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18/01/2012: PHL Embassy & AFTA-MD Conduct Professional Development Session for Teachers

Filipino teachers based in Maryland pose for a group picture at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. on January 14, 2012 following a professional development session initiated by the Association of Filipino Teachers in America-Maryland.

18 January 2012, Washington DC. On January 14, 2012, sixty Filipino teachers participated in a professional development session of the Association of Filipino Teachers in America-Maryland (AFTA-MD), which was organized in partnership with the Philippine Embassy through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-Washington DC (POLO-WDC). Labor Attaché Luzviminda Padilla noted that the teachers, as resource speakers and participants, benefitted from novel ideas, concepts and practical knowledge presented, which were based on the teachers’ own researches and teaching experience. The teachers were given an educational walk-through on such topics as accountable talk, phonemic awareness, teaching strategies for visually impaired, learning verbal behavior, and on other areas of interests to the teachers.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., lauded the AFTA-MD project to develop the professional capabilities of its member-teachers. Under the program, Filipino teachers are also given the opportunity to enhance their competencies and advance their professional life by sharing with each other their experiences and expertise acquired in the course of teaching in the U.S.

Maryland-based Filipino teachers intently listen to one of the speakers during the professional development session, which was organized on January 14, 2012 by the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Association of Filipino Teachers in America-Maryland.

Ambassador Cuisia also cited the efforts and initiative of the Filipino teachers who were affected by the U.S. Department of Labor debarment ruling on the Prince George’s County (PCG) Public School System to undertake self-petition for their continued stay in the country. He acknowledged that self-petition is a difficult process but not necessarily insurmountable. “We have received reports that some of our Filipino teachers have already obtained approval of their self-petition and managed to return to their work. Teachers with extra-ordinary or outstanding achievements are eligible to apply for self-petition,” he said.

AFTA-MD president Lynne Ciocon expressed her gratitude to the Philippine Embassy for supporting the teachers’ professional development and self-petition initiatives. These initiatives, she said, are providing hope to the Filipino teachers who were adversely affected by the PCG case.  END