Peace education efforts in Mindanao in full swing

Oct. 06, 2007

DAVAO CITY Efforts to integrate peace subject in the education mainstream are gaining grounds in Mindanao as government, academe, civil society and ODA groups here have recently converged to strongly advocate for Mindanao peace education institutionalization.

During the Mindanao Peace Education Stakeholders Conference held here last month, the Mindanao Peace Education Forum or MinPEF a consortium of civil society organizations, academe and key government agencies have strongly underscored the need to implement Executive Order 570 or the Institutionalization of Peace Education in Basic Education and Teacher Education.

The forum which was formed last year to coordinate, complement and synergize peace education initiatives in Mindanao, is envisioned as an advocacy platform that will involve policy makers and peace actors to strengthen the implementation of the EO 570.

Peace education must be instilled with the young and not only to those who are directly involved in the peace keeping process and other mature levels of society, said Mr. Romeo Montenegro, Director for Media and Public Affairs Services of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), during the Talk Mindanao forum held last week at SM City Entertainment Plaza in Davao City.

Following the declaration of Executive Order 570, Montenegro said the OPAPP intends to finish the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of EO 570 which will also have its stakeholder consultations in Luzon and in the Visayas.

Aside from the finalization of the IRR of EO 570, the forum also pushes for the strengthening of convergence and collaboration mechanisms as well as the development of a Mindanao Peace Education Roadmap.

The forum has likewise agreed during the conference to develop a contextualized peace curriculum with the Department of Education and the academe. MinPEF is composed of members from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM), Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM), GOP-UNDP ACT for Peace Programme, and Ateneo de Zamboanga Peace Institute.

Rey Tan, Deputy Programme Manager of the ACT for Peace Programme, noted that efforts in mainstreaming peace education in Mindanao are getting strong support from the ODA community.

Tan said that the OPAPP-developed peace exemplars or modules were already pilot-tested in six schools in Mindanao particularly in the areas of Cotabato City, Shariff Kabungsuan, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Tan added that since the integration of the culture of peace into the schools curriculum positive developments in the behavioral transformation of teachers have been reported particularly on the teachers disciplinary methods.

He cited that teachers no longer use sticks in disciplining their students. A critical component of the peace education program includes the capacity building of teachers to become equipped and skillful agents of peace.

He also added that aside from the school modeling, they are also attempting to contextualize the lesson plan based on the schools locality.

Funded by the governments of Australia, New Zealand and Spain and joint implemented by the Mindanao Economic Development Council and UN Agencies, the ACT for Peace Programme is a five-year peace and development program that particularly promotes culture of peace towards peace building and conflict prevention. MEDCo

IMPORTANT NOTICE: INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to davaotoday @ Davao Today is not responsible for the content of these materials. The opinion expessed in these items does not reflect those of Davao Today and its staff. Please refer to our terms of use/disclaimer.

comments powered by Disqus