Bukidnon State U inks cooperation programs with ASEAN partners

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 3 April) – Sixteen teachers and 14 school administrators from Thailand are arriving here over the weekend for a month-long training at the Bukidnon State University under the auspices of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

The 30 visitors, all from Anubanchonburi School under Thailand’s public schools, are coming over for the ASEAN’s spirit of developing cooperation in human resources development and educational capacity-building program.

They will undergo training in three core areas – English as means of communication, the teaching of Mathematics, and Science.

Anubanchonburi School is a government basic education institution based in Thailand’s Chon Buri province.

BSU, which styles itself as a “special place for teaching and learning,” is a teacher training institution that provides learning opportunities to educators and future educators.

BSU and Anubanchonburi School signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2013 to establish collaboration in “all academic areas of mutual interest”.

The 16 Thai teachers will undergo 160 hours of training from April 7 to May 2, 2014. The training will be administered by BSU’s College of Teacher Education.

BSU first sent five of its student-teachers to Anubanchonburi School from January to March this year for a 15-week teaching immersion, which is equivalent to off-campus teaching internship. Three student teachers were also sent to Watboonyasri Thumurant Upathum school.

BSU first sent student teachers to Manado International School, a private school in Indonesia in 2012 to expose students to various cultures and learning environments abroad. According to BSU coordinators, other universities require teacher candidates to take a course in multi-cultural education or promote issues of diversity, peace education and social justice within their curriculum.

The school stressed that a course alone, reading a textbook about multicultural education, conducting course discussions, among others, are not sufficient.

“Future teachers need to experience the cultural roots that immigrants experience in their new country that may develop international knowledge in a way that assists the understanding of their students,” according to the program’s basic information sheet from BSU.

In the 80th commencement exercises of BSU, the theme focused on “ASEAN 2015: The Challenge for Higher Education,” referring to the integration of the ASEAN countries next year as one economic community.