The K-12 law, known as the Republic Act 10533 (The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013), the university’s initiatives in response to this law, its many simultaneous and ongoing preparations impacting on the curriculum, programs and faculty loading, as well as some emerging concerns cutting across the overall formation programs of the university were presented to the personnel and staff of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation by Dr. Gina Lapaza-Montalan, dean of the School of Education (SOE) of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU).  In a special meeting called for by the Arrupe Office on 10th February 2014, Dr. Montalan was invited to give an update on where the university is at present in view of its K-12 preparations. 

         Dr. Montalan, chair of the overall committee tasked to see through the implementation of ADDU’s K-12, gave a general presentation of RA 10533, and then zeroed in on the university’s move that laid the groundwork for the creation of structures providing for better coordination in charting the course of the university’s concrete response to this law. The university is committed to take an active engagement in educational reform in this region, as codified in its vision-mission (VM) and as widely articulated in the various political commitments made by University President, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ. And through its K-12 initiatives, it actively lobbies for the crafting and implementation of changes in the educational system that promotes transformative education.

Through her presentation, the Arrupe Office was given a glimpse of where social formation could perhaps be provided and better reinforced, given this new change.  Adding two years in the high school could also impact on Arrupe’s quasi-academic programs, such as the First Year Development Program (FYDP), the National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS), as well as its Service-Learning (SL) Program.  In which case, the move to decompress curricular offerings in the tertiary level so that courses could be moved down to the senior high school (Grade 11 and Grade 12) could also impact into Arrupe’s other programs in terms of their appropriation according to levels. Toward this end, some programs could be re-thought so that they could be aligned vertically, as it were, as well as appropriated in accordance with what is called college readiness standards (CRS). New programs could also be initiated so as to better address emerging needs on social formation that are suited according to the new face of the tertiary level once the K-12 implementation will have come full circle.

The work on social formation is one of the fundamental thrusts of the university, articulated in its vision-mission (VM) and the key result areas (KRAs) of the University Strategic Planning held in the summer of 2012.  Social formation is, therefore, one of the primary characteristics of Jesuit education and it is likewise articulated and restated in so many Jesuit documents in both the educational and social apostolate.

            The Arrupe Office appreciated the input of Dr. Montalan who is no stranger to social formation, being an alumnae of the corps of student volunteers of the then Social Involvement Coordinating Office [SICO], the precursor of the Arrupe Office.  Her talk also helped the Arrupe Office in positioning itself in the university’s overall K-12 efforts, as well as in situating further its avenues of engagement as the social formation arm of the university in the tertiary level.

        The Arrupe Office takes this new development on the K-12 implementation proactively and plans to hold a strategic planning workshop midway in the summer of 2014.  (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)