The first of the Serious Talks Series presented by the Asian Institute of Tourism Student Council (AIT SC) was held on November 22,2012 at the AIT Seminar Room, with the title “Theory versus Practice: Towards the Future of the Tourism Industry.”
Speakers invited to the talk were Dean Miguela Mena, Prof. Richard Gonzalo, and Prof. Reil Cruz, who spoke mostly of the future of education in the tourism industry.
Read on: the Curriculum Development Workshop
Dean Miguela Mena gave a review of AIT’s mission and vision and briefly discussed future plans of the Philippine education system to integrate skills-based courses in grades 11 and 12 in the new K to 12 program. She also went through the future of the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) tourism industry through the ASEAN Economic Community and Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), ASEAN tourism strategic plan for 2011 to 2016, and the ASEAN MRA on tourism professionals.
Plans to review and enhance AIT’s current Undergraduate Curriculum and develop the institution’s Graduate Program were also reveled – the institute is aiming to offer a Master’s program by 2014, and a Ph. D. program by 2015 or 2016 – as well as to build and expand AIT’s teaching and research.
In relation to these plan, the specifics of the current Undergraduate Curriculum were reviewed by Prof. Richard Gonzalo. He also included the changes applied to the curriculum this year such as required General Elective (GE) course (i.e. Geog 1, Kas 1, Fil 40, Comm 3, Philo 1, and Eng 10) and changes in the course descriptions of Tourism classes.
The output of the 3-day Curriculum Development Workshop held in AIT and UP Los Baños, regarding the proposed changes to be applied to the undergraduate curriculum, were discussed by Prof. Reil Cruz. Some of the changes proposed were the abolition of Accounting 1(Introduction to Financial Accounting) and the inclusion of its topics to Tour – 131 (Management Accounting for Tourism Enterprises) which would then be a 4-unit course, more free electives, and the inclusion of a skills-based class to teach students basic industry skills such as food and beverage service, bed making, and the like.
The talk itself was well attended and encouraged students to participate by asking questions to further clarify the plans of the institute, and offer some of their own ideas regarding the issue. – Cha Octiva and Nadine Gutierrez