Talakayan presents BEST outcomes and plans

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Outcomes and findings from the recently-concluded “Building Enterprising Society Today (BEST)” project were presented at another “Talakayan sa BEST” forum held last Friday, September 27,  at the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI).

The BEST project was undertaken by the Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation (SERDEF) as a pioneering initiative in enterprise education for very young children at pre- and grade-school level.

BEST tracked an entrepreneurship-enriched curriculum being implemented at the Old Balara Christian School (OBCS) and compared the outcome with that of another school without the same deliberate entrepreneurship interventions.

Angelita Resurreccion, lead researcher of the project, reported on how entrepreneurship values and disciplines were infused into the pilot curriculum, lesson plans and student activities.  

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Aside from achievement orientation, risk-taking and innovativeness, these values are: pagiging: mabunga (productive), may hiya (ethical), masigasig (persistent), mahusay (excellent), malikhain (creative), mapagkumbaba (realistic view of oneself),  maagap sa oportunidad (opportunity-seeking), may pagpapahalaga sa oras (time-disciplined), may pagkukusa (initiative), mapagmahal sa komunidad at bayan (love of community and country) and maka-Diyos (God-loving and fearing).

Some of the teaching methodologies used to infuse the targeted values were:  connecting the values with real-life situations and stories of the successful and the famous; creating situations in and out of the classrooms where students have to solve problems; exposure to business operations through visits at malls and small businesses in the community; and exercises in producing goods like toys and food items.

Traditional Filipino sayings (salawikain) like “Kung may tinanim, may aanihin” were likewise used to reinforce the values, as were metaphors like the story of the “palitaw” which though ground, pounded and immersed in hot water comes out (lumitaw) still good and delicious.  The values were also linked with the students’ personal dreams and ambitions.

During the BEST implementation, students were guided to organize a market fair where they produced goods,  calculated costs and selling prices, and sold products for profit.  They were also exposed to environmental responsibilities through collecting recyclable waste materials and selling them to junk shops.

One value became the focus of each month’s lessons, Resurreccion added, to make sure that each is thoroughly inculcated in the mindset of the learners.

Resurreccion’s presentation was followed by testimonies of OBCS pupils Redjie Kristen Kalano, Russel de la Reyna, and Adrian N. Domino, on some of the most important values they picked up.

The participation of the students prompted SERDEF Chair Francisco R. Floro, who delivered the opening remarks, to suggest putting up a scholarship fund for some of the BEST’s best students.

A panel discussion also took place with Dr. Herminia R. Fajardo, chair of the SERDEF research and information committee; Dr. Paz H. Diaz, vice president for academics of the Roosevelt College System; and Owen Milambiling, education program specialist for technology and livelihood education, Bureau of Secondary Education, Department of Education.

Towards the end of the Talakayan, participants were divided into clusters —  teachers, DepED representatives, NGO officers, and UP ISSI trainers/researchers – which discussed how to improve BEST and take it to the next level, which will happen during the second phase of the project next year.

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