by Cristopher Baldivino Amacna
It is undeniable that Barcelona Center for Applied Sciences (BCAS) is moving forward towards fulfilling its mission and vision which is to provide education to the less privileged and marginalized members of the society at a very low cost. It promotes education that develops human personality, encourage respect for human rights and recognition of fundamental freedoms. On the 18th of February 2018, the BCAS students, and some invited guests, headed by the school director Dr. Elizabeth Soliday-Naui went to an excursion at La Masella Ski Resort in Girona, and a side trip to the famous Castle of Cardona to celebrate the phenomenal achievements of the school which is its registration to the Ajuntamiento de Barcelona as an Educational Organization intended to educate the marginalized groups. The following are just the few reasons for celebration and what was already achieved and the great things to come:
SUCCESSFUL LAUNCHING AND A STRONG GROUP OF PIONEERING STUDENTS AND PROFESSORS
Last May 2017, the first academic program, Diploma on Global Studies was successfully launched with almost 30 students despite time constraints and limited resources. It was followed by the launching of the Diploma on International Human Rights Education in November at the same year with a good number of students as well. These programs are accredited by the International Council for Higher Education, a private Christian Accrediting organization with offices in Switzerland and India. Both courses attracted mostly the Filipino immigrants and a few Europeans. Most importantly, the professors and lecturers of both programs are young and experts on their field who not only hold a master or doctorate degree, but also currently are professors in their respective universities. In fact, some of them have had to fly to Barcelona as far as from the United States, and from other European countries just to give classes and mentor the students.
OFFICIALLY REGISTERED AS AN INSTITUTION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION BY THE SPANISH / CATALAN LAW
Just recently, the center has received its approval to operate officially as an academic institution offering educational programs. With great pride, the President of our partner academy in Amsterdam (Foundation Academy) Dr. Samuel Lee, on his Facebook post, BCAS is now duly recognized by the local government of Catalunya as an official institution of higher education. In other words, under the law, BCAS can now legally provide more educational programs, courses, and internship placements. During the trip, Dr. Naui assured the students and the guests that she and her team will work relentlessly to make agreements and affiliations with established universities and accrediting institutions here and abroad to make sure that BCAS can offer more skills based and more academic programs, answering the demands of the current educational migrant market. She also assured everyone that BCAS will keep up its highest educational standard. She also added that offering bachelor and master degree programs in English with the projected partner universities will be within reach.
GETTING CLOSER TO THE VERY FIRST GRADUATION AND GIVING OF CERTIFICATES AND DIPLOMAS
The excitement of the students, teachers, and the entire team when talking about the first graduation exercises is getting intense everyday as that day gets closer. Yes, there are still some modules that are needed to study, discussed and debated with but those won’t be as hard as the previous ones, because definitely the students have already been used to, and have lots of enthusiasm and motivation to keep on learning and doing the assigned tasks. One of the most challenging projects in Global Studies for example is carrying out a sociological research study. Although not all students will be able to get a diploma at the end of the course, for some unavoidable circumstances such as change of employment and other personal reasons, but surely, they’ll receive certificates for the modules they have completed.
We are unstoppable now, and we are closer to reaching our goals. These programs might not be the ultimate way on the fulfillment of our dreams, but they are surely impactful to our personal lives and to the lives of people we interact every single day. They may not guarantee us immediate successes or landing us to the dream jobs we have been longing for, but they can lead us to finding our true selves, purpose in life, new advocacies, and even bigger dreams. They shall be the key towards better opportunities and to become more skilled professionals, if only we open our hearts and minds, coupled with right actions in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. And so, unarguably, we are all deserving for an early celebration of all these that we are receiving and becoming humbled in praising God for the chance to expand our horizon to serve Him and the humanity. God bless BCAS, students, and the management team and all the people involve for taking the leap of faith in believing that we, the marginalized still deserve to have access to education and that like the Phoenix, we can rise from the ashes.