Schools and other institutions of learning have always been key agents of socialization and social change. The structured and far-reaching features of formal education make it an important venue and mechanism in increasing knowledge, instilling values and changing attitudes on various societal issues and concerns.
Human rights and peace are among the key issues that need to be popularized, if not mainstreamed, in Philippine society considering the persistence of human rights violations and abuses, and the culture of impunity in the Philippines. Citizens, particularly children and youth who are at the early and critical stages of their growth and development as human beings, should be made aware that they have rights and as rights-holders they have responsibilities pertaining to these rights. It is likewise crucial that at an early stage, the values of peace, tolerance and respect for differences of peoples and cultures are instilled among children and youth.
In realizing these goals in the confines of schools, the roles and contributions of teachers have to be recognized and strengthened.
As a key pillar of the educational system, teachers should have the competence and commitment to perform their task as change agents and human rights and peace advocates of society. Transforming every classroom and every corner of the school campus into “human rights and peace zones” is an advocacy school teachers can assume with utmost competence and passion provided they find themselves in an enabling and supportive environment.
As a human rights research and information institute, the Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) has embarked on this project to provide a resource material on human rights and peace to public school teachers. It is the intention of PhilRights that with this publication, A Resource Book for Teaching Human Rights and Peace, it will be able to enhance the knowledge and understanding of public secondary school teachers on peace and human rights, and consequently enrich the contents of their lessons and the messages they impart in the course of integrating peace and human rights into the different subject areas they handle.
Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, Dr. PH
Executive Director, PhilRights
Copies of the resource book are available at PhilRights office for only Php 250.