A new program seeks to increase the number of girls participating in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math...

It used to be that women were only expected to be plain housewives, with their interests limited only to reading books, writing, crafting, and other things done around the house. Science was too “geeky”, and not for girls.

But now, women are not only part of the workforce, but are continuously stepping up to modernization as they also engage in STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in schools and even in professions.


To further strengthen the participation of girls and women in STEM, Miriam College developed a project called Project COGENT (Cooperation for Girls, Education, Nurturance, and Training). Held from July 19 to 20, it gathered different girls’ schools from all over the country and was the venue for the launch of the Philippine Alliance for Girls’ Education (PAGE), a network of basic education schools hosted by Miriam College that will work towards the empowerment of girls and young women.

Out of 22 girls’ schools in the Philippines, 14 schools participated and sent their representatives for the event. These schools are Assumption Antipolo, Assumption College, San Lazaro, Colegio de Sta. Rosa, Makati, Notre Dame of Tacurong School for Girls, Sultan Kudarat, PAREF Rosehill School, PAREF Woodrose School, Saint Pedro Poveda College, St. Bridget’s School, St. Scholastica’s Academy, Marikina, St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, St. Scholastica’s College, Westgrove, St. Therese College, Cebu City, St. Theresa’s College, Quezon City, and Miriam College, Quezon City.


According to Dr. Edizon A. Fermin, principal of Miriam College High School and Project COGENT manager, girls are interested in STEM subjects but the interest dwindles because they are not encouraged to study these subjects.

This is ironic, as Fermin presented a study conducted from 2004 to 2009 measuring basic education performance by sex. The study revealed that the female has a higher completion rate of studying in both elementary and secondary school for six years and the male has higher drop-out rate than the female.

Last 2009, female elementary pupils had a 77.5 percent completion rate compared to the male who has 67.4 percent. The drop-out rate for males was 7.5 percent compared to the females 4.9 percent.

In secondary school, females had a 78.3 percent completion rate while the male had 69.1 percent and the drop-out rate of male is 9.7 percent while the female only had 6.2 percent.

For its part, Miriam College is engaging its students in STEM, encouraging out of the box thinking, as well as actively boosting a girl’s confidence and performance in STEM. Miriam College also engages them in activities that will represent STEM’s application in the real world, develops their creativity in projects using their creativity, talent, learning, and styles, collaborates with the students to share the ideas and develop solutions together, and inspires the girls through women role models who have made an impact in the fields of STEM.


Project COGENT also highlighted how much of an impact the school’s male and female population has on the learning abilities of girls.

Teachers attending the event observed that girls participate well in class in a girls’ exclusive school than in a co-ed school. They feel more secure when they are with the same gender, unlike being in a co-ed school where they tend to be afraid of being judged by what they might say.

“Confident ang lalake when it comes to math. Girls do talk but they are not confident with the subject, but in the exclusive girls’ school, the girls are much eager and confident to recite and participate in school works,” shares Kemberly Jacaban, who taught at a co-ed school before teaching in St. Therese College High School Department – Cebu.

A co-ed school and an exclusive girls’ school also have different approaches to treating their students. In an exclusive girls school, students are treated with gentleness and care.

“The way we teach girls in an exclusive girls’ school is the same as co-ed schools but the way we treat girls are different. Pag sila ang nasa classroom, possibilities are limitless. Girls are expressive and limitless in performing school works,” says Ruby Anne Asumbrado, a high school teacher in St. Therese College High School Department – Cebu

According to Fermin, Miriam College and other girls’ schools also use the ethics of care, where girls feel more confident and safe to express their opinions, instead of the ethics of justice where rules are laid down strictly. Since they are all girls, they feel more secure being in the same group of girls than being in a classroom of boys and girls.

Girls learn best in small, interactive classes, in experience based educational activities, leadership training programs where they learn to take risks; speak what they know; discover their talents and abilities; gain knowledge about girl topics; learn to ask questions; and discover the courage between them. Girls also learn best through great mentors.

The students in girls’ schools are often found with higher academic self-confidence even in Mathematical activity and Computer skills, greater interest in Engineering careers, stronger disposition towards co-curricular engagement, and greater political engagement.

PUBLISHED AT: Manila Bulletin Online >>

One principal’s quest to improve the faculty’s personal health and fitness led to the start of Zumba and Yoga sessions at the MC High School Covered Court last June 20.

Earlier in the school year, Justine Villano, head of the High School Faculty Club, with the support of  High School Principal, Dr. Edizon A. Fermin, had resolved to cultivate a healthier lifestyle for the MC High School faculty members by partnering with the ILAW Center in providing hip and fun fitness activities. As part of their new regimen, there will be Yoga sessions every Tuesday and Zumba sessions every Thursday at 4:00 PM.

For more information about the ILAW Center’s programs and services, you may call 580-5400 local 1134.

Dr. Lourdes K. Samson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Christine Mae de Vera, faculty from the Center for Applied Music; and Patria Bautista, art teacher from the Middle School Unit (in photo, from left) conducted a teachers' training workshop on Philippine art, music and culture last June 11-12 in Bangkok, Thailand. This is under the cultural exchange program agreement between Miriam College and the Srinakharinwirot University.  The workshop aimed to showcase Philippine art, music and culture through the experience of various iconic cultural symbols using models and best practices adapted for teaching in the grade school level.

