The Capiz State University (CapSU) Extension Institute led by Director Emelita Solante and the extension chairpersons of the ten CapSU campuses across Capiz joined the first National Training on Extension held on Aug. 13–15, 2014 at the Aklan State University Review Center, in Banga, Aklan.
CapSU representatives were Prof. Maddy Gallardo of Sapian; Prof. Sandra Escabarte of Pontevedra; Prof. Ginalyn Obien of Sigma; Dr. Mary Jane Floro of Tapaz; Prof. Gemma Angelias of Roxas City Main Campus; Dr. Nelinda Duero of Dumarao; and Extension Associate Niño Manaog of the Research, Development and Extension Center.
Led by the newly formed State Universities and Colleges Extension Managers Network, Inc. (SEMAN), the first National Training on Extension was an offshoot of the Flagship Course on the Management of SUC Extension Services sponsored by the collaboration between the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Development Academy of the Philippines, which became a venue “to surface issues, articulate solutions and provide framework to rationalize extension operation in the academia.”
Anchored on the theme “Strengthening the Role of SUC Extension Services in Achieving Inclusive Growth,” the first national extension congress gathered some 200 participants including SUC vice-presidents, extension chairpersons and staff from across the country.
In his message, Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino urged the participants “to harness your collective knowledge to adapt to the trends in sustainable countryside development” even as he sought for them to integrate said knowledge into the strategies into nation-building.
The congress featured Dr. Ruperto Sangalang, CHED commissioner who shared his input and insights on the “Global Trends and Issues Affecting the SUC’s extension programs vis-à-vis the PHER Agenda.” Sangalang underscored the need for the academe to take stock of the existing platforms of internet such as the social media to promote and enhance communication between and among extension stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Dr. Leilani Pavilando, Bicol University’s extension director, shared the best practices in her institution which highlights the effective collaboration on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management between SUC and the local government units (LGU) in Legaspi City and Albay.
On the last day of the training, the CapSU participants joined the national caucuses and parallel sessions on different fields of extension, namely: agriculture, education and the social sciences, Muslims and indigenous peoples, fisheries and development and technology.
Among other outputs, the fisheries group, where Prof. Gallardo belonged, tackled institutional capability which they addressed to the Department of Budget and Management and CHED. Recognizing the lack of manpower for fisheries extension, they moved for the creation of plantilla positions for extension workers in said field.
One group advocating the concerns of the Islamic minority and indigenous peoples proposed a program titled Innovating Extension Services toward Sustainable Human Development for Muslims and Indigenous Communities. It recognized that interventions of non-Muslims and non-IP organizations are not culturally responsive and there is also the lack of culture-sensitive or culture-based extension services. It also lamented using tribal groups for marketability for financing institutions local and abroad and the unstable peace and order conditions in their communities.
The Western Visayas group, meanwhile, proposed for the development and translation into vernacular varied information, education and communication (IEC) materials previously published and distributed by the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Training Institute and SUCs of Region VI.
For her part, Solante said that part of their learning from the said capability-building initiative is the reinforcement and polishing of 4K, CapSU’s current extension agenda. In particular, Solante has set to make use of the current social media in their activities to promote effective communication channels among CapSU extension workers.
|The participants and facilitators of the first National Training on Extension in Banga, Aklan.|