By Nova Veraley V. Grafe
TO ENHANCE THE administration’s ability in creating service-learning activities to both Filipino and international students, the Institute of Service-Learning (ISL), formerly known as the Service-Learning Center, held a seminar last Jan. 25.
The seminar gathered representatives from its eight partner agencies: La Casa Esperanza, Habitat for Humanity, Little Children of the Philippines Foundation Inc., Gawad Kalinga, Rainbow Village Ministries, Dumaguete Child Foster Care Project Inc., Marina Mission Clinic and the City Social Welfare and Development Offce. The seminar’s aim was to provide the said partners with an overview of the institutional thrust of Silliman University in service-learning.
These partner agencies open their respective communities to students for exposure and immersion activities. Some allow participants to stay in on-site homes to facilitate better adjustment to the culture. They assist in introducing the participants to realities on the ground, ensuring that in the end, the participants have a substantial grasp of the Filipino way of life.
The seminar included discussions on how plans can be better implemented in the next school years. It provided a venue for agency representatives to share their observations, insights and recommendations on how the existing partnership arrangement can be sustained and maximized.
The institute has been receiving a growing number of foreign students coming from the United States and Asian countries, such as Japan, Korea and Thailand every school year.
Service-learning programs bring students to communities, thus exposing them to social realities outside the academic setting. It also aims to monitor students’ realizations and learning in forms of journalistic writing and group discussions.
Facilitating the workshop was Prof. Emervencia Ligutom, together with psychology department Prof. Deborah Mae C. Salem, Prof. Grace A. Gloria, Dr. Betsy Joy B. Tan, Dr. Enrique G. Oracion and Dr. Pablito A. Dela Rama.