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Simbahayan pledges support for Lumad school

“This is not just any education we see in the mainstream system. They value an education that is tailored for the Lumads, with the Lumads, and by the Lumads,” Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir said.



Photo grabbed from Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir's Facebook account.

The UST Simbahayan Community Development Office inked a partnership with an alternative school for the Lumad to support its campaign to defend the education of indigenous peoples groups in Mindanao in the midst of intensified military operations in the region.

Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir, along with two faculty members, represented the University as Simbahayan signed a partnership with Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center, Inc. (STTICLC) during their joint recognition rites and moving-up ceremonies in Maco, Compostela Valley last Friday, April 20.

UST pledged to provide basic educational materials, train volunteer teachers, help in gathering resources for the construction and rehabilitation of Lumad schools as well as support for the campaign and advocacy of the Save Our Schools Network.

In a Facebook post, Abenir said he was “humbled by presence of Lumad students” as they “they have shown to [him] that they [truly] value education.”

“This is not just any education we see in the mainstream system. They value an education that is tailored for the Lumads, with the Lumads, and by the Lumads,” he further said in the post.

STTICLC, which operates 52 campuses across Davao region, follows the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Indigenous Peoples Education Curriculum Framework, in which “cultural pride, self-determination, protection of ancestral domain, and organic sustainable agriculture is an integral part of the curriculum” according to Abenir.

The University agreed to provide the Lumad school with farming tools and supplies supplies needed for the school’s organic farm and agriculture programs.

UST also committed to conduct literacy programs in communities served by STTICL along with providing 500 volumes of books for elementary and high school students, financial assistance and help in the construction of additional classrooms.


Lumad schools under martial law

In the same post, Abenir also said that his visit allowed him to witness “first hand the impact of militarization and martial law” on Lumad schools and communities.

“I was there to see how our Lumad brothers and sisters constantly live in looming fear of their lives in the hands of terrorist groups, military, para-military, land grabbers, and mining corporations who lustfully eye over their ancestral lands […] targeting key Lumad leaders and promising youth that have the power to change the prevailing atmosphere of oppression and injustice,” he said.

September last year, UST became a satellite camp for 50 Lumad students from Sept. 11 to 21 as part of the Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya, where hundreds of indigenous peoples groups trooped to Manila to protest the militarization in their ancestral domains.

Lumad groups, in particular, slammed the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte’s threats to bomb Lumad schools following his second State of the Nation Address as well as the killing of 19-year old Lumad student Obello Bay-ao.

Bay-ao, a Grade 7 student of STTICLC, was allegedly shot by members of the Citizen’s Armed Forces Geographical Unit and the military-backed militia Alamara last Sept. 5.

In an interview with Davao Today, STTICLC Executive Director Lolit Muya said that the partnership with UST is an “additional moral support” in the midst of forced evacuations, red-tagging and alleged harassment of Lumad schools, leaders and communities by the military.

“I saw hope in their faces during the ceremony. They were optimistic that with the help of UST, they can continue their studies and achieve their dream to be educated despite the difficulties posed by military operations in their communities,” Muya told Davao Today.

Lumad students and teachers led by the Save Our Schools Network also camped outside the DepEd Central Office in Pasig from Nov. 16 to 28 to demand the scrapping of DepEd Memorandum No. 221, Series 2013 which allowed military personnel to “conduct their activities inside the premises of public elementary and secondary schools to ensure that rights of the children are not violated.”

Human rights and education advocates, however, have criticized the memo as a violation of domestic and international laws on children’s rights such as Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

Save Our Schools Network also claimed that the memo resulted in the forced closure of several Lumad schools.

They have called on DepEd to grant operation permits and recognition to Lumad schools, but their protests have fallen on deaf ears.



UST aces June 2018 nursing boards



The University posted a perfect passing rate in the June 2018 licensure examination for nurses as all four Thomasian examinees passed.

Carmela Niña Sampaga Tormo led the new batch of Thomasian nurses, landing on the ninth spot with a score of 85.60 percent.

Last year, UST also recorded a perfect passing rate in which all the four Thomasian examinees passed.

Mark Tristan Pangilinan Robosa of University of Pangasinan topped this year’s board exams with a score of 87.60 percent.

Meanwhile, West Visayas State University – La Paz, Velez College and Xavier University were named top performing schools with a perfect passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 4,326 out of 9,873 examinees nationwide passed the board exam. 


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UST retains spot in 2019 QS world ranking, fourth in PH top universities



The University retained its spot on the 801-1,000 bracket of the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, placing fourth among the Philippine universities that made it on the list.

The University of the Philippines kept its place as the country’s top university despite going down in the 384th place from last year’s 367th.

Ateneo de Manila University went down to the 651-700 bracket from the 551-600 last year.

Moreover, De La Salle University joined UST in the 801-1,000 bracket after dropping from last year’s 701-750 bracket.

Despite remaining unmoved from its last year’s spot, UST remained as the only Philippine university to receive a QS four-star rating.

A four-star rated university is “highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching,” the QS Top Universities website stated.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was hailed again for the seventh-straight year as the top university in the world.

The National University of Singapore dethroned the Nanyang Technological University as the best in Asia, placing 11th worldwide.

The universities are evaluated based on six factors: academic reputation (40%) , employer reputation (10%) ,  faculty/student ratio (20%) , citations per faculty (20%), international faculty ratio (5%), and international student ratio (5%).—B. Laforga



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UST slumps in May 2018 chemical eng’g boards



The University posted a lower passing rate in the May 2018 licensure examination for chemical engineers.

UST registered a 20.69-percent passing rate, wherein only six out of 29 Thomasians passed. Last year, the University garnered a passing rate of 58.82 percent, with 20 out of 34 Thomasian passers.

However, no Thomasians made it to the roster of topnotchers.

Peter Matthew Paul Toribio Fowler of Mapua Institute of Technology-Manila led the new batch of chemical engineers with a score of 83 percent. Meanwhile, De La Salle University-Manila remained as the top performing school, recording a 96.55-percent passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 296 out of 636 examinees nationwide passed the board exam.


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