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08 August 2017 | Valenzuela City, Metro Manila
In the first-ever Appreciation Day hosted by Our Lady of Fatima University, 49 partner schools attended the event that was especially dedicated to them. Said feeder schools come from the areas of Valenzuela, Caloocan, Navotas, Quezon City, Manila, Malabon and Bulacan. It was a great opportunity for OLFU to have them all in one venue, enabling the University to manifest its deep appreciation for the continued trust these schools have put in OLFU as the next “educational destination” for their students.
During the program, OLFU’s Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Senior High School (SHS) Administrator, Ernesto R. Leuterio Jr., looked back on the “birthing pains” of SHS having been introduced in SY 2016-2017. He stated, “As early as 2013, OLFU Valenzuela was already laying the groundwork for 2016.” This included preparing the workbooks, curriculum, uniforms and faculty job assignments. He declared that 60% of the SHS enrollment in 2016 came from Valenzuela feeder schools. Dean Leuterio then shared that the biggest challenge in SY 2018-2019 would be converting SHS graduates to actual college enrollees at OLFU as it would mean, for most, a shift from a “no top-up” scenario in SHS, to a “paying tuition” scenario in college. OLFU endeavors to add value at the SHS level by offering a “university experience in a high school context”, and keeping faithful to an outcomes-based education system that is “more into doing”.
Dr. Melition P. Zurbano, CESE, was the honored guest speaker for the day. He is the Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the School Division Superintendent for Valenzuela City of the Department of Education. Touching on “K-12: A Triumph of Filipino Learners,” he remarked at the initial worries as SHS was launched in 2016. With 10,000 junior high school graduates in his district then, it was almost inconceivable that they would be placed in schools offering SHS. To him, OLFU was an answered prayer because the University absorbed close to half of these JHS graduates into its new SHS program, ably-supported with the facilities, teaching professionals, and being very cognizant of government’s implementing guidelines.
“This education reform is the boldest move made by the government in the history of the Philippine educational system. It requires courage, determination, and political will of revolutionizing the Philippine educational system amid challenges in more than 70 years,” said Dr. Zurbano, referring to the entry of the K-12 Program. He added, “The program aims to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop life-long learners and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.”
OLFU President, Dr. Caroline Marian S. Enriquez reinforced that its students are educated in a way that they “learn how to live in a world outside Valenzuela.” Thus, the onus today is to align to the directions of the ASEAN Integration 2015 to enable OLFU graduates to compete in the world market. For SHS graduates, there is a breadth of opportunities, she declared. A graduate may take one or more options: start working, or pursue a college degree, or become an entrepreneur. OLFU is able to assure this with its i-Ahead program that allows an SHS student a hands-on experience of his or her chosen track by exposing the student to it via simulation. The University President said OLFU’s ability to enrich the learning experience for the SHS learner will be magnified even more as she revealed the upcoming construction of a 10-storey Research and Simulation Center in Valenzuela which will house state-of-the art facilities and laboratories which open up channels of transforming theoretical learning into actual practice.
The affair held at OLFU’s San Lorenzo Hall peaked as OLFU leaders presented its partner schools with certificates of appreciation. Some of the awardees were: Valenzuela- Dalandanan National High School (NHS), General Tiburcio de Leon NHS, Malinta NHS, Maysan NHS and Polo NHS; Caloocan- Baesa High School, Caybiga High School and MB Asistio High School; Quezon City- Balingasa High School, Masambong High School, Ramon Magsaysay High School and San Jose High School; Manila- F.G. Calderon Integrated School and Jose P. Laurel High School; Malabon- Malabon NHS, Potrero NHS and Tinajeros NHS; Bulacan- Assemblywoman Felicitas G. Bernardino Memorial Trade School, Bancal Integrated School and Nazarenus College. Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer Don August O. Santos and the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Mylene S. Abad Santos joined Dr. Enriquez and Dean Leuterio in congratulating the partner schools.
The Appreciation Day was an initiative led by the Valenzuela Admissions Team headed by Jomar Parel.