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The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) – Caraga Regional Office held a virtual fellowship on the afternoon of May 18, 2021 with coordinators from Caraga Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This was in conjunction with the 1st National Higher Education Day and CHED’s 27th Founding Anniversary. The fellowship was held at the CHEDRO-Caraga HEDC Building via ZOOM Cloud Meetings. It also served as an opportunity to showcase entries by the participating HEIs to the National Higher Education Day (NHED) competitions.

The program began with an acknowledgement of participants by Dr. Julia Felisa Martinez, Chief Education Program Specialist, followed by messages of greetings and well-wishes from heads of our partner agencies. Among those who gave video messages were Dir. Lilibeth Famacion, Regional Director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Caraga, Dir. Tarhata Mapandi, Regional Director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Caraga, and Butuan City Mayor, Engr. Ronnie Vicente Lagnada.

Following the video messages from partner agencies, the CHED Chairperson Dr. J. Prospero E. Devera III gave a special message of greetings for the NHED celebrations, as well as the 27th CHED Founding Anniversary.

Reactors to the Chairman’s message were invited to give their thoughts and their own reflections on the milestones being commemorated. As a representative of the Private HEIs, Sister Marie Rosanne Mallillin, the Saint Paul University Surigao President shared her thoughts. Following her was a representative of the State Universities and Colleges, Dr. Joy Capistrano, the Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture & Technology President.

Dr. Leonida S. Calagui, Director IV of CHEDRO-Caraga, proceeded to present her Presentation of Caraga’s Implementation of Flexible Learning, where she discussed the various initiatives implemented by the CHEDRO to ensure students continue receiving quality education amidst the pandemic. She discussed as well the issues faced by all stakeholders and suggested solutions to these moving forward.

The presentation was followed by a short dialogue between the Caraga HEI coordinators and the CHEDRO-Caraga personnel to discuss strategies in improving learning systems in the region in the New Normal.

After the dialogue followed additional messages of greetings and well-wishes from heads of partner agencies. Video messages from Officer-in-Charge, Regional Director Ramel Jamen of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga and Regional Director Atty. Jerefe Tubigon-Bacang of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Caraga.

Following the video messages was the Presentation of Entries for the three (3) NHED Competitions. This began with the reading of mechanics for all three competitions: Best Promotional Video, Best COVID-19 Related Implemented Program (School-Based), and Best COVID-19 Related Implemented Program (Community-Based).

For the first competition, Best Promotional Video, entries from the following HEIs were presented: Philippine Normal University – Mindanao Campus (PNU-Mindanao), St. Paul University Surigao (SPUS), Surigao State College of Technology – Main Campus (SSCT-Main), Siargao Island Institute of Technology (SIIT), Northeastern Mindanao Colleges (NEMCO), and Caraga State University – Main Campus (CSU-Main). The second competition was Best COVID-19 Related Implemented Program (School-Based), in which entries from the following HEIs were presented: SSCT-Main, NEMCO, and Butuan Doctor’s College (BDC). For the third and final competition, Best COVID-19 Related Implemented Program (Community-Based), the entries from these HEIs were presented: SSCT-Main, and BDC.

To end the program that afternoon, Chief Administrative Officer Ms. Alma Sy-Patron gave her closing remarks.

The weeklong activities for the 1st National Higher Education Day and CHED’s 27th Anniversary ran from May 17 to May 21, 2021. See the recorded virtual events at our official website, www.chedcaraga.ph, or at our official Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/CHEDCaragaPH.