermin, Miriam’s high school principal, hears students say, “So, have you checked out the latest app?” as he passes by classrooms in the morning.
Fermin says it is “fun” to hear things like this but it can also be a challenge for educators to compete with technology and electronics.

But, apparently, the apps Miriam students are talking about are those the school uses to facilitate instruction and provide supplemental activities.
Miriam College is one of hundreds of schools using the Genyo Learning Management and Content System, an interactive learning portal using digital and electronic equipment for teaching and learning.

Genyo and other mobile learning applications allow students to “dissect” a frog, for instance, without needing an actual one. Students can use the cameras of their tablets to study a digital frog and explore its endocrine and muscular systems.

Genyo’s interactive programs, like this, have received positive feedback from teachers, students and parents.

Now Miriam, with Diwa Publishing Group and Bato Balani Foundation Inc. (BBFI), has created a graduate program to show educators the ropes to e-learning. The first of its kind in the country, the graduate program aims to further improve e-learning in the country.

The program Master of Education, major in e-learning, encourages educators to leave the ABC teaching style behind and embrace Information Technology. Its curriculum features the country’s first “learning content and management systems” that Diwa Learning Systems Inc. developed.

Teaching for the future

President of Miriam College Dr. Rosario O. Lapus explains the vision that underpins the program by quoting British science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke:
“The object of teaching a child is to enable the child to get along without a teacher. We need to educate our children for their future, not our past.”

Lapus says teachers must provide an environment relevant to the students’ world and interests by “blending modern technology with pedagogy.” As champions of education, they are not going back to the Tyrannosaurus Rex age, but have to adapt to a new one.

Fermin says the Genyo platform is the right choice for the new graduate program. The curriculum is specifically designed to understand the whole e-learning environment and what strategies may be used to create a meaningful community through the platform.

The program introduces educators to new digital technologies like tablet PCs and smartphones. It looks into how equipment may be used critically and creatively to promote teaching and learning suitable for “digital natives” of the 21st century.

“Truth be told, I’m not a tech geek. But when I saw how much fun it was for kids to learn about geographical locations on a real-time basis, connect with people in another time zone, discuss their likes or dislikes or aspirations, it was a powerful learning context. And to me, as an educator, if I do not actually maximize this opportunity, I might be giving up on one important gateway toward these learners adopting a different sense of the world,” Fermin says.

The e-learning program aims to engage and empower teachers and learners in what Fermin describes as a “phenomenal and ennobling experience.” It also aims to expand not only the platforms by which students can learn but also their knowledge.

From sage to guide

He says the new graduate program will transform teachers “from sage on stage to guide on the side” for students.

At present, the Master of Education, major in e-learning program, has 25 scholars, 10 of them from Miriam College. The others are supported by BBFI, Diwa’s social responsibility arm.

Most of the scholars have also taken the Summer Institute on Technology Education, a certificate program on the use of mobile technology for learning and teaching.
Scholar Ryan B. Estillomo, a teacher from Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion in Roxas City, Capiz province, says that if he finishes the program, he will be the first in the Visayas to earn the degree.

“Since students nowadays are into technology, I have to equip myself with these teaching and learning [tools]… I will be happy to share what I learned in the master’s degree program with our students in the Visayas,” he says.

Meeting deadlines

He says his students enjoy beating the buzzer for online deadlines, which encourages them to finish their school work promptly. His students pressure classmates to finish their projects on time.

As one of the educators who designed the curriculum, Fermin acknowledges the problem in areas without the equipment for e-learning.

But he says, “I think that for as long as you have the will, you will find a way, because that’s what happened to us. When we started this entire tablet thing, we were asking ourselves, ‘Is it really the tablet when the smartphones are getting more and more advanced? Do we ask the people to buy the devices?’ … But more than the device or the infrastructure, I think it’s competence to do it [that is more important].”

Fermin believes that in producing “a battalion of e-learning practitioners,” there will come a time when every place in the country will become so wired and connected “we will be able to share practices and even resources.”

SOURCE: Philippine Daily Inquirer  >> newsinfo.inquirer.net/728160/new-grad-program-to-train-e-teachers

Let’s work to make cyberbullying nonexistent

You upload your most beautiful selfie and all you get are five likes and these comments: “So fat!” “What a nerd!” “You’re ugly.” “Slut!” “Freakshow.” At first, it does not bother you but then it happens again, and again, and again. You get depressed. Your confidence level goes down. You feel defeated.

