The Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) in partnership with the Department of Education, under the Care of Youth Formation Division in the Philippines backed 22 educators, four of whom were Cordillerans, who successfully made it to the final screening as official Philippine delegates to the Japan-East Asia Network for Exchange of Students and Youths (JENESYS) Culture Exchange in Education Industry to Japan from February 28 to March 6.
The Cordillera lucky educators are Doddie Marie Duclan of Tabuk City National High School from Tabuk City Division, Joanabelle Morales of Sablan National High School, Joven Agtani of the Benguet Schools Division Office, and Samuel Mendoza Jr of Gov. Bado Dangwa Agro-Industrial School from Benguet Schools Division. Their fortune started when they responded to the DepEd memo dated November 6, 2017 calling for application to the JENESYS Program: “Culture Exchange in Educational Industry”.
The memo stipulated that the JENESYS 2017 is a people-to-people exchange program which aims to promote mutual trust and understanding among the peoples of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, and to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation. It also encourages an understanding and dissemination of Japan’s economics, society, history, diverse culture, politics, and diplomatic relations.
The program is open to public high school teachers and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) all over the country who are bona fide Filipino citizen under the age of 35, Philippine passport holders with validity until August 27, 2018 or later, mentally and physically fit to travel, can effectively communicate in English, and have a strong interest in the program theme – Anti Drug Education. Document screening was done and the final interview was carried out among the 50 short listed applicants before the announcement of the Final Philippine Delegates, Central Office Youth Formation Division JENESYS Program Coordinator Jennifer Ann Pascua confirmed.
The JICE covered each delegate’s round-trip economy class ticket from/to the NAIA to/from Narita Airport, Japan; visa application fee; overseas travel insurance; accommodation, transportation, and meals within the program in Japan; and admission fees for scheduled activities. On the other hand, local travel expenses were charged against local funds, while board and lodging, and meals had been shouldered by 2017 Central Office GAS funds, all subject to usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations. Further, the travel authority signed by DepEd Secretary Briones allowed participants some cash allowance.
Undoubtedly, learnings and insights gained from the program are worth disseminating to participants’ stations. The February 27 to March 6 stay in Japan included a program orientation, theme-related lecture at Japan’s Elementary and Secondary Education Planning Division, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan (MEXT) and Drug abuse prevention Business Division, Shogakukan-Shueisha Production Co., Ltd.; observation of cutting-edge Technology at Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation; courtesy call at the Kamogawa City Office; theme-related observation at Kamogawa Junior High School; theme-related observation and cultural experience at the Buddhist Kannonji Temple; homestay with Japanese families; nature experience at Ooyama Senmaida (rice terraces); observation on environment-related facility at the famous Kamogawa Seaworld; workshop for reporting session; reporting session, and visit to a commercial facility.
JENESYS 2017 delegates crafted their individual action plans for sharing experiences, learnings, and future plan implementation which are being monitored by JICE.
By DODDIE MARIE L. DUCLAN