Elaine Carie A. Andres, News, Extension Management Office
The Extension Management Office (EMO) launched and conducted its first biennial National Conference on Extension and University-Community Partnerships (NatConEx 2022) last October 13-14, 2022 via Zoom.
NatConEx has served as an effective medium for a dynamic and democratic discussion that provides a clear path to achieving possibilities, linkages, suitable and practical region-wide extension projects and programs, with the theme “Integrating Sustainable Development through Best Policies and Practices of Extension in the New Normal.” The NatConEx’s primary goal is to bring together and discuss various extension programs with stakeholders in development work in order to achieve a shared vision of sustainable development.
Among the keynote speakers invited were Dr. Maria Corazon Tapang-Lopez, a Doctor of Philosophy in Community Development at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and is one of the members of the Academic Council of Development Academy of the Philippines; Dr. Francisco A. Magno, a Professor of Political Science and Development Studies at De La Salle University and a Convenor of the University SDG Consortium for Manila; Dr. Leonora Angeles, an Associate professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
Dr. Tapang-Lopez, the first keynote speaker, presented the context of her talk based on CHED Memorandum Order No. 52 as a reference to become active change agents of HEIs when conducting research and extension programs on the first and second days of the conference. She also stated that the environment surrounding the extension program was volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. She also emphasized that skills must be developed and that all extension work must be based on applied research and innovation.
The second keynote speaker, Dr. Magno, demonstrated other universities’ extension work that promotes SDG localization through participatory governance. In his speech, he stated that it is preferable to work toward the formation of a university consortium that addresses SDG localization observance and implementation. He also introduced the concept of knowledge partnership as an important aspect of extension work to connect organizations and provide a forum for interaction, task coordination, and collaboration.
The final keynote speaker, Dr. Angeles, discussed university extension and service learning from an international perspective. She began with the acronym CHAOS, which stands for collective, hopelessness, authoritarian, offensive, security, and sovereignty. Another topic discussed was the distinction between community service learning and community engaged learning, with community service learning focusing on community interaction and engagement-based learning in and through community processes, and community engaged learning a type of learning that integrates community service with academic courses and/or extra-curricular programs. Learning necessitates both education and community service.
Her discussion also covers common extension work issues such as ethics and ethical concerns, as well as clarity in community engagement protocols. She cited examples of community service/engaged learning from the Canadian Alliance for Community Service Learning and the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse in the United States.
Meanwhile, Dr. Julius L. Meneses, the Vice President for Planning, Research and Extension Services of Rizal Technological University; Dr. Libertad Garcia, a Course Specialist at the Graduate School of Education of Polytechnic University of the Philippines Open University and former CHED National Director on Quality Assurance; Ms. Lovelaine Basillote, the Executive Director of the Philippines Business for Education (PBEd) and Private Sector Network of Advocates for Quality Education; Dir. Emma C. Asusano, the Program Manager of Negosyo Center Program Management Unit of Department of Trade and Industry; were the plenary speakers of the two-day conference.
With the support of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges, 322 participants from more than 60 Higher Education Institutions and Organizations attended the conference (PASUC).
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