Latest News List ZAMBASULTAPS, CEAP IX holds 2017 regional confab

Ateneo president Fr Karel San Juan SJ together with school heads and directors of member schools gathered for the 2017 General Assembly of  the Zamboanga Basilan Sulu Tawi-Tawi Association of Private Schools (ZAMBASULTAPS) and Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines Region IX (CEAP IX) and Western ARMM last  August 8-9 at the Yakan I and II function halls of the Garden Orchid Hotel.

“Cummunio: Building and Sustaining Communities for Life” aptly sets the theme for this year’s general assembly. Mary Ann Cruz, Plan and Programs Director of the CEAP National Secretariat, said that the theme is a reminder to nourish our sense of community as private and catholic schools and help in building and sustaining not only our own schools but also other schools who need our help.

The two-day assembly was jam-packed with a series of lectures, updates, and discussions on the latest developments in Philippine Education and had presentations and reports by key persons. Among the highlights of the event was the talk of Atty Joseph Noel Estrada, Legal Counsel of CEAP and a contributor in drafting the recently passed law on Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education granting universal access to tuition fees to all state universities and colleges. He emphasized the rights of every student in choosing a school based on quality and not only because it offers free education. He also talked about the law’s provision enabling the student to be enrolled in a state university, state college, or a private school and still enjoy financial subsidy from the government. He further talked about his appeal to the legislators “to look at private schools as partners of the government in the delivery of education” which can only be operationalized if the president signs the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education into law.


Ateneo’s Vice President for Basic Education Fr Stephen Abuan, SJ, presented the journey of the Philippine Catholic Schools Standard (PCSS) in the process of becoming legitimate and excellent inevaluating the standards of a catholic school. In the process, Fr Abuan explained the eight defining characteristics of an excellent school being: Centered in the person and message of Christ; Participating in the evangelizing mission of the church; Animated by the spirit of communion; Established as an ecclesial institution; Distinguished by a culture of excellence; Committed to integral human formation; Engaged in the service of church and society with the preferential option for the poor; and Promoting a dialogue of faith, life, and culture. Moreover, Fr Abuan stressed that the PCSS is passionate about helping catholic schools in describing and evaluating its policies, programs, structures, and processes through the PCSS’s detailed self-assessment and diagnostic instrument.

The assembly featured an open forum to discuss certain matters governing the association. AdZU president Fr Karel San Juan SJ, ZAMBASULTAP President and Regional Trustee for CEAP Region IX sat with representatives from DepEd, TESDA, and other key institutions to answer questions of the participants.

Fr Romeo Saniel, OMI, Regional Trustee in CEAP ARMM, closed the assembly by reminding all Catholic schools of its mission, which is to continue the mission of Christ in serving the society. 

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