ASSOCIATION OF FIL-AM TEACHERS OF AMERICA, INC.  - 27 years of education and community service
BALIKTURO Missionary Project by AFTA
“Return to Teach”
(Since 1993)

Historical Background

BALIKTURO, which literally translates to “Return to Teach,” is a missionary project of the Association of Fil-Am Teachers of America, Inc. (AFTA).  The mission brings U.S. based Filipino teachers to the Philippines to share and exchange with their Philippine counterpart valuable information, knowledge, experience, and latest developments in different areas of teaching.

This mission was a product of the initiatives of Vince Vargas of the Unix Users Club of the Philippines (UUCP), a distinguished leader in the Philippine computer industry and Lilia R. Juele, President of the Association of Filipino Teachiers of America (1993-94) during her Philippine visit in the summer of 1993.  Thereafter, the Association of Filipino Teachers of America conceptualized the project and the term BALIKTURO; coined by the Lilia R. Juele, was officially adopted as a ground breaking project of AFTA.  The association made a promise to join hands with UUCP through their Information Technology Educational Caravan Project and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas in this mission of sharing.

BALIKTURO was made possible in its early days by the officers, board members, professional development committees, members and supporters of the Association of Filipino Teachers of America under the advisement of Dr. Eduardo Paderon, Dean of Master in Business Administration at Iona College in New York; the assistance of Undersecretary Federico Macaranas of the Department of Foreign Affairs and CFO’s Executive Director Jose Molano, Jr., Executive Deputy Director Cathy Maceda, and Director for External Affairs and Programs Betty del Castillo.

Objectives

For Filipino teachers in the United States:

·      To make available to their Philippine counterpart the latest and or different methods, trends, and
        technologies in different areas of teaching;
 
·      To share information, knowledge, and experience in education between Filipino teachers in the
        U.S. and the Philippines;
 
·      To establish a communication link and a networking base between teachers and teacher 
        organizations in the Philippines and in the U.S. and provide a continuous and sustainable
        sharing of information, knowledge, and experiences in the teaching profession;
 
·      To set up an assessment and evaluation procedure by which the innovations and changes in
        teaching methods, techniques, technologies, materials and equipments available and used in
        the U.S. would be developed in ways that would be adaptive and responsive to Philippine
        educational needs; and
 
·      To contribute in the development of the teaching profession in the Philippines and participate in
        the overall pursuit of Philippine growth and stability.

Organizational and Implementing Procedures

·      The Association of Filipino Teachers of America through its Professional Development
        Committees on Specific Areas of Teaching will continuously develop symposia, seminars,
        workshops and other types of development programs in different areas of teaching and share
        them with the teachers and education related professionals in the Philippines;

·      With the association’s pool of Filipino teacher members who have been exposed, experienced,
       and educated in the United States, the association will facilitate the transfer and sharing of the
       latest in teaching technologies and make them available to their counterparts in the Philippines;

·      The Professional Development Committees on Specific Areas of Teaching of the Association of
        Filipino Teachers of America will work in providing the links with their counterparts thereby
        working together in upgrading much needed proficiencies in specific areas of teaching;

·      An outside panel composed of experts and distinguished members of the teaching profession
        from various areas of teaching will provide necessary advise to the association in the
        development and evaluation of Balikturo sessions and learning outcomes;

·      A built-in evaluation process in each of the seminars, workshops, symposia, etc. conducted in
        the Philippines to provide necessary feedback mechanism to the association; and

·      To develop follow-up and future programs responsive and adaptive to the needs of teachers and
        education related professions towards the long-term and continuous sharing and exchange of
        teaching technologies.

Recipients and Beneficiaries

·      Teachers and other education related professionals in the Philippines are the first level
        recipients of  the latest educational technologies for their Filipino counterparts;

·      Students in the Philippines will benefit from teachers who have gained knowledge on the latest
       technologies from their U.S. counterparts;

·      The Filipino community stands to benefit from teachers who were continuously gaining
        knowledge on the latest teaching technologies;

·      The Philippine government, public and private educational institutions and other educational
        profit and non-profit organizations who are all working towards the improvement and uplift of
        education in the Philippines; and

·      The educational system will stand to benefit with this program without the major cost necessary
        to conduct this type of educational technology sharing.  This project will provide tangible and
        intangible support towards the overall uplift of the quality of education in the Philippines.










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