Darren Simon Edem, MPA
The University of Mindanao (UM) adheres to view that and educational institution has three interweaving components namely: academic instruction, research and community extension. The University believes that extension is a genuine force for individual and social transformation. Its potent force is seen to effect societal change and development as it introduces institutes, strengthens, and sustains change and development in concrete forms that are empirical and visible.
In pursuit of its vision, mission and goal, the University firmly believes that development is participatory process of bringing about social change in a society that allows the realization of people’s dreams and aspirations. It is people-centered wherein members of the society are able to increase their personal and institutional capacities to mobilize and manage resources that would bring about sustainable and justly distributed improvement in their quality of life. It is grounded on the view that human values are to be realized so that the society would have greater controls aver its environment and over its own political destiny.
Furthermore, it embodies the principles of justice, sustainability, equality, self-reliance participation, empowerment, modernization and promotion of cultural identity.
The developmental goals that the University is promoting are economic, social and environmental in nature which is spelled-out as:
a. Equality of the distribution of socio-economic benefits, information, resources and wealth, etc.
b. Popular participation in development planning and execution
c. Self-reliance and independence in development with emphases upon the potential of local resources and ;
d. Integration of traditional with modern systems (Rogers, 1980)
e. Enhancement of productive and recycling capacities of the ecological system, which should not exceed natural limits through human intervention.
The University of Mindanao Community Extension Program identifies four main components in assisting the development of its partner communities. The four components, if undertaken, together encompass the developmental requirements for a sustainable community. The four components are:
1. Improving the Socio-economic Conditions of Partner Communities. Social and economic mobility of the community members is essential for continued development of the community. Programs and projects such as provision of social services like education, health and welfare services are needed for an effective development intervention. Income generating projects and opportunities must be integrated to allow community members to develop sustain livelihood and enhance self-reliance.
2. Strengthening of Community Social Infrastructures. Community–based organizations, civil society organization and the barangay political organizations are needed to provide leadership in their locality. Provision of training courses, seminars and workshops to strengthen the managerial capabilities of leaders and members need to be undertaken. Community organizing work is deemed essential to prepare the community to handle partnerships with the University, local government and other non-government organizations.
3. Building Physical Infrastructures and Enhancing Environment. Physical structures need to be put in place to support the socio-economic and political undertakings of the community. Housing and school infrastructures are required to be built to provide physical centers for the individuals and the community. The natural environment within the community has to be enhanced to provide amenity and allow replenishment of its natural resources.
4. Expanding Partnerships. Linkages between the community and other external organizations are essential to enhance the social capital of the community. Organizing volunteers and volunteer groups within the University to assist partner communities is important to sustain the development efforts of the community. Linking the community with other institutions like government agencies, non-government organizations allows the partner communities to form collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing the quality of life of its citizens.
With these four main components of community extension, the following strategies have been identified to strengthen the community extension capability of the Colleges and Departments:
1. Concentration of community extension programs on partner barangays. The University will be focusing its services in Barangay Aplaya, Digos City: This will allow the different colleges and development to undertake different programs needed for a comprehensive approach in the development of the locality.
2. One Academic Program, One Banner Project. The academic programs of the colleges are tasked to develop one banner project that is suited to the strengths and capability of their discipline. This would then be matched with the needs of the community. This approach will allow the faculty and students to develop their skills in their discipline through practical applications in the communities.
3. Serving the Professionals through training and consultancy. To serve the needs of professionals, the academic programs are tasked to create opportunities for professional and personal development of field practitioners through trainings, seminars, symposia, fora, etc. The University also encourages the faculty to serve as consultants and/ or adviser/ member of councils so that s/he can mentor and share development perspectives in aid of policy formulation, policy review, enhancement of programs and services and improved operations of an organization.
4. Social Preparation. The key for sustainable projects is an organized partner community. Social preparation of the community must first be undertaken to assess the needs of the communities. Social acceptability of plans and projects must be taken seriously before implementing projects. Community counterpart must be integrated into the projects to gain community ownership and ensure accountability.
The Community Extension Center serves as the benchmark for the academic programs where students, faculty and staff are provided with enriching opportunities to engage with and help the communities through the different extension projects.
Community Extension is viewed as an essential part in educating the students and in enhancing the academic performance of the faculty. Community extension activities are geared towards not only helping communities but more so developing within students the values of service and community involvement essential in nation-building.
