Angara seeks extensive academic exchange program with Spain

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, October 30, 2010-Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that he will propose an extensive academic exchange program with Spain for the welfare of the teachers and students in the country.


As this year’s recipient of the prestigious Premio Casia Asia, he has been chosen by the cultural arm of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs because of his unmatched efforts between the Spain and the Philippines wherein he authored RA 9817, an act declaring June 30 as the official Philippine-Spain Friendship day, which has given birth to numerous initiatives in legislation, culture, arts, education and sports.


He enabled the signing of an agreement for academic exchange with the University of the Basque Country in Alava, Vizcaya and Gipuzkoa in the northern part of Spain, as well as an agreement for sports cooperation with the Spanish Ministry of Sports.


“My targets in Spain are more academic exchanges and scholarships for our Filipinos, better understanding on our historical ties with Spain, and to bring our folks into the international academic world,” he said.


This kind of academic exchange would help Filipinos to learn more about the country’s history, especially the centuries of shared experiences with the people of Spain.


The Senator said that the Spanish language was reintegrated into the Philippine’s high school curriculum as an elective, last year.


He said that the Spanish language teaching is the fastest-growing educational activity in the Philippines.  The desire and demand for learning the language is overwhelming.


With the study of the Spanish language, he said it will provide more opportunities for work and social interaction, adding that it will also allow us to better appreciate each other’s literature.


“As late as the 50s and the 60s, many of what became our future national leaders were beneficiaries of Spanish education.  Today the United States, United Kingdom and Japan have become the Philippines’ main sources of education and training.  Why shouldn’t Spain, our historical madre patria, become more involved in educating our people like it did hundreds of years ago when they built the first schools in the country,” he explained.


“We will have more opportunities to strengthen the historical and cultural bonds that unite our two (2) countries through this,” he concluded. (Jason de Asis)