A memorandum of understanding was signed by Silliman University President Dr. Ben Malayang III and Miriam College President Dr. Rosario Lapus on February 21 to bind both schools in integrating local knowledge in their curriculum and research thrusts, said a statement from Silliman’s Office of Information and Publications (OIP).
Under the agreement, Silliman is designated as the lead institution in stimulating interest in local knowledge on matters ranging from native delicacies to livelihood such as weaving and basketry, among schools in Negros Oriental.
The move stemmed from both schools’ concern over the disappearing local knowledge that impact on national identity among the Filipino youths, said SU OIP Director Mark Garcia.
Both Silliman and Miriam agreed to collaborate on research, training, open discussions, resource sharing, and structured utilization of digital technologies.
"The young people's knowledge of the culture and traditions unique to their communities is now slowly vanishing due their access to global information online brought about by their preference for online technologies," said Garcia.
Media is also bombarding young Filipinos with information about global culture which has led to a weakening identity of what makes Filipino culture unique among the youths.
"This is our challenge now, how to reinforce that affinity for local identity so they can appreciate their local culture and who they are in the global picture," he said.
The two schools hope to sustain their efforts in promoting local knowledge in the following years "so we can preserve these practices for the future generation to appreciate their culture," added Garcia.
The terms under the MoU will be overseen by the Asian University Digital Resource Network (AUDRN), a project of Miriam, funded by the Local Knowledge Initiative program of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA).
Silliman's partnership with Miriam on local knowledge springs from the University's involvements in related initiatives funded directly by UBCHEA. (www.ugnayan.com)