ON INTEGRATING PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SECONDARY EDUCATION
Towards Strengthening Lumad, Moro and Settler Relations in Mindanao
Training of Trainers Guidebook
Peace and human rights are among the essential elements in order for the Filipino people and their children to grow and develop as human beings. These constitute the foundations from which the Filipinos can build a truly just and humane society.
For decades, peace and respect for human rights have been very elusive, especially in the Island of Mindanao with its tri-people composition, i.e. Muslims, Lumads (indigenous peoples/communities) and Christian settlers. The second biggest island of the country, Mindanao, since colonial times, has been consistently plagued by conflicts and other forms of violence. This violence is bred by economic inequities, political disparities and social-cultural prejudices and intolerance. These deep-rooted problems have made it difficult for the peoples in Mindanao to live in dignity, peace and harmony. Every small space and the very few rights and freedoms they are able to enjoy have to be defended in the name of survival. The birth and growth of groups/organizations such as the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), indicate the absence of peace and persistence of human rights violations in the island, on one hand, and the presence of struggle and conflict, on the other hand.
As a human rights research and information institute, the Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) recognizes the importance of human rights and peace education among the people, especially children and youth, as a means of disseminating positive beliefs, values and attitudes toward one another and toward others who may be perceived as different. Human rights and peace education can serve as a tool in inculcating respect, justice, pluralism and tolerance. The most systematic and sustained way of doing this is within the walls of educational institutions like public high schools in the affected areas in Mindanao, in partnership with educators and administrators.
Educators play an important role in human rights and peace education. As socializing agents, they have the power to shape the hearts and minds of children and youth through the kinds of knowledge, skills and values they teach in schools. By teaching students to understand, appreciate and practice peace and human rights in the classroom, school and community, we are helping lay the bedrocks of a nation that values human life, tolerates differences, and that respects the dignity of every person regardless of age, sex, economic status, ethnicity and religion.
The creative and innovative means of conducting human rights and peace education in public high schools greatly depend on the commitment, competencies and readiness of teachers and administrators in performing the task. This is the rationale behind the development of this guidebook on Integrating Peace and Human Rights in Secondary Education, which has been a product of the valuable inputs generated during the teacher trainings, focused group discussions (FGDs) and the educators’ conference participated in by the public school teachers and administrators of Maguindanao and North Cotabato.
Module 1 provides inputs and activities on getting to know each participant, sharing of training expectations and orienting the participants on the nature, objectives and program of the 5-day training;
Module 2, Visioning, deals with inputs and activities on individual and collective vision for the future of Mindanao;
Module 3 (Situationer) focuses on inputs and exercises dealing with global, national and Mindanao socio-economic and political situationers;
Module 4, Understanding Human Rights, deals with understanding the concept of human rights, human rights principles, nature of the State’s human rights obligations and discussion on forms of human rights violations;
Module 5, Understanding Conflict, zeroes in on the definition and forms of conflict, common causes and effects of conflict, and a review on the history of the Mindanao conflict;
Module 6, Understanding Peace, focuses on the definition of peace, tri-people’s concept of peace, forms/manifestations of peace, traditional and current strategies in conflict resolution among the tri-people in Mindanao, and other strategies in conflict resolution and peace building;
Module 7 (Locating Human Rights and Peace in Secondary Education Curriculum) explores the areas in secondary curriculum where peace and human rights are currently tackled/discussed, and possible integration points of peace and human rights in the various subject areas outside the Social Sciences;
Module 8 is on Integration, which includes identifying ways of integration and appreciating integration as an effective teaching approach;
Module 9 presents sample lesson plans in the integration of peace and human rights such as in Earth Science, Statistics, Chemistry and Physical Education, prepared by some of the teacher trainees from North Cotabato and Maguindanao;
Module 10 tackles the preparations including the formulation of the lesson plans on peace and human rights integration used in the actual practicum activity of the teacher trainees;
Module 11, Moving Forward, deals with the application of the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired in the course of the training in the school environment.
In these troubled and uncertain times, we hope that this training guide will help enhance the capabilities of our high school educators and school administrators in integrating and mainstreaming peace and human rights in the school environment. This is a crucial step in the building of a human rights culture among our children and youth.
NYMIA PIMENTEL-SIMBULAN, DR PH
Executive Director, PhilRights