By Patrick James L. Urcia (BSEd English IV)
The University of Northern Philippines (UNP) facilitated a welcome program to extend its warm reception to the arrival of 11 inbound Indonesian student-teachers who are part of the Pre-Service Student Teacher Exchange in Southeast Asia Program (SEA-Teacher Project) at the Tadena Hall on September 4.
The inbound students came from four different universities in Indonesia. There were two students from Universitas Halu Oleo (UHO), two students from Universitas Borneo Tarakan (UBT), two students from Universitas Mulawarman, and five students from Universitas Negeri Malang (UM).
The fete started with a welcome remark by Dr. Ma. Teresa Susan L. Manzano, Dean of the College of Teacher Education. She shared that the university is delighted with the presence of the 11 initial inbound students because it indicates the continuation of UNP’s international collaborations.
“We hope that this will be the first of the many collaborations that the University will be able to forge with other universities in the different countries of Asia,” she said.
After the welcome remarks, Dr. Jose P. Pichay, Unit Coordinator of the SEA-Teacher, presented the overview of the said project. He emphasized that the SEA-Teacher Project is a project under the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), which prioritizes revitalizing teacher education to achieve quality education in the region.
It is designed for pre-service student teachers to have the opportunity to conduct their practicum within Southeast Asian countries for one month.
Moreover, UNP President Erwin F. Cadorna also delivered a speech, extending his warmest welcome to the inbound students. He also highlighted the importance of internalization in higher education.
“Internalization helps to create a more diverse and inclusive academic environment. It also provides students skills and knowledge they need to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world. In order to achieve these goals, we must work towards creating an environment that fosters internationalization,” he stated.
He also added that internationalization can be done by developing policies that promote internationalization, establishing partnerships with institutions abroad, and providing opportunities for students and faculty to engage in international activities.
Furthermore, the inbound students will be deployed to Ilocos Sur National High School for two weeks, where they will observe and have their teaching assistantship in preparation for their teaching internship at the UNP-CTE Laboratory Schools.
They are the first batch of inbound student-teachers to arrive at UNP. Hence, UNP is looking forward to the arrival of other inbound students from partner universities in Indonesia and Thailand in the following months.