|Student-visitors from Apayao State College watching the BAR Primer during the brief orientation. Photo: RBERNARDO|
Dr. Jose Rizal once said, "Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bayan". With this famous line, the concept of the youth having a key role in nation-building has become institutionalized. It is therefore important to inculcate in the youth the values of nationalism and acquiring a sense of direction in the pursuit of their chosen field or career in life.
Empowering students through the provision of quality education plus proper exposure in their chosen fields can make the difference in national well-being. More young doctors could possibly mean more doctors in the barrios or in the far-flung areas. More young engineers could develop local technology that could be the basis for new industries. Agricultural productivity could be improved and sustained if we had more young people studying agriculture.
In the case of agriculture students, giving them proper exposure in their field can help create the learning paradigms and appreciation to agriculture. Under this notion, a contingent of approximately 130 agriculture students and seven faculty staff of the Apayao State College - Agriculture Department, "stormed" the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) as part of their 4-Day Educational Field Trip.
The Apayao State College (ASC) is a public college in the province of Apayao in Northern Luzon. It is mandated to provide education in the arts, agriculture and natural sciences as well as in technological and professional fields. Its campus is located in San Isidro, Luna, Apayao.
The educational field trip is an approach to enhancing the learning capabilities of the students by getting acquainted on realities in the field. This is thus an added opportunity for them to learn the dynamics of the business of agriculture.
Day 2 of their 'Lakbay Aral' landed the group in the Bureau. Ms. Julia Lapitan, Head of the Applied Communication Division, facilitated the visit of the students and faculty to BAR and served as EmCee while Assistant Director Teodoro S. Solsoloy graced the orientation with a welcome message. Dr. Solsoloy commended the Apayao State College for having 240 agriculture students currently enrolled which is big considering that other agricultural colleges have lower enrollment. He also encouraged the students to continue on in their chosen field and, in the future, contribute to the betterment of Philippine Agriculture.
The orientation program prepared by BAR for the students and teachers included the showing of the BAR Primer, an audio-visual presentation on the current R&D thrusts and programs of the Bureau, and an open forum. Ms. Lapitan also shared the many on-going activities and accomplishments of BAR, adding that BAR is the research arm of the Department of Agriculture.
Also present were other BAR staff that included Dr. Carmencita Kagaoan, Head of the Program Development Division; Mr. Victoriano Guiam, Head of the International Relations Unit; Ms. Ligaya Santos, Assistant Head of the Research Coordination Division; Ms. Evelyn Juanillo of the Technology Commercialization Unit; and Mr. Bernardo S. Manuel of the Information Management Unit.
ASC students and faculty were also shown the Technology Commercialization Center and the Scientific Library of the Bureau.
The ASC visitors were led by Dr. Angelito Reñosa and Agriculture Department Head, Ms. Rowena Gasmeña.
Other DA agencies that were visited by the ASC include the Philippine Carabao Center in Munoz, Nueva Ecija; the DA Central Office; Bureau of Animal Industry; and Bureau of Soils and Water Management in Quezon City. In Los Banos, the contingent visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); and UPLB's Institutes of Biotechnology and Plant Breeding, College of Engineering and Agricultural Technology; Postharvest Research and Training Center, and the Animal Science Cluster units.
The ACS contingent also visited the Central Luzon State University (CLSU); PhilRice and the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. The field trip ran from December from 6 to 9, 2010. Dr. Zacarias Baluscang Jr. is the current President of the Apayao State College.