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Rural Development on the Line: MPM-RD to Produce More Graduates, Train More Scholars
The Master in Public Management major in Rural Development (MPM-RD) is an 18-month scholarship program that seeks to foster the rural development initiatives in the Philippines. The program scholars are permanent employees from three major rural development-oriented government agencies namely: Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Agriculture (DA). Scholars are purposefully selected to stand as informed development managers who will help in decision-making for an efficient implementation of countryside development.
The MPM-RD employs a blended learning approach that combines the traditional face-to-face sessions with online learning. Its courses are tailored-fit to answer the needs in rural development, fully equipping its scholars with leadership skills in this area.
Specifically, it was devised through the joint efforts of the National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development (NCI-SRD) and Educational Consortium for Rural Development (ECRD). It is composed of four highly regarded academic institutions in the country such as the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), Ateneo de Manila University thru the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), University of the Philippines and Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City. Hence, DAP leads in the implementation of this multi-agency scholarship program.
The program is a double-badge degree granted by DAP and ASoG upon the completion of a “master’s thesis” called Rural Development Action Plan and Project (RDAPP). This thesis is an action-oriented project geared towards identifying, evaluating, and building development projects in the countryside.
Since it was launched in 2012, the program has produced 19 graduates from the DA. Furthermore, 26 more scholars from the DA bureaus and attached agencies are expected to graduate on April this year. As such, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), as the training and extension arm of DA, was tasked to manage and provide financial support to the said scholars of the Department.
Even before the culmination of the program’s 3rd run, ATI has already started recruiting for the 4th batch of scholars. Online entrance examination administered by DAP will start on the 3rd week of February and this year’s batch is expected to start on May 3, 2017. (with reports from Kim Joseph Medrana, ATI - Career Development and Management Division)