Pleased with the successful result of the last year’s Sister Cities Exchange Student Program, the officials of the Yeonsu-Metropolitan City of Incheon Korea, City of Baguio and the United Korean Community Association (UKCA) have agreed to once again implement the program this year.
The 2nd Sister Cities Student Culture and Language Exchange Program of the Government of Baguio City with Department of Education and Korean Association as partners is a good opportunity for me and for the assigned teachers to develop our ability to teach in a different scenario. To experience a new environment through different and diverse student with different cultural background and language. This program helped me to be more versatile and smart in dealing with foreigner student. It includes my understanding and tolerance of other culture specifically Korean students especially these students are not only rooted with Korean culture because some of them raced by their parents in other countries like Australia, China, Canada etc.
I believe the purpose of this program is to teach Korean students to understand the culture of the Filipino, as well as improving their language skills and broadening their social horizons. Korean student called this program as Yeonso-Gu Junior Winter Camp-Culture and Language Exchange Program. This is a City to City program that focuses on homestays, language and speaking skills, and cultural activities. But to my dismayed, the program actually did not focus on those purposes. For two weeks of our report in DBP Lualhati near Mansion House, that’s where they check in, we just focus on one activity which is tutoring them one on one and helping them to finish 1 grammar book that contains 115 chapters, 2 reading skills that contains 100 chapters each. Imagine, how can they finish three books in less than two weeks? With comprehension and retention? Actually, some of them finished but without further activities necessary for retention. I and the rest of the teachers expected that this program will have an intensive activity that increases students’ understanding of our cultures, communities, and languages.
But I’m also glad when we learned that in their last two days, they have experience going to different places here in Baguio City with their adopted parents. As their tutor, I believe that we did our best in doing our responsibility as public teachers maybe because of the word public servant, they expect us to lend our time, effort and knowledge in free service. Hehe.
The result of the program was very positive in the side of the Korean students but for us teachers, its bit No because we expected a lot, that they will give us allowance and honorarium that we deserved. I believe that in order for us, public teacher, to be more competent, the government should also recognize our value. They should remember that we contribute to the development of man and modern society. In my personal opinion, working condition of teachers should be such as will best promote effective learning and enable the teacher to concentrate on their professional task with good compensation. I’m just reminiscing the past and preparing the future as a good public servant. I need to be positive!
By Julie Ann R.Martin