The University of Baguio’s School of International Hospitality and Tourism Management gets recognized by CHED for its efforts in continuing to educate UBians during the pandemic.
The award was given to the SIHTM for their Practicum Program during CHED’s celebration of the ASEAN’s 55th Founding Anniversary. This award recognizes the efforts that the SIHTM dean and faculty put in to make sure that its students were not left behind despite the pandemic happening.
Using their creativity and ingenuity, the dean and faculty worked together to come up with innovative ideas to keep the SIHTM going even when students couldn’t physically attend classes or have their practicums and OJTs. Equally impressive in this regard is the fact that the SIHTM was still able to foster cross cultural interactions, international partnerships, academic mobility and stayed true to the goal of internationalization.
Though UB’s SIHTM was thankful for being recognized for their effort to ensure that education for its students kept going during this time, Dean Jenelyn Magpatoc remarked that it wasn’t really for the award and was more for the students, stating:
“. . . The program was not for awards, it was made for the students . . . we did not prepare for it (the award), it was simply recognized later by CHED.”
What is the Practicum Program?
The Practicum program is actually a series of different initiatives aimed to ensure that SIHTM students of UB will still get to have their practicums and the like either through the digital space or in a controlled environment.
The SIHTM’s learning was greatly affected by the pandemic, with many establishments closing and travel being banned a school had to come up with programs that would ensure that the school’s momentum kept going, they are:
1. Cloud Kitchen
The Cloud Kitchen or virtual restaurant allowed UBians to still perform their needed tasks even on a virtual space and kept them learning about the hospitality industry and still finish their performance tasks without risking themselves by traveling.
Under this program students got to manage their own virtual restaurants, where they basically simulate how it’s like to run a restaurant, café, or other similar establishments.
2. Virtual Practicum
The Virtual practicum program covered other courses under SIHTM, such as tourism, and gave students a chance to still have their practicum and learn by doing at the safety of their homes.
Under this, UB’s SIHTM partnered with organizations based internationally to help provide the necessary training to its students. UB is also the first HEI to partner with Talent Basket, an organization that provides help to those with potential for business.
Another partner organization is a travel agency based in the UK that provided knowledge and training for international travel and tours operations.
3. Pop-up Café
When some restrictions were lifted during the quarantine and the school was allowed to open to a limited number of students, the pop-up café and travel and tours agency, was created as an avenue for SIHTM students to still have their practicum despite many establishments still being closed and travel still severely limited during this time.