State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) levelling instruments and guidelines, priority extension programs, and priority research programs and policies were the topics discussed by Prof. Benecito Maratas, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Dr. Richard Muallil, Director for Institute of Continuing Education and Extension Services (ICEES); and Dr. Sitti Zayda Halun, Director for Research, respectively, during the conference on Research, Innovation and Extension with the theme “Innovation and paradigm  shift to effectively respond to the community development challenges of the 21st century.” The conference was held on January 17, 2018 at the Sabdani J. Bulante Hall in MSU- TCTO, Sanga-Sanga Campus.

Dr. Muallil opened the program by highlighting the importance of doing research and attending conferences. He encouraged the faculty members not just to do researches and present them in national and international conferences, but also publish them in international journals. “We are very strong with many projects and presentations in conferences, but publication is an area where we are actually very weak. In science, any project is considered incomplete unless it is published,” he said.

He explained that faculty should extend these research outputs to the community to develop the socio-economic status and living condition of the people of Tawi-Tawi. “It is the main reason why MSU-TCTO has been established and why the government is paying us,” Dr. Muallil said referring to the functions of the faculty. This conference aimed to help boost outputs particularly in the field of research. “Let us be more relevant, let the presence of MSU-TCTO be felt by the community. We can do that if we work together and do projects and extension services,” he added.

Parts of the objectives of this conference were to understand the SUC levelling criteria/evaluation; harmonize national R & D agenda, Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and TCTO R & D policies, and priority extension programs. This would also strengthen the academe- community partnership and get everyone engaged in R & D activities. “We have to work to achieve our vision strategic plan. We should be functioning as a whole; three heads are functioning well so that there is a big impact of MSU-TCTO especially on the community,” Dr. Halun reminded the participants. She also emphasized that the commitment of everyone should be to achieve TCTO goals and vision. “One person, two persons, three persons cannot do it; all of us have to be part of it. We have to be engaged –– we have to be involved,” she added.

The Chancellor, Dr. Mary Joyce Z. Guinto-Sali in her message, emphasized that this conference was not only timely but very important. “The theme, ‘Innovation and paradigm shift to effectively respond to the community development challenges of the 21st century,’ is the best kick off for our programs and projects, and activities for the succeeding years,” Chancellor Sali said. “To adequately and effectively prepare for the challenges of the 21st century, we must discard obsolete or ineffective approaches and try innovative methods and paradigm shifts we deem to be more   in   keeping   with   the   demands   of     international dimensions of this global world,” she added.

The event was attended and participated in by the deans of different colleges, faculty members, and staff of MSU-TCTO. The workshop included characterizing a research university and building and sustaining academe-community partnership.

By Ayesha A. Hadjail

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