Welcome to the cyberbullied club.

Cyberbullying happens when a person is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, or embarrassed by another person via social media, email, or text. It can happen to anyone, to students, to teachers, to you!

Although the Philippines has passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, the law only addresses cybercrime offenses such as cybersquatting, cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, among others. Not cyberbullying. As of press time, the Anti Cyber-Bullying Act of 2015 is being pushed in Congress by Camarines Sur representative Rolando Andaya.

While the proposed law is cooling its heels on Legislative floors, a group of students has created a video aiming to get rid of cyberbullying. Hyun Ju Song (De La Salle Santiago Zobel), Adj Regidor (Enderun College), Reanna Noel (Miriam College High School), Bea Aquino (Miriam College High School), and Haedric Daguman (St. John of Beverley School) have collaborated on #CyberBully404, an anti-cyberbullying campaign that shows random students being asked to hand out cards that contain insults to a stranger within the day. By the end of the day, not a single card was handed and the video aired the statements made by the students on why they did not give the cards to anybody. The video aims to shed light on why people bash or insult other people online, asking the question: “If you can’t say it in person, why do it online?” The video, which topped the videos submitted for Google Philippines’ “Search for Online Heroes,” now has 2,000 views on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXVMuqoZwuk). At the end of the video, there’s a QR code, which directs the viewer to an inspiring message he or she can send to a friend, a loved one, anyone.

“Before, cyberbullying was just a random act, now it’s becoming a culture, especially since people try to put humor into bullying as a kind of disguise. It’s turning into a culture especially with the rise of social media, and when it becomes ingrained in us, it becomes really hard to kill,” says Adj.

The video not only opens the eyes of the netizens who view it, it has also left lessons to its creators—on how to be careful online, to think before you click, to consider the feelings of others when writing comments, and to just be kind to the people you meet, personally or virtually.

“Something I’ve learned from all of this is that we need to understand people more because even the bullies have their own reasons for doing what they do. Talk to them. Find out why they are doing it. Ask them what’s bothering them. Rather than insulting them exactly the same way they insult us, let’s try to understand them, give them fresh insights, and get them to not do it again. If bullying is becoming a culture, how do you stop it? You create a culture of anti-bullying. Right now, young people think that it’s harmless, that it’s funny even to bully people, that it’s a form of humor. We need to make them realize that it’s not okay. It’s not right because you’re hurting other people’s feelings,” says Haedric.

The quintet, now called Web Rangers, has also created Instagram and Twitter accounts,@cyberbully404, where people who have been bullied or anyone who wants to express their opinions on the issue can go to. Those who want to share their stories and thoughts about cyberbullying must append the hashtag #cyberbully404 in their posts so the community can easily see them.

Fighting cyberbullying needs team effort. And you don’t even need to do much. Just post… or don’t.

SOURCE: Manila Bulletin >> www.mb.com.ph/404-not-found

Jhames F. Labrador, Middle School Music Area supervisor, presented his master’s thesis paper entitled “Himno at Ritmo ng Nasyonaslimo: Dalumat ng Musika sa Kurikulum ng Gitnang Paaralan ng Kolehiyo ng Miriam” at Saliksikan 2015. This seminar is sponsored by the Pambansang Samahan sa Linggwistika at Literaturang Filipino (PSLLF) in collaboration with the Filipino Department of the University of Santo Tomas.

Labrador’s paper highlighted the various experiences and practices of Miriam College Middle School in response to the Music curriculum change brought about by the implementation of K-12, focusing on the integration of nationalism and patriotism in music lessons.

Photo shows (from left) Dr. Aurora Batnag, president of PSLLF, Labrador, and Dr. Roberto Ampil, chairperson of the Filipino Department of the University of Santo Tomas.

The Miriam College community remembered the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing through an exhibit titled “ No More Hiroshimas and Nagasakis: Ban Nuclear Weapons!” held last August 12.  The exhibit was part of a world-wide campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.

Posters from the Hiroshima Peace Museum were installed and embellished with art works and peace cranes created by Pax Christi-Miriam College High School (MCHS).

