Events: Bro. Ray Highlights Relevance of Jean Baptiste de la Salle
"He pioneered popular education in France," said Brother-President Raymundo Suplido FSC during the media launch and press conference yesterday, referring to Saint Jean Baptiste de la Salle whose life history is the center of the year long Diamond Jubilee Year of the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City.
Bro. Ray Suplido with the members of the board as panelists during the media launch and press conference at the English Cafe yesterday. He said that USLS alumni are almost in all parts of Negros and Iloilo indicating widespread and accessibility of USLS education which evidently was what de la Salle’s "popular education" stands for.* (H. James G. Toga/NDB)
Suplido likened the condition of France then to the Philippines under Spain whose ruling insular elites devise means of education affordable and accessible only to their class and the masses had to suffer parochial education usually at the horse’s stables.
De la Salle’s "popular education", on the other hand, was conceived in the 17th century to reach greater number of the poor thus bigger groupings were organized for education then eventually subdivided them to smaller groups.
This French patron saint of all teachers also pioneered formal training for teachers as there was no "Normal School" back then in the 17th century France.
Thus, in the spirit of what de la Salle started in France, Suplido explained that USLS now adapts the so-called socialized education and students pay according to income capability.
Tracing location of work, Suplido said that USLS alumni are almost in all parts of Negros and Iloilo indicating widespread and accessibility of USLS education which evidently was what de la Salle’s "popular education" stands for.
Suplido added, there are 78 public elementary school participants to USLS, "Busog, Lusog, Talino" (BLT) program, it is active in microlending, operates the Balayan and Bahay Pag-asa, instituded cooking and massage courses for out of school youth and ecology projects in Bago and Punta Taytay.
USLS Board of Trustees Chair Edith Villanueva, on the other hand added, that as of to date, there are 17 de la Salle universities and colleges all over the Philippines and is present in 80 countries around the world USLS grade school will soon be relocated.
This is another indicator of the la Salle Brothers’ truthfulness to the vision of its 17th century French founder.
USLS Board Member Roberto Montelibano likewise said that as far as transformation is concerned, "you are looking at somebody who was transformed by La Salle education. My father Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. was a stern believer that 10 percent of what he owned must be donated to the needy."
Montelibano said, they obeyed this thus schools, churches and hospitals were among their properties already donated including a 12-hectare farm now run by Chinese Catholic Monks.
Marie Therese V. Jochico, Vice-Chancellor for Academic, meanwhile, defined what a La Sallian graduate is and will be, "socially responsible Christian, effective communicator, critical thinker. Our clearest definition of what a la Sallian is according to St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle."
As to popular education, Jochico interpreted it to mean relevance and which she explained, "USLS is now keen on industry linkages. All colleges has an industry partnership council.
"We adapted a service learning approach which blends the academic learning and requirements for the service of the community. We expect our graduates to be catalyst for social transformation and nation building," she added.*