Can Tho, UK look to cooperation in education, health, transport infrastructure

Can Tho: Vice Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee Duong Tan Hien on December 11 hosted a visiting delegation from the British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, with the sides expressing their intention for better joint work in education, health, and transport infrastructure.

Heading the delegation, Deputy Consul General Sam Wood expressed his hope that UK localities can connect and collaborate with the Vietnamese Mekong Delta city with a focus on the above-said areas, and enjoy favourable conditions created by and assistance from the municipal authorities.

The diplomat vowed to engage in the organisation of various networking activities during his tenure to bring investors from the UK to Can Tho to seek opportunities for investment partnerships.

Hien told his guests the three sectors are the city’s investment attraction priorities, and that Can Tho welcomes UK enterprises to the city to study the local market and forming cooperation.

Can Tho wishes to capitalise on opportunities brought about
by the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) serving improved trade between it and UK firms, particularly regarding its strong fields such as rice, fruit, and fishery.

Between January and October, Can Tho exported to the UK 19.51 million USD worth mostly of rice, aquatic products, apparel, handicrafts and processed farm produce./
Source: Vietnam News Agency

3,067 college students in Ilocos Norte get P5-K educational assistance

A total of 3,067 students from tertiary schools in Ilocos Norte province received PHP5,000 cash each on Saturday through the initiative of Senator Imee Marcos.

As she promised during the first batch of educational aid distribution at San Nicolas Mini Cultural Center on Aug. 17, Marcos returned with the second batch of educational assistance.

The senator first made a stop at the Imelda Cultural Center in Batac City where 2,000 students waited for her and proceeded to the Laoag City Centennial Arena here for a similar educational aid distribution for 1,067 beneficiaries.

Marcos said the dream of every Ilocano family is to have their children finish their education hence, the need to help them realize that dream and ensure that everyone will have the opportunity to finish school no matter what.

The initiative is under the ‘Makabasa Latta’ program (all learners get access to education) and part of the services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The financial assistance prioritized students whose farmer-parents’ sources of income were affected by tropical cyclones.

‘We have been devastated by a series of typhoons and so we will be distributing 904 educational assistance tonight,’ Marcos said in her speech in Batac City.

After receiving an overwhelming number of applicants in need of educational assistance during the first batch of distribution, Marcos assured over 7,000 more would receive something from the government.

“Uray narigat ti panagbiag, makabasa latta, agturpos latta (Despite the hardships in life, you go to school and finish your studies). We are behind you in every effort,” she said as she lauded the resilience of Ilocanos to overcome obstacles.

In Ilocos Sur, 2,500 village health workers received PHP3,000 each at Vigan Convention Center under the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations, likewise arranged by Marcos’ office.

Source: Philippines News Agency


KUALA LUMPUR, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) has launched a special initiative, Halatuju TVET MARA, to strengthen a more sustainable Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) ecosystem in all MARA educational institutions (IPMA).

Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Rubiah Wang said that MARA, as a pioneer in the field of Higher Technical and Vocational Education and Training (HTVET) in Malaysia, welcomed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s plan to empower the TVET field.

“The government will continue to support TVET education, championed by Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), including supporting the planning of opening new campuses in Perlis and Pahang,” she said in her speech at the UniKL’s 20th Convocation Ceremony, here today.

Rubiah said that UniKL continues to maintain a high graduate employability rate of 97.1 per cent, based on the graduate tracking report conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), thereby proving the quality of TVET and IPMA.

Apart from that, she said three subjects offered by UniKL were listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subjects 2023, while Malaysian Institute of Chemical and Bioengineering Technology (UniKL MICET) researcher, Associate Prof Dr Norzahir Salawe, was listed as among the top two per cent of scientists worldwide by Stanford University, three years in a row.

“At the national level, UniKL’s performance, as a university which excels in quality education and has a high impact, is also recognised and achieves the level of ‘Competitive’ in the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education Institutions (Setara) by MOHE,” she said.

A total of 6,039 graduates receive their scrolls in the university’s convocation ceremony which is divided into eight sessions, starting today until Nov 7.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

C. Visayas to hold classes via blended learning on Friday

Basic education learners are told to attend classes this Friday, via a blended learning module, a regional educational official said on Thursday. Salustiano Jimenez, Department of Education (DepEd)-Central Visayas regional director, said classes shall resume on Friday following a long break for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections and Undas 2023. ‘They have classes but on different platforms. So we don’t have face-to-face classes tomorrow (Friday), but only modular,’ Jimenez said, adding that some pupils are still in their home province to celebrate All Souls and All Saints Day. He noted, however, that some schools, especially those in rural areas might experience difficulties in holding classes through the online platform, thus he gave teachers leeway on which modular-printed classes they may take to deliver their lessons to the learners. He said DepEd-7 will not penalize teachers who will call students to attend face-to-face classes, depending on circumstances in their areas. DepEd issued a memorandum on Oct. 27 clarifying class arrangements for Oct. 31 and Nov. 3, which said that ‘no physical attendance required and public school teaching personnel are not obligated to attend school physically on these dates.” The memo also emphasized blended learning where school heads are allowed to use remote monitoring systems.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Solon backs waiving of college entrance fees for poor students

Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Monday said he is supporting the passage of a bill exempting underprivileged but deserving graduating high school students from paying entrance examination fees to private universities and colleges. Estrada said Senate Bill No (SBN) 2441 or Free College Entrance Examinations Act filed by Senator Francis Escudero is very timely considering the increasing number of high school graduates in the country. “Ang pagdami ng bilang ng mga high school graduates ay marapat lamang na suportahan ng ating pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng pagsisiguro ng patuloy na pag-aaral nila sa kolehiyo. Isang paraan upang makamit ito ay ang pagsasabatas ng (The government should support the increase in the number of high school graduates. One of the ways to achieve this is the passage into law of) ‘Free College Entrance Examinations Act,'” he said. Estrada, who co-authored and co-sponsored SBN 2441, said the country’s access to secondary education has achieved ‘a significant milestone’ based on the 2020 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) census. The 2020 PSA census showed that 21 percent of Filipinos have attained at most a high school diploma, which is higher than the 19 percent recorded in 2010 and 13.5 percent in 2000. “Ang hindi pagbayad sa entrance exam fee lamang na nakapaloob sa panukalang ito ay malaking bagay na para sa mga mag-aaral natin, lalo na para sa kanila na nasa pribadong paaralan ang mga napupusuang kurso o para sa mga mag-aaral na ang pinakamalapit na paaralan sa kanilang tahanan ay pribadong institusyon,” (The non-payment of entrance exam fee, as indicated in this proposed bill, is a big help to our students, who want to study in private schools and pursue their chosen courses to private schools near their residence),’ Estrada said. SBN 2441 offers mutual benefits for both students and schools, as it broadens students’ options for colleges and universities to pursue their studies. It also opens the doors of private higher education institutions to high-achieving students who will undoubtedly contribute to their reputation and performance. Under the bill’s provisions, eligible students must come from families whose parents live below the poverty line or belong to the poorest of the poor, as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The students must also belong to the top 10 percent of their graduating class, it added.

Source: Philippines News Agency


Corporate bodies should continue to initiate corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes in rural areas especially in healthcare and education, said Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

In a statement today, Uggah, who is also Sarawak Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development singled out dental healthcare programme as another area which corporate bodies and organisations could look at for their CSR programmes.

Earlier, the deputy premier officiated the handing over of basic medical and non-medical equipments for the Nanga Mujau Health Clinic in Betong.

The programme is a collaboration between Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Association of Wives of Ministers and Assistant Minister’s of Sarawak (Sabati) and the State Health Department.

“The 22 pieces of equipment cost RM50,000. Sabati which had also chipped in had helped to identify the clinics here needing such help,” according to the statement.

The Nanga Mujau clinic is one of 26 clinics in the state that is chosen for the programme, with a budget of RM1.3 million set aside.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Bicol University’s pioneer Law batch takes 2023 Bar exams

Dubbed the “Super Seven”, the pioneering batch of graduates from the Bicol University College of Law (BUCL) embarked on a historic feat as they took part in the 2023 Bar examinations at the regional testing center at the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City. With Maria Feona Imperial, batch valedictorian, leading the way, BUCL is hopeful that its first-ever bar examinees will hurdle the three-day examinations, which started on Sept. 17 and will resume on Sept. 20 and 24. Other members of the batch are Monica Calleja, Shiela Marie Gonzales, Don Don Nopre, Andre Maurice Rey, April Jane Moral, and Suzene Cajegas. Lawyer Joseph Bartolata, BUCL dean, said the college has “set a high bar” for its pioneer batch as they have “shown unwavering commitment and solid inner resolve to face the various challenges head-on.” “With a legacy of quality education that BU is known for, BUCL is confident that the ‘Super Seven’ will live up to everyone’s expectations. Their journey epitomizes the college’s dedication to nurturing legal scholars who will eventually contribute to nation-building in whatever capacity,” Bartolata said. In an interview, Imperial revealed that the exams on the first day were “very tough.” Echoing the statement of Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando, chairperson of the 2023 Bar examinations, that the Bar exams are designed to test not only their knowledge but also their resolve. “At the end of the day, we only hope to offer our best work, completely surrender this battle to the Supreme Being, and trust that He will see us through,” she said. Fellow BU barrister, Suzene Cajegas, said that she had to modify her study habits and strategize her study schedule to prepare for the exams. Asked what her formula is for reviewing for the Bar, Cajegas replied, “Pray, study, and pray.” In his speech during the first BUCL recognition rites, lawyer Hardy Aquende, the founding dean, pledged a PHP100,000 cash incentive to any of the graduates who would top the 2023 Bar exams. In a statement released earlier, the Supreme Court said the results of this year’s Bar examinations are likely to be out in early December or before Christmas Day

Source: Philippines News Agency