10 October 2011- San Fabian. Rev. Fr. Bienvenido “Ned” M. Disu, CM has a dream. He dreams that no one is left out in getting a good education. He dreams that even the marginalized and the poor especially in the barrios will have an access to education that can provide greater opportunities for them and for their families.
The dream has come true.
In a simple ceremony attended by Fr. Ned, as the Project Director, with Dr. Dylan Dizon, the Online Program Director and the first batch of students, the St. Vincent de Paul eLearning Center was formally launched on 10 October 2011 in Lipit-Tomeeng, San Fabian, Pangasinan. The officers and members of the Rotary Club of San Fabian with Mayor Irene Libunao of San Fabian were on hand to witness the ceremony. Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza, parish priest, blessed the eCenter.
Village Online College Education
The St. Vincent de Paul eLearning Center is administered and supervised by Village Online College Education (VOCE). It is especially designed to bring affordable and accessible education to indigent students in rural areas, as well as impoverished urban centers. Its aim is to provide the students with a two-year online general education and the development skills with TESDA.
The beneficiaries are High School students in the barangays who cannot proceed to higher education due to high cost of education.
The students are enrolled at the Professional Academy of the Philippines located in the City of Naga, Cebu. However, they hold their classes and trainings in the eCenters located in their locality or barangay.
Online education eliminates the regular costs of education associated with traditional school settings, viz., board and lodging, textbooks, transportation, uniforms, miscellaneous fees and most projects. Online students tend to perform better that their counterparts in regular traditional school settings.
The course is a two year program offering General Education. They are trained at least four skills, including personality and leadership skills.
There is a mixture of online education, e.g., the academic program, face to face lecture and actual demonstration in the case of skills development and personality/leadership development.
Academics. Skills Development. Personality/Leadership.
The two year program has three components: academics, skills development and personality/leadership development. After two years, the students are prepared to have skills that can provide them with well-paying jobs. Thus they can already find jobs and if they want, pursue their academic degree in a regular college/university as third year college students.
The students can choose the skills that they want, viz., welding, carpentry, plumbing, automotive, electrical wiring, events management. All will learn however organic and natural farming.
They will learn the meaning of stewardship, social responsibilities, elements of leaders as well as issues related to personality developmemt such as self-discovery, religious and social values.
The students in two years will study 32 subjects or 96 units. They hold their classes at the eLearning Centers from Monday to Friday. Saturdays are reserved for skills and leadership development. They have only four hours a day for their classes. Thus, they have more time to help their families in the field or sea or even engage themselves in income generating projects.
Pay it Forward Program
The students and their families through a Memorandum of Agreement agree to pay forward the privilege of scholarship by sending to the same program, when they have finished a course and have good jobs, two indigent students from their barangay who are not their relatives.
The program is partnered with the Local Government Units, local parishes and private organizations such as the Rotary International, Adamson University, ACER Philippines, for the sustainability of the program.
There is plan that the online students will be affiliated with Adamson University.
Budget and Scholarships
The budget for the whole program per student is PhP 20,000.00 a year or Php40,000.00 per student for two years. The students will contribute PhP5,000.00 a year. The amount will be spent for the maintenance and acquisition of new computers and accessories and other incidental expenses.
Individuals and the Rotary Club International have generously contributed for the scholarship of the student.
Father Soc visited the St. Vincent de Paul eLearning Center last 13 October 2011 when he met the students and talked with Fr. Ned Disu regarding the program.