In her speech at the opening of the exhibit, Dr. Loreta Castro, program director of the CPE, condemned the use of nuclear weapons, saying that it is inhuman and immoral. “These weapons are indiscriminate and cause horrific death and suffering even after the time of war,” she said.

The exhibit aimed to raise the awareness about the destruction brought upon by the use of nuclear weapons and to encourage the community to take a stand against its use and production.

A petition sign-up sheet was also made available to encourage participation in the campaign.

Attendees of the exhibit included students from the Grade 11 class of Jeff Zulueta, Mao Rovillos and Me-Ann Lascano; First Year students of Dr. Gail Galang-Reyes; and International Studies students of Atty. Christine Lao, Dr. Loreta Castro, and Dr. Jasmin Nario-Galace.

The event was organized by the Center for Peace Education in collaboration with Pax Christi-Miriam College, Pax Christi-MCHS, and the Sangunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng Miriam.

MANILA, Philippines — Despite setbacks in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Quintos-Deles believes that the measure will still be passed before it is eclipsed by budget deliberations in Congress.

“That is what we are working for and the political leadership remains committed to that,” Deles told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on the sidelines of a multisectoral dialogue on the BBL on Tuesday.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. recently said that arriving at an agreed version of the BBL before plenary debates on the 2016 national budget was becoming “an impossible dream.”

Deles, in her keynote speech at the forum held in Miriam College, said the passage of the BBL “is a gift worthy of the season of giving.”
“We should continue to push for the timely passage of a robust BBL,” she said.

Deles also noted that she and government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer had been the subject of a “visual sexual vulgarity” because of their continued support for the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Doubts were raised against the BBL in the aftermath of the Mamasapano debacle, where 44 members of the Special Action Force were killed in a clash with the MILF.

“Women are in it for the long haul. That’s what housekeeping and motherhood have taught us. When something goes wrong, we do not throw the thing away or pass the problem on to someone else. Whether the problem is housekeeping or shepherding a bill, we fix it,” Deles said.

“One good thing that has come out of the delayed deliberations on the BBL in the aftermath of Mamasapano is that there is now a deeper level of thinking, and hopefully of understanding, of what the stakes are in the BBL,” she said.

Issues on the form of government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, the justice system, revenue sources and jurisdiction over natural resources are some of the contentious points of the BBL.

With proposed amendments in the House and Senate versions, advocates are calling for a BBL that is consistent with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the government and the MILF. SFM

Imagine an ASEAN region where all the Heads of States are young women. 

This is how it was at the 1st Model ASEAN for Young Women, a simulation conference of the ASEAN Summit held last August 18-20, 2015 at Miriam College. Delegates from across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, specifically from Ateneo de Zambaonga University, Bicol University, Caraga State University, College of San Beda Alabang, Silliman University, University of Rizal System, as well as various departments from Miriam College, gathered for the 3-day conference. 

With the theme “Opportunities and Challenges towards a People-Centered ASEAN” each participating school represented one ASEAN Member State, and delegates sat as representatives in various committees and bodies convened during the simulation conference. After a series of discussions, clarifications, and amendments, six declarations were finalized for signing at the closing ceremony of the ASEAN Summit. The signing of the declarations was marked by a ceremonial toast by all the Heads of States. 

The six declarations were on: The Protection of the Right To Freedom of the Press, Building a Culture of Disaster Preparedness, Managing the Mobility of Skilled Labor Within the ASEAN, Sustaining the Growth of Tourism through Effective Regional Branding and Creative Marketing Strategy, Against Trafficking in Persons, Ensuring the Right to Nationality of Women and Children.

Alumna Annie Marie Topacio landed top 3 in this year’s Psychologist Licensure Examination. She graduated BA Psych  in 2004 and pursued her MA in Ateneo de Manila University. She taught General Psychology in Miriam College from 2007 to 2009.

Another AB Psychology alumna Angelica Ang (Batch ’05) also passed the exam. 

The examination was held last July 2015. 

To commemorate  International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day, the Center for Peace Education and Pax Christi-Miriam College organized a forum entitled “Know the Rules of War: A Forum on the International Humanitarian Law”, with guest speaker Atty. Monalisa Barro from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Over 100 students from the International Studies Department attended the forum, which served as a venue for the students to learn the basics of IHL and how it should be implemented in times of war and armed conflict.

