Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan challenged the inaugural batch of graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Cultural Education (GDCE) in Northern Mindanao to boost the promotion of Filipino culture and the arts and our national imagination through teaching and research.
“Gathering cultural workers and cultural scholars is not easy,” said Hobart Savior, director of Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA), the host institution of GDCE in Cagayan de Oro City.
“We hope that this scholarship will enable us to continue and further our studies on Mindanao’s culture and the Philippine culture at large so we will be able to promote among our young ones the appreciation of our culture and at the same time, protect it. This is our biggest responsibility,” Savior told the graduates during their graduation in March.
Strongly aligned with the program objectives of the Philippine Cultural Education Program (PCEP), the 24-unit GDCE program offered scholarship opportunities for region-based public elementary and high school teachers in the core subject areas (Science, Mathematics, Social Studies and English and Filipino Languages) and MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health) to undergo a two-summer intensive training.
Designed as an in-service residential program, the scholarships covered a total of 432 hours of intensive training during the summers of 2015 and 2016 designed to integrate a functional understanding of the local and national history, culture, heritage, and the arts.
“We hope that you will be able to bring in the voices of your locality and that you will be able to tell a lot of stories and map a lot of cultural experiences and icons,” said Savior.
The students of GDCE underwent modular lectures, excursions, field studies, and artistic performances and exposures over the course of the program. At the end, they came up with culture-based lessons and mechanisms and were expected to apply these to their respective schools.
Since the summer of 2008, the NCCA-PCEP, through several conduit-HEIs nationwide, has been offering a credit-earning post-baccalaureate teacher enhancement program called Certificate Program on Cultural Education (CPCE), which is now formally known as the Graduate Diploma in Cultural Education.
Dr. Orlando Magno, commissioner of the Subcommission on Cultural Dissemination of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) declared the inaugural 29 scholars as GDCE graduates of Xavier Ateneo.
In his message, Magno thanked XU and the people behind the program for the successful run of GDCE which has formed teachers to be culturally-aware advocates, “who now know better how to impart not only the knowledge but also the responsibilities of promoting, protecting and handing down our culture, values, heritage, and traditions to the younger generation.”
During their graduation at Casa Real of The VIP Hotel, it was officially announced that XU will soon offer Master of Arts in Education major in Cultural Education under the School of Education.
GDCE graduates will only have to take 18 more units to be given the said master’s degree.
On behalf of the dean of XU School of Education, Dr. Jovelyn Delosa, Dr. Edralin Manla of the XU’s IDEA Program, encouraged the GDCE graduates to “continue to grow professionally for better opportunities.”
“Why continue to grow professionally? What would it give you? One, you have more knowledge to share with your students. There becomes more depth in your teaching because of the knowledge you have gained. I hope you continue to spread the love and appreciation of our culture, our local and national history, heritage, and the arts,” she said.
For Manla, the promotion of our culture can be achieved through practice and research: “Welcome this as a challenge. We want to make a new breed of teachers with this new batch. Take the challenge with a heart. … Bring the Atenean spirit with you! Make a difference in the lives of your students. Love culture and the arts the way you teach your students.”