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Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and APEC Senior Official Indicates Definite Plans to Join Academic

Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for International Economic Relations and former Ambassador to India, Nepal, and Vietnam Laura Quiambao- Del Rosario shared her plans to join Pax et Lumen as an academic administrator and faculty member in less than a year.

With more than 20 years of experience as a teacher and an administrator at the former Maryknoll, now Miriam College, and as former Director General of the Foreign Service Institute, Mrs Del Rosario wants to share lessons and trends in educating a child for the future.

With masters’ degrees in literary studies and in educational administration, and with 36 years of experience in the foreign service of the country, she looks forward to doing what she calls, ‘my first and last love: educating children to learn how to learn’.

She says that though some parents and teachers equate high grades with good learning, she believes that real learning happens when a child does his learning alone and with his own initiative.

She said that as a parent, she avoided telling her children to get the highest grades they are capable of getting in class, but instead she asked them frequently what they were learning in school and what they were reading beyond school assignments. She monitored what her children brought home from the library and from bookstores, from the time her children were in grade one.

Asked why she did this, she explained: ‘The world of knowledge is expanding exponentially. What one knows now as fact can change tomorrow. Children should learn how to look for data, how to connect data, how to use data, how to think through a problem and how to evaluate information.'

It is to encourage children to achieve independent learning that Pax et Lumen gives tuition discounts to those who do well, and why Pax does not rank students academically. It is also why scholarships are given not according to who gets the highest grades in science or math or the highest in general average. Instead, small and big scholarships are given when a child reaches the level of relative excellence as shown by a grade of 90%.

A parent might think that his child deserves a higher class rank than another, but for Pax et Lumen, there are no graded ranks. What matters is: ‘Has the child achieved the level of excellence he is capable of– on his own, motivated by his own curiosity and interest?’

Only a parent can answer that question accurately, but the school can only award every achiever equally. This independent learning is what Mrs Del Rosario and the Pax faculty hope to expand as a common objective. And so ’back to school’ will Mrs Del Rosario go — soon!

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