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Virtual Exchange Program made possible by OLFU BED Pampanga x Anbeop High School
Virtual Exchange Program made possible by OLFU BED Pampanga x Anbeop High School

By: Vicente Santos

05/24/2021

By: Vicente Santos

05/24/2021

12 May 2021

It has been over a year since COVID-19 reared its ugly head, unleashing its bitter talons on normal life. The quarantine orders and lockdowns forced schools to become adept at online and distance learning modalities so as to keep nourishing young minds who had to remain locked away at home— away from their teachers, their classrooms, their classmates and simple school joys.

But like a tenacious seedling bursting forth from arid ground, an initiative of the Basic Education Department of Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU BED) broke through the perceived limitations of virtual learning; proving that educational institutions CAN bridge the geographic, cultural and learning divide that COVID-19 pandemic has set upon the globe.

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On 12 May 2021, 20 junior high school students from the Pampanga Campus of OLFU BED engaged with 20 of their counterparts from Anbeop High School, a South Korean school based in Anseong, Gyeonggi-do. Hosted online via Zoom, faculty members and the Administration from both institutions were also on-hand to facilitate and ensure a thoroughly enriching experience for the participants.

Considered the highlight of this international program was the Academic Exchange where there were breakout rooms representing three categories of interests, namely:  Languages, Mathematics-Science-Values, and Social Science-ICT.  The 40 Filipino and South Korean students branched out into the three breakout rooms, allowing for lively social interaction and interactive games.

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In retrospect, the academic partnership between OLFU BED and Anbeop High School was first forged in 2018 through the efforts of OLFU’s Center for Professional Development and Academic Partnership.  The South Korean partner is a Catholic school that was established by French missionaries in the 1900s.  What would have been the first exchange in 2020 was shelved due to the worldwide pandemic.  And lemons it may have been, but both institutions, kindred in vision, ingeniously came up with lemonade through this virtual exchange program.

Cheers to OLFU BED Administrator Rafael Vicente S Enriquez and his top-rated team for seeing this to fruition!