CEAP on its 75th year

By: Jobers R. Bersales September 28,2016 - 09:09 PM

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) is on its second day of a three-day national convention at the Cebu Waterfront Hotel in Lahug. This gathering of some 3,500 delegates comes as CEAP marks its 75th anniversary.

The convention comes as this tight-knit aggrupation of some 1,200-member educational institutions joined other private and public schools in ushering in the Senior High School Program and the preparations for the new face of higher education in 2018.

The convention’s theme, “Towards 2021: New Spirit, New Fervor at 75!” appropriately expresses the hopes of the entire Philippine educational system that come 2021 — when the sweeping educational reforms now marching forward upon all of us will have been completed — will result in a better-educated youth prepared to build a better Philippines.

The main task of this year’s convention is to tackle the final version of the Philippine Catholic Schools Standards, which was launched in 2013 and went through a process of consultations, revisions and approval by various bodies including the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Those standards are inspired by the work of the Loyola University in Chicago, which had earlier helped develop one for Catholic schools in the United States.

The convention program has therefore been divided into topics that tackle the final standards for Basic Education and those for Higher Education.

CEAP is quite a unique organization like no one else in the world because of its large membership. It can actually lobby powerfully for the interests of Catholic schools in the country, a muscle which fortunately or unfortunately, I have not witnessed flexed more forcefully in my lifetime. It is also an aggrupation that, during times of crisis, does not shirk from speaking out and issuing pointed statements to government entities.

It is also an organization with topnotch universities among its membership, the only private universities ranked by Quacquarelly Symonds. The University of the Philippines, the premier state university, is the only non-Catholic and non-private institution that has consistently been ranked with some five Catholic universities. The latest one this year included the Jesuit universities (Ateneo de Manila, Davao and Cagayan or Xavier), De LaSalle and University of San Carlos, in its rankings. Only one other private, non-Catholic institution, Silliman University (a Protestant Presbyterian school identified with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines) was also in the rankings.

For non-delegates who wish to visit the convention, there is an exhibition of the most important part of education: the production and publishing of books. You will be immediately wowed by large commercial book publishing houses which have made millions selling books to CEAP schools. Then there are the smaller ones, those that focus on more specific learning needs and a few publishing houses that I know only for the first time.

Of course, I have some bias for my own tiny publishing house, University of San Carlos Press, which also has a booth there, competing with the giants in the publication of Senior High School textbooks, among others.

I urge parents of even non-Catholic schools to visit these exhibition booths so that they can see the treasure trove of publications that help educate their children and the smarter ways of teaching and learning that some of these publishing houses offer.

* * *

I would like to take this space to greet Caroline Tan-Porras, owner of ClintKAMMS Corp., Phialo Trading and the recently blessed Hagia Sophia Library Café, a belated but nonetheless still heartfelt “Happy Birthday!” Cayoy, as she is called by friends, has been in the printing business for the last 14 years and her birthday also happened to be the 7th anniversary of her printing company, ClintKAMMS. It is also the printing company of many coffee table books produced by USC Press.
Hagia Sophia Library Café, she told me during her birthday party last Friday, is designed to be an intellectually stimulating bookstore with a coffee shop. So those who have been looking for USC Press books need not go to USC but can spend time browsing our books there, even well into the night — after paying for coffee of course to help defray the cost of running the shop.

Once again, Happy Birthday, Cayoy and congratulations on the anniversary of ClintKAMMS!

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TAGS: 75th CEAP Anniversary, Catholic, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, catholicism, CBCP, CEAP, Christian, Christianity, Lahug, New Fervor at 75!, Philippines, Towards 2021: New Spirit, Waterfront Hotel

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