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A snapshot with the distance education students, together with the OPO personnel, during the virtual consultation-dialogue
In its desire to reach out the distance learners all around the country and even in some parts of Asia and the Middle-East who are enrolled in the Master of Agricultural Development (MAgDev) program, the Online Programs Office (OPO) through the leadership of Dr. Deejay M. Lumanao organized the 1st Virtual Consultation-Dialogue with the DE Students on June 18, 2021 via Google Meet. The online meeting which lasted for four hours was participated in by some 22 graduate distance education students who actively shared their ideas during the discussion.
Dr. Lumanao was so elated with the participation of the distance learners despite their hectic schedules as most of them are working either in various government agencies or in the private sector here and abroad. “I know that only the best people who are working and at the same time studying extramurally or off-campus, not to mention your family obligations, could find time and make the sacrifice to attend for a meeting like this. So, we are very privileged to have you all and it is an honor to be with you today,” she mused.
Lumanao added that the consultation is just one of the many ways to show how OPO cares its distance learners, especially in this situation wherein everybody is adjusting to this new normal caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The activity also served as a venue to know how things are going on at your end—our distance learners—as we listen to your voice particularly on your day-to-day activities being an online student and how you cope up with the demands of your work in the field or in the office. Moreover, the activity paved the way to discuss freely the problems encountered by the distance learners in relation to their studies, and to solicit comments and suggestions with regard to the management and operation of the online programs of the University.
On the other hand, Mr. Jesus Freddy M. Baldos, Administrative Officer V and former head of OPO, thoroughly discussed the different services of the office. Among these are: the brief history of the VSU Open University or the Online Programs Office; introduction of OPO personnel and the faculty members handling distance education courses; the OPO Citizen’s Charter; Orientation on the graduate distance education program and how it is being carried out; and the future directions of the VSU Open University.
Baldos emphasized that the Master of Agricultural Development (MAgDev) program of the University is enjoying its Level IV accreditation by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines, Inc. (AACCUP). As of the moment, the MAgDev degree program is offering ten (10) major fields for the students to choose from. These are: Agricultural Education, Agricultural Extension, Agronomy, Animal Production, Language Teaching, Development Communication, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Plant Protection, and Agricultural Economics. Once the student has already selected one major field, the rest could be considered in choosing the minor field including the Food Science and Technology.
He also presented the geographical distribution of the forty-eight (48) graduate distance education students who are all Filipinos of whom 44 are in the Philippines, and one (1) each based in Japan, Oman, Singapore, and Thailand. Moreover, the distribution of students by field of specialization was also presented of which 17 of them are in their second year and 31 are in their first year.
After his presentation, it was immediately followed with an open forum wherein the graduate students freely gave their feedbacks and voiced other concerns in relation to their studies being enrolled in the distance education program of the University. JFMB/OPO
Geographical distribution of graduate distance education students in the second semester of school year 2020-2021
Number of Enrolled Graduate Students of the VSU Open University, 2nd Sem. SY 2020-2021
OPO personnel, together with the two emergency laborers, having a souvenir photo after the blessing ceremony.
After decades of occupancy at the Multimedia Development Center (MMDC) building, the Online Programs Office (OPO) finally found a new workplace after the rooms adjacent to the Office of the Graduate School (OGS) had been renovated. The new office of the University’s prime mover for the distance education program was inaugurated and blessed on April 27, 2021 together with the other offices of VSU as part of the 97th Founding Anniversary of the institution.
Though the two-room office is not yet fully furnished and some final touches are still going on, the then OPO head decided to occupy the new workplace on February 15, 2021 to ensure that the work will be finished prior to its inauguration and blessing.
It can be recalled that the office’s renovation started on the second week of July last year, a week after the new OPO head, Mr. Jesus Freddy M. Baldos, had been installed into office on July 1, 2020. He was informed by the VSU President, Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin, that a new office for OPO had been identified where all official online transactions among the existing and prospective distance education learners and the courseware controllers shall take place. To expedite the work, Mr. Baldos had constant follow-ups with the one in-charge of the office’s renovation while doing his office work and at the same time took the initiative of planning how the office would look-like once the renovation had been done. Job requests for fabrication of tables and cabinets were also filed and gradually delivered to the new office.
Aside from the OPO staff with its new head, Dr. Deejay M. Lumanao, also present during the blessing are the key officials of VSU led by Dr. Tulin with Rev. Fr. Gary Nelson Esguerra of the VSU Holy Spirit Parish Church as the celebrant.