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The figure of the “birds in flight” also suggests the freedom to innovate, to go beyond traditional approaches to teaching and research. That is why, from the very start of its educational programs (which was the masteral course in industrial economics), CRC was one of the first graduate schools to foster a very close partnership with industry in designing and implementing its educational programs. The first graduate students were actually referred to as graduate staff (GS) because they were immediately assigned to partner companies to do actual business and economic research as they were receiving academic formation in CRC. This work-study system has permeated all of the offerings of the University of Asia and the Pacific. It was only natural that it was a group of CRC professors and executive education participants who partnered in the early 1980s with the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany to introduce the first technical school adopting the dualvoc system in which electro-mechanical workers are trained using the work-study approach, i.e. as they receive classroom instruction, they are already fielded to factories for on-the-job training. DUALTECH is now the leading proponent of the dualvoc system of Germany and has inspired many other TESDA-certified schools to adopt the same system. We have to thank the late Paul Schaefer, a German official of the Hanns Seidel Stiftung, for helping CRC personnel in installing the first programs of DUALTECH.
Thanks to the late husband of Mrs. Flora Pantaleon, Rolly Pantaleon, it was also a group of CRC professors and graduates who teamed up with the late Don Enrique Zobel, CEO then of the Ayala Corporation, to put up the now famous Makati Business Club. Rolly was the executive assistant of Mr. Zobel who asked him to work with us at CRC to start a business club that differed substantially from the typical chamber of trade and industry, whose main purpose is to espouse the legitimate vested interests of business. The concept of a business club in the mind of Mr. Zobel was an association of business leaders who will espouse common-good causes, even if they go against the interests of business. This is up to now the nature of the Makati Business Club which has been emulated by other regional clubs like the Iloilo Business Club, the Cebu Business Club and the Batangas Business Club. There are a few other business clubs that are in the process of incubation in Pampanga, Palawan and Bataan.
Another innovation in the agricultural sector that was an initiative of CRC management and executive education graduates was the Family Farm School. One of the first participants in the Strategic Business Executive Program of CRC was the late businessman Fritz Gemperle. In a trip to both France and Spain, he learned about the family farm schools that upgraded the farming knowledge and skills of the children of small farmers through a work-study program similar to the dualvoc system of the Germans. The facilities of a high school were constructed in the middle of a farming community with small farmers. Each farmer contributed a son (or daughter) to the school in which the students followed an alternating program: one week of classroom instruction and two weeks of on-the-job practice in the farms of their respective fathers for a period equivalent to the high school curriculum. The first family farm schools were established in Batangas, one for boys and the other for girls. Since the early 1980s, there have been similar family farm schools established in Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Oriental Mindoro, Rizal and Lanao del Norte. (To be continued).