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2 December

Saint Bibiana
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Marist Calendar - December

9 to 14 February 2012 - Davao



Training session for the Provincial Secretaries of Asia and Oceania

24/02/2012: Philippines - Photo gallery

The General Secretariat has concluded its fifth session for introducing the new Data- base system for the Institute, this time in the city of Davao in the Philippines. The meeting took place from 9 to 14 February 2012 and involved the Provincial Secretaries of Asia and Oceania. Those present were: Agnes Reyes, Br Brian Kinsella (AMAG); Gelyn Simtim Niñofranco, Br John Y Tan, Br Vince Celeste (East Asia); Azariah Orovea (Melanesia); Br John Dyson (Melbourne), Br Patrick Bignell, Br David McDonald (New Zealand); Sudarshana Mohotti, Br Joseph Peiris (South Asia); Br Anthony Robinson, Br Graham Neist (Sydney) and from theGeneral Administration, Brothers Pedro Sánchez de León, Secretary General, and Marcelo De Brito, programmer.

The purpose of these sessions has been spelled out in previous articles on the meetings in Spain, France, Mexico and Kenya published by champagnat.org, with comments from some of the participants. I note that place, hospitality and contact with the culture of the country has always been an experience of fraternity and education.

The group present in Davao likewise manifested a diversity of cultures, capacity for adaptation and collaboration appropriate for persons imbued with the sense of   fraternity and the spirit of work.

Below are some responses of the participants to the following question:

a)      What is your opinion on the organization of this course?

- I am impressed by the good organization. Aware of the language barrier, I am grateful for the effort to transmit it all in English. The course has been very warm and welcoming. A wonderful idea of having been invited to gain all the information necessary for entering data into the system.

-   An excellent idea of the General Secretariat to come up with a universal data system for all the administrative units. The system is very well thought and worked out.

b)      What is your opinion of the Database System?

- Once I understood how the database functioned, it is very easy to use.  Also taking account of the importance of the Houses and their roles makes the entering of data easier.

- It would be very useful to have a guide to the system, more on the practical   aspect, so as to be able to understand the concepts of the system. Very important the background notes can be of great help at the time of introducing the information. 

- It will take a lot of time to introduce the requested data, we are going to have to do a lot of historical investigation to obtain precise information, but fortunately it will lead us to get our own province history in order and our documents nowadays very scattered.

c)      Have you any suggestions for similar courses in other regions of the Institute?

-  From my point of view, I think I have understood the system and how to use it. The entry of data is very simple; I do not see the necessity of another course on the international level. On the other hand, I feel the need for other   persons in the Provinces to learn the system and get interested in the investigation in order to enrich the information that can be introduced.

-  I believe it is necessary for one person from the General Administration to give help by responding to questions and making changes immediately in the information we are introducing, because people will become disillusioned if they have a question and it takes a long time for a response. Problems have to be solved immediately.

-  I think it would be a genuine idea to run similar courses in our regions. There are other persons who work with us and would certainly like to know all about the database so as to collaborate. 

d)     Do you think that the system will be useful for your Province? And why?

-          It provides an opportunity to introduce historical and updated data. The usefulness of the database will depend very much on the dedication and seriousness of the information which each Provincial Secretariat realizes and introduces.

-          I have the impression that the database is adapted more to the needs of the   General Administration than to the needs of the Provinces. I had a wrong understanding of the database. I thought that it was going to be used by the   Province to send e-mails to the brothers, add appropriate reports and other types of data. I think that this is going to require daily attention to introduce the information the base requests. For the moment, it adds to the already existing burden of work for the Provincial Secretariat.

-          Yes, it is very useful to the Province in the sense that the design of the system is going to help us organize and update our records and to have access to other administrative units of the Institute.

The training course in Davao concludes the series of meetings with all the Provincial, District and Sector Secretariats. Now it is time to initiate a new step, that will be different in programming and style, with the Provincial Secretariats who may be invited in a first meeting. This meeting for formation will be held in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain, with two very concrete objectives: Evaluate the process of implementation of the   Database system and the launching of  version 3 of Archivum (Pergamum).

Br Pedro Sánchez de León, Secretary General

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