By Ali G. Macabalang
GENERAL SANTOS CITY -– Eighty (80) faculty members of the Mindanao State University (MSU) in this city have gone through an initial leg of serial seminar programs coordinated with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) to sustain or enhance academic excellence gradually achieved by the satellite campus here.
The webinar participants belonged to different colleges of the MSU-General Santos Campus (GSC) now girding for the opening of this year’s academic period in a fashion aptly complying with the protocols of the still gripping effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anshari P. Ali, campus chancellor, announced.
The three-hour webinar was held last July 14 as a maiden leg segment of the campus’ partnership with the USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) and the U.S.-based Golden State University (GGU), Dr. Ali told The Philippine Muslim Today news.
It may be recalled that Dr. Ali, representing the MSU-GSC, signed virtually with Dr. David J. Fike, GGU president, a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a virtual ceremony last March 31. Four days earlier, Ali inked another MoU with Dr. Chetan Kumar, Philippine head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with Bangsamoro autonomous government spokesman Naguib Sinarimbo witnessing.
The July 14 webinar was facilitated by the MSU-GSC’s Office of International Affairs (OIA), which invited experts as counterparts to foreign lecturers on two main topics – Tips and strategies to maximize Zoom platform in classroom distance learning; and Systematized Ideas for Better Students Management, it was learned.
Dr. Jay Gonzalez and Prof. Ignacio Dayrit, both public administration experts, handled the first topic, while Dr. Mick McGee – director of the Doctoral Program of Business Administration, and Prof. Jim Hynes, professor and former Assistant City Manager of Berkeley, supplemented the lectures on the second topic, OIA officials said.
The OIA was created by Dr. Ali upon his investiture as campus chancellor on April 28, 2019, with Dr. Anderson Avila designated as maiden director, to globalize the MSU-GSC campus operations and build linkages with counterpart universities in the Asian, Western and European regions.
Dr. Ali said the July 14 event featured a webinar on Flexible Learning Modality in Zoom and Moodle platforms, which the OIA designed to be followed up by succeeding interactive episodes hosted by the USAID-SURGE City Program Coordinator Gemma Borreros alongside counterparts from the California-based GGU.
He said GGU is one of California’s oldest non-profit private universities, with thousands of students and more than 68,000 alumni. The university’s main campus is located in San Francisco with additional teaching sites in Seattle and Silicon Valley. Established in 1901, GGU has been helping adults achieve professional goals by providing college and graduate education in Accounting, Law, Taxation, Business and related areas, he added.
“Inshaallah (God willing), we shall be able to sustain if not enhance our gradual achievement of academic excellence despite the challenges posed by the global health pandemic,” Dr. said.
Since 2019, higher education authorities have classified the MSU-GSC campus among the top 10 state universities in the Philippines after the satellite unit had produced high percentage in Bar examinations and top notch records in various board exams.
The field unit, one of at least seven satellite campuses of the Marawi City-based MSU system, has been chosen as one of five testing centers in Mindanao for this year’s Bar exam. (AGM)