The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) forged today an agreement with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) and the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UP) to develop a master’s degree in rural development to enhance technical skills of government employees.
DAR Secretary Gil de los Reyes said that the master’s degree – Master in Public Management, Major in Rural Development (MPM-MRD)– is a pioneering academic program that delivers a blended learning mode that has never been practiced in the country. He said classes begins on March 19, 2012.
De los Reyes stressed that the MPM-MRD is a customized masters program aimed at enhancing the joint efforts of the three main government agencies involved in rural development – the DAR, the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which are also called the National Convergence Initiative (NCI) agencies.
De los Reyes explained that MPM-MRD will be taught not only on a traditional face-to-face mode but also on an online or distance education basis.
DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said the MPM-MRD “is targeting the field supervisors, technical/program staff and administrators of the NCI agencies to provide relevant enterprise, political, managerial and technical skills for an inclusive and sustainable rural development.”
DENR Secretary Ramon Paje agreed that the course will help in pursuing the main thrust of the NCI, which is enhancing institutional mechanisms of the NCI agencies, the economic empowerment for the rural poor, and in achieving spatial integration.”
For its part, the DAP will lead a consortium of prime academic institution called the “Educational Consortium for Rural Development (ECRD),” consisting of the Ateneo School of Government, Xavier University and UP-Diliman’s two component units: College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) and the Diliman Interactive Learning Center.
The DAP and the ECRD will develop the curriculum, syllabus and training materials for the course including the deployment of faculty for the MPM-MRD.
The DILC will deploy a learning management system called the Open Virtual Learning Environment (OVLE) for the delivery of the MPM-MRD on an online mode.