The Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) has been given the privilege of having Dr. Aldrin A. Darilag, Commissioner of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED), deliver the keynote speech for the awaited 2nd International Conference on Education, Environment, and Agriculture (ICEEA) on August 25-26, 2021.
“It is through conferences that we get to forge bridges and connections across physical boundaries, and it is through opportunities that we get to overcome barriers of cultural differences and use it as an advantage to produce multidisciplinary collaboration,” Dr. Darilag mentioned.
As the Commissioner of CHED, Dr. Darilag states in his speech that internationalization has always been an integral part of his advocacies to produce competent, responsive, and world-ready professionals. Furthermore, he constantly encourages and endorses the promotion of transnational linkages through education. This commission initiative is a part of the agency’s intervention to prepare the higher education and institutions for the 4th industrial revolution. It is, therefore, one with CBSUA in its initiative to augment the professional growth and development of its faculty and learner through cross-cultural exchange.
CBSUA is a learning institute that focuses its manpower resources on the three-pronged task of instruction, research, and extension. First, it aspires to become an agricultural research university of global standards. Thus, the conference is one of the ways to actualize such a goal since this conference fosters communication among researchers and practitioners who work in a variety of specialized fields with the common interest of improving people’s lives.
These noteworthy initiatives aimed to address global research that offers comprehensive discussion undertaking agricultural technologies and issues, which also presents an excellent opportunity for networking and facilitating partnerships across national and disciplinary borders, as the Commissioner identified.
In addition, the Keynote Speaker elaborated that this discussion serves as an enabler of change and development as it gathers renowned scholars and researchers who realize the creative and innovative solutions in making food systems and livelihoods sustainable in these challenging times. He said that this undertaking on international conference serves as a step towards future-proofing CBSUA and bridging international partners that will leave a remarkable outcome to the local and international environment.
However, as the pandemic runs its course, he pointed out that higher education research has been prompted to adopt the new normal approach for research and knowledge production objectives to be still realized despite the pandemic havoc. In a book published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) entitled Science, Technology, and Innovation Outlook 2021, he quoted its key findings highlight that the academic research workforce is leading the fight against COVID-19 because of the importance of generating new knowledge and effective strategies.
The CHED commissioner added that this academic pursuit should become a platform for knowledge production and advancement of learning to fully actualize the potentials of sustainable agriculture and forestry in the Philippines. CHED has encouraged this healthy relationship between the researchers and the community they serve to produce a responsive, innovative, and proactive Philippine higher education.
Furthermore, to guarantee the global competitiveness of our tertiary education graduates and provide substantial assistance to teaching personnel for the advancement of research and development, the commission has released CHED Memorandum Order No.6 Series of 2020, regarding the Guidelines for the Scholarships for Instructor’s Knowledge Advancement Program, or the SIKAP Grant.
Also, he discussed that glocalization is education by taking advantage of the existing regional development efforts to integrated local cultural, indigenous, and heritage products and practices within the wider global context. He said that the priority themes of the program are as follows: Culture, Heritage, and Museums (CHM), which pertains to the preservation and appreciation of participants and products of Philippine civilization); Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery (AFF), which explains the promotion and development of the tourism potential of economic activities; and, Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), which talks about conservation and restoration of ecological systems.
Meanwhile, the commission’s international competitiveness building program for SUCs that will promote collaborations among stakeholders and the convergence of the academe, diverse communities, local government units, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) around the Philippines supports the revitalization of the country’s economy and tourism industry.
” I shall continue supporting internationalization practices and initiatives and pursue the advancement of the quality of our tertiary education by forging collaboration and partnership with international organizations. We shall together uphold international quality standards and advocate the status of being at par with our global partners”, Dr. Aldrin A. Darilag emphasized as he closes his keynote address.