EMPOWERING TEACHERS IN CHALLENGED AREAS: PH-European collaboration concludes at WVSU today


ILOILO City – The Final Dissemination and Send-off of Project FORTH, a collaboration between Philippine and European universities that aims to empower teachers in challenged areas in the Philippines, concludes today at the Cultural Center and Teleconference Room of the West Visayas State University (WVSU). This event is the second to the last leg of the project.

Project FORTH was launched in WVSU in February 2019 and Iloilo was one of the pilot areas. It succeeded in obtaining the approval of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in 2020 for the offering of the degree Master of Teaching in Challenged Areas (MAEd TCA) which is now available at WVSU, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila, and the University of St. La Salle (USLS) in Bacolod City.

Today’s activities, which start at 8:30 a.m., will involve the WVSU College of Education students as the audience. The program will include a Walkthrough of Project FORTH, a presentation of the impact of Project FORTH in Philippine Higher Education, and speeches by two principals and a student who have taken up MAEd Teaching in Challenged Areas. They will talk about the Imprints of Project FORTH in Philippine Higher Education. WVSU President Joselito Villaruz will also deliver a speech entitled “Ways Forward for WVSU.”

The European partner institutions will share their experiences with their Philippine counterparts, and Project FORTH Designer Julia Gonzales will speak on “Changing the Narrative: Project FORTH Vision and Beyond.”

The second part of the Final Dissemination and Send-off will take place at the Teleconference Room of the WVSU, where the participants will share their experiences of Department of Education (DepEd) and university partners. They will also discuss the outputs of FORTH, such as infusion in the Bachelor of Arts Program, majoring in Teaching in Challenged Areas, and materials developed and publications.

The afternoon session will feature European and WVSU partners speaking on Project FORTH and Beyond, FORTH’s impact, and “Visioning the Association for Teacher Educators and Teachers in Challenged Areas.” The program will end at 3 p.m., after which the Project FORTH Team will proceed to Davao City for the last leg of the Final Dissemination and Send-off.

On March 23, implementers, representatives of partner schools, officials of the DepEd and CHED gathered for the formal send-off at the Savoy Hotel in Pasay City. A series of activities followed, including visits on March 24 to Centro Escolar University and PUP and their Manila partner schools and communities, March 25 in USLS Bacolod, March 26 at an Aeta community in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, March 27 in WVSU, and March 28 and 29 in USeP Davao and its partner community for a project called “Education behind bars.”/PN


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