Last June 20-21, members of the Entrepreneurship Department participated and presented papers at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Training Center (SEAMEO RETRAC) International Conference, entitled " Impacts of Globalization on Quality of Higher Education", held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Maria Luisa B. Gatchalian presented her paper entitled " Action Development Approaches to Bridge, Accelerate and Sustain the Entrepreneurship Outcomes and Program in Higher Education" and Dr. Antonio M. Lopez together with. Maria Cristina L. Ibañez presented their paper " Development of an Entrepreneurship Curriculum Framework and Approaches for Global Competitiveness" which was co-authored by Gatchalian and Mona Liza L. Serrano.  The conference was attended by academicians and change makers coming from the United States, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Nigeria, Japan, Hong Kong, France and the Philippines. In photo are from left, Dr. Antonio M. Lopez, Maria Luisa B. Gatchalian, Dr. Nancy Bartolome (UST), Eric Pasquin (UST), Dr. Eunice Areola (Manila Tytana Colleges). SEAMEO is a regional intergovernmental organization established in 1965 among governments of Southeast Asian countries to promote regional cooperation in education, science and culture in the region.

The Child Development Education (CDE) Circle wins Best Co-curricular Organization a third time, a true manifestation of their commitment and passion to the goals of the circle. This award was given by Associate Dean for Student affairs in the Higher Education Unit Student Assembly held last June 21 at the Marian Auditorium. The student teachers of CDE are known for their meaningful and socially relevant activities such as running the literacy school, CHEERS (Childhood Early Enrichment and Reinforcement School) as well as for their  talents and creativity through its plays through the years. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” was successfully staged last February and watched by external audience. The Circle was also instrumental in the institution-wide book drive project for kids of Northern Samar two years ago. CDE students continue to be highly engaged and active in various student activities in and out of campus.

The president of the CDE Circle the past three years were Beatrice Policarpio, Francez Fernandez and Ana Francesca Valdes. Last June 21, Susan Morillo, the immediate past moderator, was also awarded Best Moderator of the Year.

The Childhood Early Enrichment and Reinforcement School or CHEERS had its successful enlistment of incoming students for the school year 2013-2014 last June 29. Cheers is the literacy school run by the Child Development and Education (CDE) students of the College of Education in partnership with Barangay Loyola Heights and the Rotary Club of Loyola Heights for many years now. In line with K-12, it has limited enrollment to indigent and qualified nursery and kinder students within the communities near the Yakap Daycare Center at Esteban Abada Street.

CHEERS is the venue of service learning of five major subjects of the student teachers in CDE. It has graduated and served several hundreds of young children who are not able to afford formal education through its program. It has also served as great inspiration for the CDE student teachers who have passionately volunteered their time and expertise to the students and their families. It is also well supported by equally passionate CDE faculty with the able leadership of Mely Villanueva, its Project coordinator, for many years now.

The Integrated Lifestyle and Wellness (ILAW) Center, headed by Dr. Ronaldo A. Motilla, capped its nine-month long “I Am well” Program with the awarding of its Top Ten Highest point earners last May 20, 2013 at the ILAW Center Multi-purpose Hall. MC President, Dr. Ma. Rosario O. Lapus, and the VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Glenda Fortez awarded the winners.

Grace Soriano, head of the Language Learning Center, emerged as the event’s champion, with Donner Bancod (GS) and Milagros Serrana (HEU-CAS), as the first and second runners up, respectively. The other top 10 winners included Gloria Sanchez (MAE), Pedro Epres, Jr. (HEU-CAS), Ma. Isabelita Quebral (HEU-Guidance), Shirley Masbad (HRD), Daryl Jules Aranzanso (HS), Imelda Cabigao (GS), and Reymily Rose Sta. Ana (MAE).

The goal of  the “I Am Well” Program is to bring all the MC employees together to engage in becoming healthier and happier at work. For over nine months, the employees were given Wellness Journals where they can take note of their points gained through participation in various wellness-related activities.

For more information on ILAW Center’s health and fitness programs, you may call 580-5400 local 1134.

Miriam College Nuvali, upon the invitation of the Calamba local government, participated in the wreath-laying ceremony held in celebration of the 152nd  birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Calamba City State College (CCC) in Laguna last June 19.  CCC president Dr. Aliw Aldea welcomed Miriam College representatives Rose Bautista, vice president for Development and Resource Management; Ann Baradi, MC Nuvali project manager; and Dahl Bennett, Pam Liban (above, top photo) and Bekah Alfonso (not in photo) of the External Affairs Office.  Miriam College Nuvali is slated to open in 2014.

Dr. Grace Evangelista facilitated “Linang Sining sa Paghilom,” a psychosocial intervention training through visual arts for the St. Mary Euphrasia Integrated Development Foundation, Inc. (SMEIDFI) centers last April 26-27 at Rosary Hall, Good Shepherd Convent in Aurora Blvd., QC.  Among the participants were the Good Shepherd Sisters and staff of various centers catering to women, children, and families in difficult circumstances (above photo).

In a separate activity, she also co-facilitated a psychosocial intervention training titled “Empowering Street Families Through Empowered Workers” for the Asmae-Street Educators Network Metro Manila Partners held at the Sta Raphaela Maria Prayer House in Tandang Sora last  April 16-18. The activity focused  on handling street families among street educators  and program heads from Childhope Asia Phil, Virlanie Foundation, Kanlungan sa Erma, SPECS Foundation, and Bahay Tuluyan (left photo). 

News Archives
View All Tags