Originally posted 01 August 2007
Extract from Marilou Santiago Cunningham's entry to the Mindanao Blog July 2007
In May this year, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed a declaration elevating the 83-year old Bukidnon State College into a University. A remarkable progress indeed, but for it’s Extension School set up in Talakag, Bukidnon two years ago, there’s still a lot to be achieved.
The extension school in Talakag currently offers courses in Arts and Sciences, Commerce, Business Administration and Information Technology. Thanks to the Municipal Officials who for years have pursued the Bukidnon State College for the extension school to be set up locally that affordable further education is now available to the people of Talakag and its surrounding areas. The time has come when those from these remote areas who wish to pursue further education no longer have to travel the winding roads to Malaybalay City, Cagayan de Oro City and beyond.
The extension school currently uses the classrooms in the elementary school; when elementary classes end at four o’clock in the afternoon, the college classes commence at five o’clock. Computer facilities are being provided in the Municipal Hall. However, learning resource facilities such as a library was non-existent. When I heard about this, I made a personal commitment to help put up a library as soon as possible. That time has come. In February this year, I sent a Balikbayan Box filled with my collection of textbooks from Durham University Business School, England to Talakag. The textbooks were there in time for my visit last April. The photo shows the hand-over of thefirst donation to Mr Abe Urbina (the Talakag Head of School) and Mr Alfredo Tampo (the School Administrator). When school commenced in June, the books were well received by students and teachers.
I am currently filling up another Balikbayan Box with reading materials such as textbooks, CD-ROMs and DVDs in the field of commerce, business administration and information and technology; references such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias, atlases and thesauruses; and other personal development books such as travel, cookery, gardening, do-it-yourself books and learning foreign languages (German, French and Spanish). I firmly believe that access to a wide range of books and information resources will enable students to develop even beyond their curriculum.
I hope that more book donations from my colleagues at Durham University Business School and personal friends will soon enrich the library collection in Talakag and provide valuable materials to support and improve the quality of further education and ultimately promote a reading culture.