“The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.”
John F. Kennedy
Educational evolution is an emblem of constantly-flowing wisdom for every member of the populace in the Northern Philippines’ Cordilleran Region. The associated support of the community and involved educational institution officials with the Congress as well, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker of the House of Representative Feliciano Belmonte Jr. enabled this didactic transformation project through the executive approval of the previous President Benigno C. Aquino Jr.. Today, the Mountain Province Polytechnic College (MPPC) is called Mountain Province State University (MPSU) as stipulated in the country’s Republic Act No. 10583.
The endorsement of this deed is a dazzling breakthrough in the academe worth- disseminating through the said Republic Act 10583. It is a mandate that gave birth to another Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)’s state university earlier proposed in 2013 with its key trance of converting the former MPPC situated in the Municipality of Bontoc, Mountain Province into a state university. Today the MPSU, opened its campuses in the boroughs of Tadian, Bauko, Paracelis and Barlig to envision higher literacy rate in the mountain provinces.
Unknown to other populace of the region, the birth of a new state university is another defining truth; an influential factor that critically outlines the transcending face of the Cordillera in pursuit for academic and technical excellence. It further maneuvers its usual reputation as a region in the country identified with high rate of literacy since its people learned the value of instruction acquired by residents from far-flung areas due to their perseverance in achieving academics despite tiresomely traveling to cities just for the attainment of education which they firmly believed as a great weapon against poverty. It is indeed, a way of enduring sacrifices in quests of education’s relevance when higher educational institutions offering their academic courses did not exist in the locality. The presence of higher education institutions nowadays push the chances of the unprivileged but deserving students to take part of the educative processes to be professionally functional citizens of the country. Having a university in the heart of the region produces numerous advantages to its residents and to other neighboring populace.
Here are some plausible points which may probably frame sturdy components in transforming this academia an educational abode in molding the future of every deserving cordilleran youth.
This higher education institution in order to serve the interests of its willing populace strives to raise its academic standards through university accreditation with the significant intervention of the country’s Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to escalate its level through the emergence of additional relevant courses catering to varied specializations pertinent for the locality, country and for global competitiveness.
It also paves the recruitment of top caliber faculty and personnel with qualifications that are at par with their formulated standards for the accomplishments of the organization’s vision, missions and objectives.
It will also broaden its affiliations with other educational organizations here and abroad for synergetic learning where curricula adaptation and implementation take place. It dreams for the expansion of its institutes of disciplines for others’ convenient access to avail of the course offerings aligned with their potentials and interests. Aside from its baccalaureate courses, graduate studies of varied specialization will be offered to cater to professionals’ continuing education.
The possibility of hosting future national and international academic and technical conferences is conceivable. When a university firmly exercises its policy and standards, quality education will be acquired and with visions assembled as one, it is probable to continuously promote modern viewpoint of liberal education to fascinate more youths from the region, from any part of the country or from other nations as signs of academic interplay.
The opening of the university benefits cordilleran students on equal education rights to advance their academic exposures and engagement to their chosen specializations.
It too builds better perspectives for the residents to local, national and international job markets. It is a fact that state university graduates who display knowledge and skills or excel in their studies are prioritized by educational companies here and abroad. International employers are aware of state university standards that they themselves employ in the recruitment of qualified workers for the educational organizations’ growth they lead.
Republic Act 10583 opens its unselfish doors to national and international opportunities through students’ earned knowledge and skills out of the courses successfully availed. Courses such as forestry, agriculture, health and occupational safety, public governance, teacher education, engineering, mass communication, business management, tourism, development communication among other courses that produce competent graduate attributes for national and international competitiveness.
The continuous escalation of literacy rate in the cordilleras will permanently reinforce the image that the Cordillerans can evidently perform at par with other college and university graduates in the Philippines and from other countries not to mention that this region has gained a continuous reputation on high literacy rate in the country. Depending upon the initiatives of the university administrators as curriculum developers in catering to the needs of higher education learners, we expect uninterrupted breakthroughs in few years’ time to acceptably take part in the ASEAN vision 2020.
Furthermore, parents will be eased from financial burdens in sending their children to study in far areas due to the absence of courses in the former college located in their municipality especially if a family sends more than two college students.To add, close monitoring of children’s academic performance, attendance and behavior by parents are going to be transparently possible due to its proximity to the community.
This republic act is a legacy which the former Aquino regime has offered under the transitory history of Cordilleran education in the Philippines.
Here are some remarkable sections that contain provisions of this mandate’s plans to be accomplished.
Section (1) one states the legal conversion of the state university specifying its main campus in the municipality of Bontoc and its external campuses in Tadian,Bauko, Paracelis and Barlig.
Section (2) two emphasizes on the general mandate for the university’s advanced education, higher technological, professional instruction in forestry and agriculture, teacher education, engineering and technology, arts, humanities, science and other relevant fields of study.
Section (3) three stipulates the university’s academic freedom and institutional autonomy as a university pursuant to paragraph (2) two under Section (5) five of article XIV cited in the country’s constitution. Section (4) four states curricular offerings emphasizing that the university shall offer graduate school and undergraduate school studies in the fields of forestry and agriculture, teacher education, engineering and technology, arts and humanities.
Section (15) establishes the recruitment of qualified faculty to serve the university without discrimination on basis of beliefs, gender preference, cultural and community affiliation or ethnic origin and religious opinion or affiliation provided that no member of the faculty shall teach for or against any particular church or religious sector.
Section (16) sixteen articulates on scholarship programs and admission guidelines for the provision of scholarship programs and other related programs in assisting the poor but deserving students who qualify for admission in the university. It states too, that no students shall be denied admission in the university due to sex religion, cultural or community affiliation or ethnic origin.
Section (24) twenty four declares the university’s accreditation in the acquisition of level III or even higher status under the (CHED) which yields the approval and proliferation of more courses in the next few years.
Conceivably, it may open local tourism to those who arrive from other neighboring places. It can provide measures for the operations of more business establishments in the vicinity where taxes and revenues contribute to the municipalities’ funds for public welfare projects.
Additionally, creation of possible local employment to commendable applicants is most likely to occur and with the help of the higher learning institution’s branches in its neighboring areas in the mountain state, it will incessantly encourage and influence community’s transformation through continued sanitation and green environment- consciousness of which will attract visitors from outside regions or beyond.
Finally, with this educational development recently bestowed to the Cordilleran region, the continued fruition of professionally functional graduates is expected. If this will surface, it will reinforce the fact that Cordilleran’s as one of the Philippines’ cultural minorities will never be enthralled by ignorance under a thriving 21st century civilization.