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Learning from the People: Development Studies’ Paaralan ng Bayan Prof. Roland G. Simbulan Professor of Development Studies and Public Management UP Manila
Description l l The Development Studies Practicum is taken by Development Studies majors in their third year as part of the core subjects of the DS Program. This 6 -unit course requires its students to immerse themselves in depressed communities in the countryside for one whole summer. It affords them the opportunity to apply, improve, revise and junk, if necessary, theories and ideas they have acquired in the classrooms. They integrate with poor peasants, fisherfolks and indigenous peoples, learn about their problems and participate in community activities.
Description l l DS 190 is prefaced by lectures and workshops on community work and organizing before the students venture into the countryside. Students are hosted by dynamic local peasant, fisherfolk or indigenous people’s organizations in several provinces such as Palawan, Mindoro, Romblon, Marinduque, Panay, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Cavite, Rizal, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Benguet, Mt. Province, Aurora, and Cagayan and Isabela.
Objective l l DS 190 aims to assist the poor in developing the skill to research on their conditions and encourages the students to participate in community life like community meetings and harvesting. Thus, the course seeks to imbibe in the students the value of serving and empowering the people, aside from being an intellectual undertaking.
Brief History l Reoriented in 1995 to focus on the plight of the rural masses, Development Studies 190 aims to expose students to conditions of the largest sector in Philippine society – the peasant and fisherfolk – and initiate them to the intricacies of rural development. This thrust is important as the country’s economy is still basically agricultural.
Brief History l Before 1995, DS 190 was DS 153 with an orientation on urban development where students looked into the impact of government and corporate programs on the urban poor and industrial workers. The reorientation of the program came from the realization that there is a need to focus on the neglected poor in the countryside, for the rural poor are the real key to Philippine economic development.
Rationale l Since the majority of the Filipinos are poor and live in the countryside, it behooves a program in Development Studies to let its students know first-hand the conditions of their marginalized countrymen and help find solutions for their emancipation and development.
Rationale l l The problems of the rural poor must be understood and addressed to revive the economy and strike at the roots of poverty. By teaching and learning from the rural poor, it is hoped that they will develop more wellrounded characters with the appreciation that the growth of the individual can only be acquired through an understanding of one’s limitations and the different objective conditions of peoples
Rationale l The program has become an effective, no-nonsense fieldwork course that enables students to integrate with the toiling rural masses for five weeks despite 190’s zero budget. l The practicum course contributes to the allrounded education of Development Studies majors. It is in DS 190 where there is a dialectics of theory and practice.
Testimony “The integration with the masses, more than being humbling, was an empowering experience. I have realized that the key to an in-depth analysis of macro-level issues is micro-studies of local communities. In our case, the underdevelopment of agriculture sector in District III of Cavite was investigated and the locals, with their vernacular language, discussed how speculative investment, land grabbing, unfair trade and lack of support service create disincentive in farming. The practicum program filled in the shortcoming of theories. The academe and textbooks cannot solely arm the students with development. ” Christine Ruth Salazar Graduated AY 2006 -2007 Project Evaluation Officer III, Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)/ National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
Testimony “The practicum provides undergraduates a bridge between formal and informal education, the university and the people, and among themselves in their own personal journeys. It is a venue for honing scientific-minded and pro-people scholars, researchers, educators, development workers, advocates, policy makers, managers, and public servants. It expands the students’ awareness about the political, economic and cultural conditions that hinder development while allowing participants to explore or apply viable options that point to social transformation. The practicum intertwines the students, the university, and the people and affirms their roles as co-partners in development work. " Frederick E. Dabu Legislative Staff House of Representatives
Testimony “A fieldwork course that should be required of every UP student, regardless of his or her course. ” - Cesar Cobrador, parent of a practicumer VP, Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO)
Bawat mag-aaral ay parang punla Bawat mag-aaral sy singhalaga Ng punlang palay Inaruga, kabalikat ng gabay ng magsasaka. Patigasin ang kamao’t Ang ulo ay itaas Imulat ang iyong mata At matutong makitulad. Pagkat tulad ng punlang palay Yayabong siya, gigising siya Upang pawiin ang gutom Ng matiyagang nag-aruga sa bawat munting punla. Kaya, kabataan, kumilos ka Ano pa ang hinihintay? Magkaisa at magbuklod Alay sa api’t laban ng ANAKPAWIS. Bawat mag-aaral ay singhalaga ng punlang palay Inalagaan at pinagpala Ipinagtanggol laban sa peste at baha At, oo, minamahal ng magsasaka.
Involvement in production work
Sharing simple joys with the masses
Integrating with an Aeta community in Pampanga
Teachers and students learn from the people.