Wesleyan University-Philippines received the highest award at the Gawad Padyak Parangal of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) during the 1st National Higher Education Day and CHED’s 27th Founding Anniversary Celebration.

WUP was the top private HEI in Central Luzon with the best response in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in higher education covering the period of March 2020 to April 2021. The 2021 Gawad PADYAK Parangal sa mga Unibersidad at Kolehiyo sa Rehiyong III aims to highlight the gains and contributions of higher education institutions as models of institutional continuity, agility, resiliency and collaboration.

WUP topped other private universities and colleges on the following criteria: Institutional Continuity (how HEIs seamlessly rolled-out their academic continuity plans in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic); Change Agility (how rapidly HEIs moved from in-campus learning to flexible learning); Bayanihan: “We HEAL as ONE. We LEARN as ONE” (how HEIs collaborated with other HEIs, the industry, support agencies and government agencies such as CHEDRO-III to share resources, expertise and technology to ease the strain of the pandemic); and Resiliency and Innovation (how HEIs, its system and community continually adapt and innovate to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic).

In his acceptance speech, the University President, Judge Benjamin D. Turgano, said, “We simply did what we needed to do under the constraints of time and limited mobility. And we are grateful that together, sama-sama, tulong-tulong, we were able to pass through the year of extreme difficulty. We tried, notwithstanding the limitations of WUP, to reach out to smaller HEIs in the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities, as a means of responding to the call of Chairperson De Vera for bayanihan in higher education, where we help each other, kapit-bisig, in traversing difficulties and challenges being the only viable continuity plan under these circumstances.”

President Turgano expressed gratitude to the Commission on Higher Education under the empowering leadership of Chair J. Prospero E. De Vera III for the timely advisories which served as WUP’s guideposts in traversing the shift from in-person instruction to flexible learning; the faculty, academic support staff and stakeholders, who cooperated willingly and supportively in assisting the university cross the whelming current during these trying and difficult times; UP Los Baños, Silliman Unversity and Miriam College who came to beef up the university’s efforts as it initiated its response to the extraordinary requirements of the pandemic; and to God who allowed us to make an impact to fellow HEIs not only in Region III but the rest of North Luzon in terms of capacity building through our series of webinars.

“The pandemic has brought extreme difficulties but also brought blessings in disguise. And through all of these, we say thank you,” ended the President.

WUP was likewise named Top 2 private HEI in best practices for Extension and Productivity, for proceeding with its extension activities which have significant and proactive impact in the lives of the people in the community. WUP bested 8 other HEIs in the region.

The event with the theme, “PADYAK! PAMANTASAN: PANDAYAN TUNGO SA KAUNLARAN Moving Forward by Claiming Victory for Philippine Higher Education” was held on May 17-21, aiming to highlight the collective efforts of the Region III Higher Education Sector in ensuring that HEIs in Region III journey through this challenging period concertedly and efficiently. #