by Louis Mark Plaza
Dr. Lydie Paderanga, former dean of the College of Education, is regarded as one of the pillars of the college and given recognition during the celebration of CED’s 32nd anniversary at Lai-Lai Garden, Pala-o, Iligan City. Former deans of the college were considered pillars as they have helped shape what the college is now today. Here is the full text of Dr. Paderanga’s speech:
I am deeply honoured and grateful to be invited by the College in the celebration of its 32nd anniversary. It is so refreshing to see the deans who came before me—Mr. Nestor Grageda who is representing Dr. Edna Grageda, Prof. Felicidad del Socorro, and Dr. Fe Destura; and also the deans who came after me Prof. Sedurifa, Dr. Abucayon, Dr. Barquilla and Dr. Tabudlong.. I am also very glad to see my hard-working assistant deans, Prof. Virginia Sombilon and Dr. Rebecca Alcuizar and the equally hard-working faculty who helped me shape the College during my time and also to the new faculty and of Dr. Brigida Roscom, a pleasant evening!
Just seven years ago, the College celebrated its Silver Anniversary with the theme, “25 Years of Building and Sustaining Quality Teacher Education.” That was so fitting a theme for the College at that time. But now, with the theme “CEd Milestone @ 32: Celebrating Excellence in Research and Innovation”, I find it even more appropriate to describe the direction of the College after attaining academic excellence. It has completed the trilogy function of a University and echoes the aspirations and direction of the College for the coming years.
I remember so well that the main reason why I was finally invited to join the College of Education was to head the area of Research in its quest for Level 1 accreditation. Research then at CEd was in its infant stage. And some of the baby steps we had made were a Research Journal for the College, a Research Manual, and the tradition of conducting a Research Forum as a gift to the Institute in its Charter Day. I will never forget how Dr. Nuneza compared us to the turtle who is slow but persistent. That turtle has now reached other countries presenting studies in international research fora/conventions. It has even created a partnership with other Asian countries such as Khon Kaen University with the initiative of Amy Buan, Diamer Capilitan and the DSME people. This partnership has resulted to research presentations in Khon Kaen, and four student exchanges. I also gathered that students are now doing international research presentations. This is a far cry from CEd 15-16 yrs. Ago when we can hardly come up with faculty presentations in our Research Forum. Indeed the turtle had gone a long way and the College has obviously developed a research culture.
Another collaborative endeavour CED has undertaken is linking with the Asean Council of Physical Education and Sports or ACPES. This paved the way for MSU-IIT to represent the Philippines through the efforts of another trailblazer in the person of Dr. Rebecca Alcuizar. As an active member of the ACPES CEd hosted the convention last year.
In terms of innovation, CEd has continuously shown its lead role in ICT integration. Through its Community of Learning it shared to the community its recent innovations and practices to effect learning in the classrooms.
So what is the challenge of the College 32 years and beyond? For 25 years and above, the College has focused its attention in quality instruction and quality graduates. It has spread its wings in connecting and collaborating with big schools in the country and outside the country. But now as a Center of Excellence, it has to broaden its horizon and have its presence felt by other schools smaller than itself as a gesture of social responsibility. The College needs to strike a balance between macro and micro, and between producing quality students and creating an impact in other small schools. I am proposing that CEd undertake the leadership role in establishing a network of learning and sharing of talent resources that would fully address the problems faced by small schools.
To face this challenge, I would like to share with you some tips as to how you may equip yourselves to take all these challenges which will come your way the next 32 years. I call them 7 Cs for effective educators.
Communication. To be understood and be able to put our point of view across, we need to communicate either orally or in writing. But we should also remember that we communicate through our body language and so we have to be consistent with our words and actions.
Connection. Once we communicate, we can make a connection. The connection is either vertical or horizontal or both. But it is much much better to create a network.
Collaboration/Cooperation. When we belong to a network it becomes so easy to collaborate and cooperate. Bring something to the table. Share your blessings, talents, expertise and resources.
Creation. When there is collaboration and cooperation it is so easy to create something because of the many ideas, talents, expertise, etc. in a group.
Community. When you have done all of these, you say that you belong to a community. As we all know, community is not limited to geographical location but common aspirations. What is common among us? We want to have an impact on others, and we aspire to acquire excellence in instruction, research and extension, to name a few.
Continual Learning. To be an effective member of a community, we need to have lifelong learning. Especially for us educators, it is said that “once a teacher, forever a student.” It is also incumbent as a member of a community to learn from each other.
Culture. With continual learning within a community, we contribute to the development of culture. As educators, we know that one of our primary responsibility is the transmission of culture. We should not limit ourselves with the transmission of culture but more importantly, we should contribute to the development of culture.
To all of us here tonight, we are privileged to have the opportunity to build on 32 years of success. We had/have the opportunity to venture into the unknown and build quality teacher education needed for the future.
I wish CEd the very best for the next 32 years. To the dean, the chairpersons, students and their parents, thank you for your fantastic effort in nurturing our would be teachers in whom we trust the future of our country.
In closing, I would like to leave you a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson as I think it encapsulates what CEd has done and what CEd has left to do. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Thank you and congratulations!