Nurturing Virtues in Digital World
As a member of the faculty of the University of Asia and the Pacific, I have to do a great deal of mentoring of individual students. Mentoring in the UA&P system goes much beyond academic counselling and tries to achieve the whole person development of each of the mentees. A competitive advantage of a small university like UA&P is that there is a high faculty-student ratio and each student is assigned a mentor or tutor, although we avoid using the word tutor because it connotes addressing academic deficiencies in the Philippine educational setting. What we are doing at UA&P reminds me of my own experience when I was a tutor in one of the “Houses” at Harvard College in the early 1960s. Harvard just replicated the ancient tradition of Oxford and Cambridge in the U.K. in which some members of the faculty resided with the students in the various residential colleges and acted as tutors whose job was to challenge the students to reach the highest levels of excellence they could attain. Tutoring had nothing to do with filling in academic gaps. In these one-on-one sessions, it was inevitable that the students would also ask for advice on how to live a full life beyond just getting good grades. For the believers, spiritual guidance came naturally.