Touchstone from Singaporean Education

Rev. Fr. President, Eduardo Celiz, OAR, headed the thirteen delegates to the prestigious universities and book companies in Singapore from April 24-28, 2016. The visit aimed at benchmarking on their educational programs, facilities, instructional technology, library, and online databases.

The National University of Singapore (NUS), 1st among the top 100 universities in Asia and 2nd in ASEAN University rankings in 2015; Nanyang Technological University (NTU), 4th and 10th in both rankings respectively; and Singapore Management University (SMU), a British run 21st century business university showcased their best features to the University of Negros Occidental- Recoletos (UNO-R) delegation. These universities are adjudged world class across their core missions, as evidenced in their best practices in research, instruction, knowledge transfer, and global outlook.

Along with the university benchmarking was the selection of books of 2015-2016 edition from six reputable book companies: Elsevier, Taylor and Francis, World Scientific Publishing Company, Cengage, Cambridge University Press, and APD Singapore. These latest acquisition aims to provide updated research and instructional references for K-12, Undergraduate, Law, and Graduate School students and faculty of UNO-R. The books will be made available at Fray Luis de Leon Library this first semester, academic year 2016-17.

The benchmarking exposure convinces the delegates of the reality that the modern library is the heart of education where technology is used in forming a community of scholars in a pleasant academic environment towards human creativity, innovation, and development. In these Singaporean libraries, the alumni, mostly successful professionals, would hold reunion parties with friends and batch mates and would host pre-wedding pictorials and celebration of their marriage as a way of showing how the university has formed part in building their lives.

Likewise, the delegates’ experience affirms the truth about school accreditation that the value of an educational institution lies on its integrated system of education with impressive physical environment, relevant facilities, strong faculty line-up, established research culture, successful and supportive alumni, expansive linkages, and generous financial assistance from the national government. Benchmarking in these prestigious universities and book companies in Singapore is a desirable educational paradigm. This experience is expected to radiate a high level of awareness among academicians and improve the educational practices in the Recollect academic community.

The educational benchmarking also offered the delegates a leisurely break, as they delighted themselves in the nearby food havens, enjoyed a visit to the country’s landmarks, and met with relatives, friends, and UNO-R alumni.

  • Fr. Albert Pellazar, OAR, Vice President for Academics initiated this educational tour. Rev. Fr. Abraham Latoza, OAR, Vice President for Religious Affairs; Rev. Fr. Louie Gabinete, OAR, Vice President for Students Welfare; Rev. Fr. Persiuz Joseph Decena, OAR, Director of Campus Ministry; Mrs. Sheila Dela Cruz, Director of Libraries; Dean Sheila Arnibal of the College of Nursing and Allied Sciences; Dean Annabee Magbanua of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Dean Ma. Riza Manalo of the College of Education were with the delegation.

The University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos is grateful to Megatext Phils., Inc., its partner in this academic benchmarking in Singapore. – MRTM