Fifty-two international students from Southeast Asian (SEA) countries were awarded with Certificates of Completion by Pangasinan State University (PSU) as they successfully accomplished the SEA-Teacher and SEA-Technical and Vocational Education and Training (SEA-TVET).

The awarding ceremonies took place during the concluding program held at the Narcisco Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) Gymnasium in Lingayen, Pangasinan on February 14, 2018.

International students from Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam widely spread their smiles as they successfully completed the SEA-Teacher and SEA-TVET Projects. Together with the students in the photo is Dr. Sally A. Jarin, PSU Director for International and Local Affairs (middle).

The SEA-Teacher Project aims to provide opportunity for pre-service student teachers to have teaching experiences in other universities in SEA countries. While the SEA-TVET Project targets to develop students in various languages, advanced skills and knowledge, as well as increases global competitiveness, and employability of the participants. The said projects are under the Pre-Service Student Exchange Program in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Manolito C. Manuel, PSU Vice President for Academic Affairs, stressed three significant cores of the two projects during the delivery of his inspirational talk. He primarily stated that the projects served as avenues in bringing out the global competitiveness of students among SEA countries. He considered global competitiveness as one of the crucial 21st century skills which is said to be the ability to live and survive outside one’s country and being a SEA Teacher enriches one’s experiences to become well adapted in another unique experiential learning opportunity.

He followed to recognize the collaborative efforts and expertise rendered by the industry and agency partners in the country who were in one in the fulfilment of the objectives of SEA-TVET Project.

Then he highlighted the importance of partnership among SEA countries for the sharing of best practices, resources and expertise towards the betterment of SEA higher educational institutions.

M. Hanif Addienda, a SEA-Teacher delegate who is taking up Biology Education in Jambi University in Indonesia, shared some of the practices he observed in the Philippine educational system which he found better to compare with the educational practices of his country.

Addienda mentioned that Filipino teachers are very active as they practice two-way learning where students could participate during class discussions. In his country, one-way learning is practiced where students only write everything that is written by their teachers in the board. He also observed that the country only has a one-hour class per subject where he found it convenient for students. His country, however, conducts 2 to 3 hours per subject.

When he was asked if what are the significant contributions of the SEA-Project to his growth as a would-be teacher, he said, “With the teaching practices I learned in the Philippines specifically in PSU Bayambang, I am going to adopt these in our country so that when I am already a teacher I am going to become closer to my students by engaging them to be more participative during my class discussions.”

On the other hand, Ms. Jovelyn L. Bullo, an Instructor of PSU Bayambang, gave her feedback about the positive outlooks on the SEA-Teacher delegates.

She said, “Our SEA-Teacher delegates are very docile, open-minded to changes, and they are very willing to embrace the best practices they had observed in our educational system.”

Meanwhile, Biyan Rolichusnandar an Indonesian student who undergone SEA-TVET also shared his experience for his first time training which was eventually happened in the country.

Rolichusnandar who is an Informatics Engineering student in Universitas Purwokerto had learned creative designing and web developing at the Pixel Hub in Dagupan City.

He added that the learning and experience he gained in Pixel Hub have a great influence in improving his craft, and also in facilitating him in coming up with his future research.

It was on January 22 when PSU warmly welcomed the foreign students from the countries of Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam who were intended to undergo SEA-Teacher and SEA-TVET Projects.

Aside from the SEA countries, PSU is also anticipating its future international endeavors with South Korea and Japan as part of its continuous expansion of networks to include other ASEAN countries.

News article written by Menard P. Nava (PRPIO)