First International Conference on Multilingual Education held in UCU

The first of its kind, an International Conference on Multilingual Education was held in Urdaneta City University on January 18-20, 2011. This was organized by the University of Philippines Diliman, U.P. Guro Formation Forum, Urdaneta City Univeresity, UCU Alumni Association, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Education (Dep-Ed), SEAMEO, and Japan Foundation. The conference was participated by educators from different regions of the country. Teachers, superintendents, schoolheads came all the way from Visayas, Mindanao and even abroad just to attend this significant educational endeavor. The Urdaneta City University was surprised with the big number of participants who arrived on the first day. There were more than one thousand (1000) participants in the conference. These participants included officials of different educational institutions, teachers, as well as students pursuing education, who were interested in learning the use of Mother-Tongue in Education. 

The conference was also participated by foreign educators, some of which served as plenary speakers for the event. The keynote speaker was Dr. Shigekazu Takemura, Professor Emeritus of Hiroshima University who rendered a speech entitled “Benchmarking MT‐MLE Development practices and Challenges in the 21st Century in Asia Pacific”. Other foreign plenary speakers were Dr. Gloria Johannessen of Texas State University who related her teaching experiences in Nicaragua and U.S.A., and Ms. Pia Roces Morato, a Spanish MLE advocate, who emphasized the need for quality pre- and in-service training among teachers in her speech.

Other plenary speakers were from the partner University of UCU in the Multilingual Education Project, the University of the Philippines-Diliman, such as Dr. Milagros Ibe, Professor Emeritus, from the College of Education of the University of the Philippines Diliman who gave a talk entitled “Innovative Learning Assessment Tools for MT‐MLE”; Mr. Edecio Dela Torre, the director of Education for Life, who talked about the importance of indigenizing the curriculum. Other plenary speakers were also from the Department of Education. Dr. Carolina Guerrero, who is the Director of the Bureau of Alternative Education System from the Department of Education, Pasig Complex rendered a plenary speech entitled ““Material Development & Production.” 

The plenary speakers were complemented by parallel speakers who featured educational activities related to the use of Multilingual Education. Parallel speakers came from educational institutions in the different regions of the country who conducted researches and activities related to the use of our Mother Tongue in teaching. The parallel presentations revolved around six (6) themes such as: Policy Research in Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education, Learning Activities, Teacher‐Made Learning Materials, Innovative Learning Assessment Tools, Stakeholders Input and Practices, Teacher and Teaching Experiences & Success Stories, Community, POs, NGOs & LGUs Paradigm. Some of the parallel speakers were also professors from U.P. Diliman and our own Urdaneta City University.

The second day of the event ended with product demonstration of our own local inventors. Many of our local inventors fascinated the participants with their ingenuity in inventing products which are made up of indigenous materials, and which are also proven effective. Lotions which are anti-mosquito bites made from neem tree were some of the products demonstrated. Others include herbal drinks which are proven to be effective in fighting and preventing chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 

A cultural presentation was also rendered at the end of the second day. This was to show our foreign delegates some of our country’s famous folk songs and dances, rendered by the UCU Music Ensemble and UCU Dance Troupe. Some exercises were also performed after some lectures to energize the participants and to allow their participation in the event. 

The fourth, which was the last day of the conference, was an educational tour. Some of the participants joined the tour on Alaminos and Bolinao which featured visitation on memorable and famous places in Lingayen, the Capital of Pangasinan, and Bolinao also called the Boracay of the North. Others joined the tour in Baguio, the Summer Capital of the Philippines. This was participated by Dr. Shigekazu Takemura, our keynote speaker and his wife. Tourist spots in Baguio city such as The Mansion, Mine’s View, and Burnham Park were visited.

Source: UCU Official Website