WOMEN COMPRISE half of the population. Hence, we are not a sector. To call us the vulnerable sector compounds the misconception. The provision in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) upholding women’s right to meaningful political participation and protection from all forms of violence sends the message that women refuse to be tagged as victims only.

Women want to participate and take on leadership roles and make a difference. Women can effect change through participation in governance and in decision-making processes, especially those that relate to peace and security.

Women from the Bangsamoro areas hail this CAB provision. More than 3,000 of them from Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi were consulted on how they wanted to flesh this out. The result was a list of lobby points submitted to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and Philippine Congress.

The women we talked to want to throw into the dustbin of history their days of political invisibility. They want to see themselves participating in decision-making mechanisms. They want as many seats as possible reserved for them in the parliament and other mechanisms of the future Bangsamoro government, like the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, Bangsamoro Council of Leaders and Bangsamoro Cabinet, local government units, including the Shari’ah justice systems.
Aware of their capability to help make their community safer, the women want participation in the police force, in controlling the proliferation of weapons and in preventing and resolving conflicts. They want the Bangsamoro government to ensure that community police will respect and promote human rights, particularly women’s rights, and to establish as well a program that will address sex and gender-based violence.

They want women to have equal access to land ownership, and for the Bangsamoro government to ensure their meaningful participation in the conceptualization and implementation of development programs and projects. All of these they know will have a greater chance of being put into practice if they are in decision-making mechanisms. Hence, they want the Bangsamoro government to ensure that political parties will integrate women in electoral nominating processes and to have a women’s agenda.

The women submitted these proposals, informed by the voices from the field, to the BTC, the House of Representatives and the Senate using advocacy tools they were familiar with. They held breakfast meetings with the BTC and women parliamentarians. They knocked on lawmakers’ doors appealing for the adoption of their lobby points. They e-mailed, snail- mailed and posted on legislators’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

They developed and gave away campaign materials—pens, fans, umbrellas—just to drive home the point that they want to be at the center of governance, not in its peripheries. They attended and spoke at public hearings. They did school tours aimed at broadening public support for their cause. They organized women’s marches and public actions encouraging people to cut their bangs for the Bangsamoro in support of women who want to participate in governance.

The efforts have not been futile. The document submitted by the BTC to the Office of the President contained language affirming women participation. House Bill No. 5811 highly reflects the women’s call, thanks to gender champions within that chamber. Senate Bill No. 2408 includes provisions on women’s protection, but not much on their aspiration to be counted among the leaders and decision-makers. Not yet, anyway.

The women are keeping on. They will continue to walk the halls of Congress or the streets of Mendiola to make their aspirations known. They want a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) adopted, a BBL that is true to the letter and spirit of the CAB, an agreement where their right to politically participate is clearly inscribed.
Indeed, they want to be counted and they are looking at the Bangsamoro political entity as a viable vehicle to live their dream. Delaying the passage of a CAB-based, inclusive BBL is delaying their chance for a new beginning.

Jasmin Nario-Galace is executive director of the Center for Peace Education, professor at the International Studies Department in Miriam College, and national coordinator of the Women Engaged in Action on 1325. She joined women from Nisa ul haqq fi Bangsamoro, Unyphilwomen and Teduray Lambangian Women’s Organization in conducting consultations in Bangsamoro areas on what women wanted in the BBL. The consultations were coordinated by Conciliation Resources and supported by the United Kingdom Embassy, European Union and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

SOURCE: http://opinion.inquirer.net/88087/women-and-new-beginnings

CPE Executive Director Jasmin Nario-Galace joined a group of civil society members in a press conference to launch the All-Out Peace lobby paper for the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). The paper calls on members of congress to return provisions in the BBL that will uphold the Bangsamoro peoples’ right to self-determination.

Joining Dr. Galace were Gus Miclat of the Initiatives for International Dialogue, Muss Lidasan of the Al Qallam Institute, and Yoly Esguerra of the Partners of Misereor in the Philippines, Inc.

Dr. Galace represented WE Act 1325, the secretariat of which is the Center for Peace Education.

Rep. Barry Gutierrez and Rep. Kit Belmonte officially received the lobby paper, which asks for a BBL that is true to both the letter and spirit of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

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