by Mark Paul S. Rivarez
01 Dec 2017
The Institute of Weed Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology (IWEP) conducted a two-day Academic Program Improvement (API) workshop on Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 2017, in collaboration with the private business sector or ‘industry partners’, government agencies, retired staff, professor emeriti and other state universities and colleges (SUCs). The activity has the theme, “Revisit for Matching Academic Programs of the IWEP Through Conduct of Collaboration Meeting and Workshop with the Stakeholders”.
Some of the eminent academicians that graced the activity were, Dr. Romulo G. Davide, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology, Dr. Augustin B. Molina, retired Professor of Plant Pathology, Dr. Avelino D. Raymundo, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology, Dr. Narceo Bajet, former Professor of Plant Pathology and Dr. Aurora M. Baltazar, retired Professor of Weed Science. Executive officers and representatives from various pest control, seed and agricultural companies also participated in the workshop, which includes BASF, East-West Seed Company, Del Monte, Bayer and Dole. Faculty members from State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) namely, Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) and Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) also participated the said event.
IWEP officials, led by Dr. Sheryl A. Yap (OIC-Director), felt the need to conduct a dialogue and workshop with the industry partners particularly those involved in crop pest and diseases management to further improve the courses. They also recognize the importance of the inputs from the stakeholders that serve as employers of the graduates from IWEP. The stakeholders also participate in collaborative research, technology extension and in catering students’ internship programs. Thus, in order to improve the academic programs of the institute, curricular assessments were conducted and identified some points for improvement. The activity also welcomed contributions such as pledges for infrastructure and facility support. The workshop is followed by plenary sessions and synthesis discussions to finalize the outputs of the activity and future plans for implementation.
During the presentation of the outputs of the groups, Dr. Joey I. Orajay, Research Director of Del Monte Philippines and former Associate Professor of Plant Pathology, emphasized the importance of having an end goal in mind when IWEP do the revisions of their curricular programs. Competencies must be tailored with the needs of the current state of the industry, in terms of research and operations, sales, regulatory and policy-making. Institution of courses focusing on general pesticide science, crop protection biotechnology and incorporation of more field activities in order to enhance practical capabilities of the students in field research and data analysis were also emphasized. Setting up of molecular biology laboratory and other facilities were also discussed.
IWEP currently offers two major programs under the BS Agriculture degree, namely Entomology and Plant Pathology programs and a soon-to-be-offerred Weed Science program. The institute wants to revitalize their objectives and the topics of courses to strengthen its academic programs in accordance with the needs of the future employers. The API workshop is funded by the Office of the UPLB Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs through the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) Dean’s Office.