The UP Open University (UPOU) as the current President of the Consortium of Open and Distance Education Providers in the Philippines (CODEPP) conducted a Seminar-Workshop on Institutional Implementation of Open Distance eLearning (ODeL). Future plans for the Consortium were discussed with a main focus on the outcome for the year 2023—for the Founding Members of CODEPP to be accredited/ready for accreditation by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The two-day seminar-workshop held last 3-4 April 2023 was hosted by the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac City, Ilocos Norte.
Coinciding with the event is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing held between MMSU President, Dr. Shirley Castañeda Agrupis, and UPOU Chancellor and CODEPP President, Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria. The MOA seeks to establish commitments on ongoing initiatives to advance distance education (DE) in the Philippines through CODEPP.
Dr. Bandalaria, in her opening remarks, emphasized the importance of going beyond “walking the talk” to put prime importance on “talking the walk” which means discussing each other’s achievements and challenges in offering DE. Echoing her words in her welcoming remarks, Dr. Agrupis also encouraged the members to create a “borderless consortium” where sharing of best practices are promoted, fostered, and talked over.
To achieve the 2023 outcome, UPOU will implement capability building on common concerns as raised by the CHED Technical Panel evaluating the institutions for accreditation to offer programs in the DE mode. The Founding Members will also (1) share their best practices on how they address the different concerns as observed by the CHED Technical Panel, (2) implement Internal Quality Assurance (QA) assessment using the relevant QA Framework to prepare for external accreditation, and (3) engage in different activities on ODeL in national-level activities such as participating in the Global Advocacy Campaign on Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning (OFDL) of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), and offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Dr. Byron Joseph Hallar delivered a closing message thanking everyone for making the effort to travel to Batac, Ilocos Norte to participate in the seminar-workshop. He also highlighted the importance of the critical exchange of knowledge and expertise among open and distance education providers in the country.
The event closed with an open invitation to attend the next meeting of the Consortium in September 2023 in Bacnotan, La Union to be hosted by Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) where UPOU is scheduled to conduct a Capability Training Program on ODeL for the CODEPP members.
The two-day seminar-workshop of the Consortium wrapped with a tour of Paoay Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Malacañang of the North, a presidential museum in Paoay; and Paoay Sand Dunes, a popular geological site known for its sand formations.
The CODEPP team also conducted a quick courtesy call to the Dean of MMSU College of Teacher Education, Dr. Aris Reynold V. Cajigal, and the Dean of MMSU College of Industrial Technology, Dr. Cesario Y. Pacis.
Written by Shaira Tanay ♦ Edited by Myra C. Almodiel