The University of Asia and the Pacific, through its Institute for Marriage and Family Development (IMFD), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with two key players in the promotion of family life in the country.
On January 23, Regional Director Wilfredo E. Cabral inscribed on behalf of the Department of Education – National Capital Region (DepEd NCR) the memorandum that will enable 35 public school teachers to participate in the Family Life Education (FLE) Certificate Program offered by IMFD on full scholarship. Present as witnesses were the division superintendents or their representatives.
“I find [this memorandum] really urgent and very important,” declared the regional director, who reiterated the responsibility of teachers to exercise extended parental authority over the children in school. “Let us have a critical mass of teachers advocating a very safe learning environment in schools while at the same time reaching out to all the families out there, telling what ought to be done and what should happen in every home.”
The third run of the FLE, in which the 35 teachers still to be chosen will join, will be held for 20 consecutive Saturdays starting August 10. Sixteen of these 20 days are class days, while four are “think days,” or days where they can discuss their thoughts and initiatives with experienced mentors.
The memorandum paves the way for the use of the FLE framework in the in-service training of teachers. These 35 teachers, should they complete the modules of the course, will also be expected to mentor their fellow teachers and conduct trainings particularly in home-school collaboration and family development initiatives.
The FLE program, which aims at strengthening the Filipino family as a basic unit of society, focuses on anthropology, andragogy, philosophy of education, Christian doctrine, developmental psychology, and other disciplines deemed appropriate to a better understanding of the family dynamics.
“We always have to project the message of hope,” said FLE Program Head Dr. Rina M. Villegas, who emphasized that parents should be taken good care of so that the rest will follow. “Something [good] can happen to our country because we know how to reach out to the Filipino families.”
Fourteen days prior, a similar memorandum was signed with EDUCHILD Foundation, Inc., a foundation which operates exclusively towards pursuing programs and undertakings for the protection and development of children and families. EDUCHILD (Education for the Upbringing of Children) offers marriage and parenting seminars.
The signing points to joint undertakings including, but not limited to, the training of moderators and facilitators of EDUCHILD and the crafting of continuity modules for the same purpose.
“We in EDUCHILD feel that we can never promote EDUCHILD unless we have the training of our volunteers done properly and in place,” revealed Mr. Eric Canoy, who serves as Chairman of the foundation. “We’ve been willing to do it in small, little steps, but we’ve reached a certain stage when we need to do a quantum leap to really go out.”
“We look forward to good, in-depth studies of the family that will be conducted properly to support the training programs that we need and to change our approaches to the family, as the Filipino family continues to evolve,” he further commented.
University President Dr. Winston Conrad Padojinog, who stood as signatory for UA&P on both events, concurred with Mr. Canoy. “It’s very important (for IMFD) to come up with practical and localized research. We’ve been quoting well-done researches conducted abroad. It would be very good to have researches specific to our own culture.”
With the possibility of offering FLE in provinces (and even abroad) now opening up, IMFD sees more help at hand in conducting high quality researches. FLE will start in Batangas on March 16, with some of the pioneer FLE completers on board. The certificate program is envisioned to eventually lead to a degree, or a qualification for licensure on select disciplines.