TINAPOS ng US Embassy in Manila ang pagdiriwang ng International Education Week sa pamamagitan ng pag-imbita sa mga Filipino na huwag palampasin ang pagkakataon o oportunidad na makapag-aral sa mga unibersidad sa Amerika at iba pang institutions of learning.
Nag-guest noong November 22, Friday si Matt Keener, US Cultural Attache to the Philippines, sa DWIZ station program na “Sulong Na, Bayan” na ang host ay si Lolly Rivera Acosta. Ayon kay Keener, “through EducationUSA, Filipino students and their parents are given free advice and guidance on “how to navigate the US higher education system.”
Sa ginanap na International Education Week noong November 18 hanggang 22, sinabi nitong sa suporta ng EducationUSA team, nagsagawa ang embassy ng workshops, virtual engagement at strategic dialogs sa mahigit na 50 unibersidad sa bansa upang mapatibay ang educational cooperation sa pagitan ng Filipinas at US.
Sinabi rin ni Keener na ang Filipinas at US ay mayroong deep and enduring cultural ties which make them logical educational exchange partners. “The Philippines is a big country, it has a fast growing economy, and its very young population, over half of whom are under 24, speak fantastic English,” dagdag pa nito.
Ang US Embassy sa Filipinas, ayon kay Keener, ay naglalayong magkaroon ng university research, application process at departure for prospective students as smooth as possible.
Pagdating naman sa financial cost, sinabi ni Keener na expensive ang pag-aaral sa US. “But if finance is your problem, at least talk to us, look at available financial assistance options and let us help you figure out ways.”
Idinagdag pa nitong: “need-based assistance like paid work” whether in the university as student assistants or the community outside “to offset some of the cost, we will advise you on how to avail of these…In many cases, Filipinos of modest means have received some form of financial assistance for their studies in American universities.”
“A little known recourse for the financially hard up is offered through what is called the community college” ani Keener. “The equivalent of vocational-technical courses in the Philippine system, the cost of schooling in these colleges is “but a fraction of what a university education in the US costs.”
Gayunpaman, sa mga “not quite ready academically” o those whose grades do not measure up to university standards, may paraan pa naman upang makapasok sa universities. “Some universities have a special agreement with community colleges where students who maintained good grades over two years are guaranteed admission in the university,” ayon pa rito.
“Grades are not everything. It’s all about the whole person. There are amazing options to take advantage of,” pagtatapos nito.
Ang Sulong Na Bayan has been a leading public service program of AM station DWIZ owned by Aliw Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for more than three years. Thousands of avid listeners nito ay mga overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sa Middle East, Europe at North America.
Ang program host na si Lolly Acosta ay isang newswoman na former director ng National Press Club at former president ng Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Press Corps.