Taguig City was chosen to be among the participants to a Philippines-South Korea for a teacher exchange program aimed at understanding cultural diversities and sharing of teaching innovations between the two countries.

Because of this, a Taguig English teacher is soon to travel to South Korea to impart her teachings skills as well as to learn about the foreign country’s education system.

The exchange program, called the Asia-Pacific Teacher Exchange for Global Education of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), dispatches Korean teachers to local schools in the Philippines and Filipino teachers to local schools in South Korea.

For Korean exchange teachers, the program would last for six months, from August to January 2013. Their Filipino counterparts, on the other hand, would undergo the program for three months, or from beginning of October to end of December 2012.

The exchange teachers will work as teaching assistants of local teachers, sharing teaching loads with them.

A total of 30 Filipino teachers were selected to be part of the exchange program with South Korea.

One of the chosen Filipino teachers is Joyce Villas, an English teacher at the Western Bicutan National High School (WBNHS) in Taguig, who will be deployed at the Jamil High School in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. She will teach English communication, the cultures and traditions of Filipinos and history of Taguig to Korean students.

“We are proud that Taguig was chosen to be part of the exchange program and that one our teachers was selected to be sent to teach in a school in South Korea. This program opens opportunities for our Filipino educators to learn from South Korean educators towards improving our own curriculum and finding more effective teaching-learning activities,” said Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano.

Villas’ Korean counterpart, Hui Jin Jiu,was deployed at the WBNHS since August. The 26-year old Korean teacher–a native of Jeounju, South Korea—is assigned to introduce the Korean culture, tradition and history to Filipino students, among others. She is one of the 20 teachers South Korea sent to the Philippines under the program.

Hui Jin Jui’s Filipino mentors had already introduced to her the history of Taguig, and gave her a tour of various sites in Taguig and Metro Manila. They also explained to her that education in Taguig is free—from tuition, school uniforms, to the shoes that the students are wearing—courtesy of the city government.

According to Hui Jin Jiu, Korean parents have to pay and buy everything that their children need for school.

“She was amazed with the best practices in teaching here in Taguig and WBNHS. She already learned a lot from the teachers with barely one week of class observation,” said Monalisa Mesa, head of the English department of the WBNHS, about Hui Jin Jui’s reaction.

Participants in the teacher exchange program are expected to design and conduct sessions and individual projects on intercultural education. END