The health services (Medical and Dental Clinic) are maintained to promote the health and well-being of the University Community. The Clinic is manned by full-time and part-time physicians, dentists and nurses. Students may avail of free consultations, first aid, and initial dosage of medication for common ailments.
Empowered and self-reliant communities living a quality life.
To provide appropriate and relevant community extension programs and services to meet identified needs and problems of the people for the development of self-reliant communities through the maximum participation of the administration officials, teachers, non-teaching personnel and students.
FOCAL PERSON QUALIFICATIONS
The Focal Person must possess the following qualifications:
- He/She must be a full-time regular faculty of the College.
- He/She must have the capacity to initiate, implement, monitor and evaluate plans.
Term of Office:
A Focal Persons shall hold office stipulated from the Date of effectivity until one (1) academic year, and it is renewable.
Process for Selection of the FOCAL Person
- The Head of CEC will facilitate the appointment of the Focal Person together with the Programs Heads of different colleges to endorse the qualified Focal Person in their respective departments.
- The Head, CEC and VP for Branch Operations shall prudently screen the possible nominee endorsed by the department head using the stated FOCAL Person qualification as bases.
- After having selected the Head, CEC recommended the name to the VP for Branch Operations of the school for approval and issuance of appointment letter.
The FOCAL Persons shall facilitate in all community extension/outreach programs of his/her department and perform all his/her duties and responsibilities as stated in the appointment letter issued.
SOCIAL ORIENTATION AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT COMMITTEE
Each College shall have a SOCI Committee representing the different FOCAL Persons in every banner program, and students. It shall assist the Head, CEC in the planning and implementation of the extension activities of the school.
Qualification of the SOCI Committee Members
A. The Faculty representative must be:
- A full-time regular or probationary faculty member of the College
- Willing to commit and be involved in SOCI work.
- Hardworking, patient with a self-controlled and amiable personality.
B. The staff representative must be:
- A regular or probationary staff of the College
- Willing to commit and be involved in SOCI work.
C. The student representative must be:
- An officer of a duly recognized academic student organization of the College.
- Willing to commit and be involved in SOCI work.
Provides support in the administration of the day-to-day operation of the office.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Keeps track of the schedules of the Head of Office as well as the activities of the office and disseminates information to concerned employees;
- Receives incoming calls in the office and ensures that all correspondence whether incoming or outgoing are properly recorded and forwarded to parties concerned;
- Handles and screens guests/callers before referring them to the Head of Office;
- Assists the Head of Office during meetings of the office by recording and keeping minutes of the meeting;
- Prepared regular and simple notes/memorandum;
- Provides clerical support such as encoding, filling, collating and faxing;
- Posts important announcements and takes responsibility in the updating of information in the designated bulletin boards;
- Keeps directory of all employees under the office;
- Coordinates with HRMD/HRDC in the processing of Request of Attendance on Seminars and Trainings (ROAST), benefits availment as well as with other colleges/offices in the University concerning other matters of the office;
- Assist the Head of Office in monitoring attendance of employees;
- Ensure proper safekeeping, updating and easy retrieval of office as well as strict observance of confidentiality of such accordance with established procedures;
- Ensures sufficiency of office supplies and sees to it that these are properly used and controlled;
- Makes monthly inventory of all office supplies and equipments;
- Requests reservation of facilities such as venue, equipment, vehicles during office activities;
- Ensures timely preparation and submission of reports;
- Maintain 5S in the workplace and ensures strict observance to safety practices; and
- Performs other tasks that may be assigned from time to time.
FOCAL PERSON GUIDELINES
Community Extension/Outreach is one of the major functions of a member (faculty, staff and students) of the University. A Focal Person has been appointed to take charge in ensuring that all colleges and their respective departments implement the extension projects thus providing opportunity for engagement of the academic community.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FOCAL PERSONS IN THE COLLEGES AND ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
- Ensure that their respective college or academic program develops, implements and manages a banner project responsive to the needs of the University’s partner communities and institutions.
- Ensure that the faculty and staff under their supervision render community extension service to the partner communities and partner institutions of the University.
- Monitor quarterly the participation of the faculty, staff and students in the various extension activities of the colleges and university.
- Ensure that the faculty, staff and students undertake proper documentation of the community extension activities.
- Establish linkages and networks with various GOs, NGOs, POs, LGUs, NGAs and Civic Organizations for collaboration and to source out support for program implementation.
- Submit a report on the various extension activities of the college/academic programs to the Head of Community Extension.