Chancellor Murao's Message at the "Service Learning" Seminar Workshop

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Lectures

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UP Mindanao Chancellor Lyre Anni E. Murao 

Maayong buntag sa inyong tanan. It's a pleasure to see so many participants from many institutions in the Davao Region. I'm so glad our guest speakers from other institutions are in our presence today.

It is with great pleasure and honor that I welcome you all to this Seminar-Workshop on "Service Learning: Concepts, Context, and Challenges".

This gathering marks a significant moment as we delve into the dynamic intersection of education and community engagement.

Service-learning, as we understand it, transcends traditional educational boundaries. It is a powerful vehicle through which learning becomes a transformative force for both students and communities alike. As we immerse ourselves in this seminar workshop, we are embracing an educational paradigm that emphasizes action, reflection, and meaningful engagement.

At its core, service-learning embodies the ethos of responsible citizenship and holistic personal development.

By bridging academic pursuits with real-world challenges, our students not only acquire knowledge but also cultivate essential skills and values that are indispensable for active participation in society.

Para sa hindi taga UP, our current administration has now a new motto. Dati, po, ang motto ng UP ay honor and excellence. Ngayon meron kaming dinagdag na third core value doon. That is, "Service to the nation."

Sa mga kasama namin sa UP we have been talking about this for the past year. About integrating service in our motto, but so far, nobody has asked me, "Bakit may ikatlo, bakit may service." So let us find out the reason why.

Sino dito ang nakakakilala sa Octa? They do surveys. So, Octa did research again last year. They wanted to find out what is the public image of UP. Ang sixty percent, ang sabi nila, "itong mga estudyante ng UP magagaling." However, less than half of that, twenty nine percent lang, ang nagsabi, "ang unibersidad na ito is known for their public service." So, that is why we want to strengthen the service core value in the university because sana hindi lang UP, pati kayo at mga estudyante ninyo, hindi lang magagaling, mababait pa at matulungin. Kasi iyong naman ang kailangan natin sa ating society.

So, for our students to experience positive change and have a transformative impact on society, positive change should come from within themselves first. So, for me, there are three things, three principles, na kailangan natin ma-inculcate sa ating students for them to have a growth mindset. First, is a healthy perspective about life. Yesterday, we had our scholarship fair, and our resource speaker was our faculty, who is also our alumnus. He said that a scholarship is a privilege. So, in the same way, there are many things in life that are privileges. Not rights, but privileges. So, it is important that our students have a healthy perspective about privileges versus rights.

The second thing is another P, problem-solving. When we encounter many situations in life, there are many solutions to address those situations. Now, it is up to us, it is up to our students, to explore those solutions and, with their best judgment, with the information at hand that is given to them, select the most ideal solution that can create the best outcome.

The third is about professionalism. Whenever we engage in service, we always engage with people. We always have to treat other people, regardless of their status in society, as our clients, and it's important that we always demonstrate professionalism in how we engage with these people.

That is why I'm really excited about our topic, service learning, being integrated into the curriculum. These three basic principles are very important for our students to be inculcated in them. The moment we stop teaching these basic principles, we have failed as educators. So, this morning, I met our speakers and I was so excited about their stories. They will share their stories later this morning and nakaka-excite ang mga kwento nila, mga experience nila, on how they integrated service learning into their curriculum.

Our collective efforts today align with the evolving landscape of higher education, where experiential learning and community involvement are increasingly recognized as essential components of a well-rounded education.

Through partnerships with various stakeholders and innovative pedagogical approaches, we aim to empower our students to become agents of positive change in their communities.

As we embark on this journey together, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering meaningful connections between academia and society.

May this seminar-workshop inspire us to explore new frontiers in service-learning, deepen our understanding of its nuances, and overcome the challenges that lie ahead.

Once again, I extend my warmest welcome to each and every one of you.

Let us seize this opportunity to learn, collaborate, and chart a course toward a brighter future through service learning.

So, in the spirit of our founding anniversary in UP Mindanao, "makig-duyog tang tanan, para sa serbisyo para sa bayan."

Daghang salamat ug padayon!

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