Last January 21, 2016, the LPU-Laguna family was blessed not only with the presence of a distinguished guest, but also with a renewed take on holistic education.
Prof. Dr. Pradeep Kumar Nair, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Taylor’s University in Malaysia came to LPU Laguna to share his insights on the coming developments in education
The event was attended by the administrative and management officers led by the institution’s Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs (EVP/VPAA) , Dr. Flora V. Javier, Vice President for Administration (VPA), Mr. Crisostomo M. Malabuyoc, Executive Director for Planning and Quality Assurance, Mr. Ramon George Atento, and the Executive Director for Student Affairs and Services and Business Development, Mr. Christopher C. Torres.
Along with them were the College Deans, Engr. Ricky Bustamante for College of Engineering and Computer Studies (COECS), Ms. Lilian Silang for College of International Tourism and Hospitality Management (CITHM), Ms. Janet Calupitan of College of Allied Medicine (CAM), Dr. Felipe Balingit, Jr. for College of Business and Accountancy (CBA), and Ms. Celia Tibayan for College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).
Also in attendance were heads and personnel from other respective departments such as Research, Center for Internationalization and Continuing Education, Marketing, Guidance and Testing Center, Institutional Social Responsibility, and Human Resource and Development. Attorney. Reynold S. Beredo of LPU-Batangas also attended the event.
The new idea introduced by Professor Dr. Nair was something called the Second Transcript, which is the final documented output of the SHINE program. The program aims to help students find greater meaning in their individual lives, which in turn will translate into better work attitudes, more realistic expectations regarding work life, and an emphasis on character as a necessary complement to success.
In order to make these ideas more tangible, Dr. Pradeep emphasized 5C’s – Communication, Collaboration, Cultural Adaptation, Critical and Positive Thinking, and Creativity and Innovation. The program accomplishes this through a varied mix of structured learning activities, field trips, and classroom instruction. A dedicated team of Shine program counselors spearheads the initiative for Taylor’s University.
Taking his cue from the ideas of Ron Miller, Dr. Pradeep said that holistic education is “a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace.” The impetus behind the re-emphasis on holistic education sprung from the observation that some, if not many students come to school to deal with struggles at home. Others see school as a chance to be motivated and pursue more personal dimensions of learning in addition to learning technical skills for work.
Another thing that is unique about the SHINE program is that Malaysian employers recognize the Second Transcript as something that is just as valuable as the academic Transcript of Records (TOR). Their progress and certifications also count as experience for purposes of evaluation and act as a measure for gauging a student’s character.
Extra-curricular activities are also highly valued, and in some cases the Second Transcript is required by some Malaysian firms as a pre-requisite for employment. Dr. Nair underscores that moral and critical thinking development does not happen overnight.
“All in all, the development of the right skills in the Shine program for the Second Transcript takes about two years,” he said. He also emphasized that hiring the right teachers is a critical component to the program succeeding. And there is only one ingredient: passion.
“You have to have teachers who are passionate about this sort of thing. If they aren’t passionate about this, it’s a waste of time for everyone,” he said. As of this writing, the SHINE program at Taylor’s University Malaysia is still going strong.
The event ended with an award of a Certificate of Recognition and a token of appreciation to Dr. Nair, given by Business Development Director Mr. Christopher Torres, EVP Dr. Flora Javier, and VPA Mr. Crisostomo Malabuyoc. (by Kreshia Marie Ubat)