Sunday, October 17, 2021

Lidasan: Creating an informed peace for the Barmm


THE country has just had its midterm elections, and it is safe to say that the results have been very interesting on both the national and local level. As it is a midterm election, our choice of leaders will set the stage for the last years of the Duterte administration.

What can this mean for Mindanao and the Barmm? Our local elections have always been a critical period for our communities. Now that we are in a transition period, how we act now could have ripple effects for years to come.

Regardless of the outcome, we must remain hopeful for what is left to come. Leadership is a calling, and governance is not the only way to do so. When we accept the call to be leaders, we must accept the call to unify. We must also focus on things that we all share -- safety, security, and progress.

One issue that we can all agree on is the issue of peace. We all want peace in our homes and in our communities. However, we may differ in the ways that we wish to teach it. My team and I believe that in order to educate others in peace, it should be integrated into the school curriculum.

In response to Commission on Higher Education (Ched) Memorandum Order 1 s. 2019, the Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia of the Ateneo de Davao University and the Salaam Movement will launch its SALAAM: Spirituality of Service Peace Education Module as the highlight of the Salaam National Conference on May 23-24, 2019 at Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City.

The said CMO, released last April 2, 2019, mandates the Integration of Peace Studies/Education into the Relevant Existing Tertiary Curricula. The module to be launched is proposed to be integrated in the National Service Training Program (NSTP). It was developed through a year-long process by the Salaam Movement’s Technical Working Group (TWG) on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) which is composed of School Administrators and Peace Educators from different public and private academic institutions in the Philippines.

Almost a hundred School Administrators and NSTP Coordinators from different Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the country are expected to take part in this conference. Plenary Sessions will feature the salient components of the module and an exhibit of the best practices of Salaam Movement and the institute will also be launched during the event.

Our work in convening the technical working group and achieving these peace education modules is a solution that we offer to the memorandum issued by CHED. Through these modules, we offer an avenue to teach peace education at the tertiary level in a way that can be integrated into the curriculum of every institution.

As we educate the future leaders of nation, it is integral to give them a thorough understand of what it means to be at peace. This includes giving them a sense of history and reverence to those who came before us; the leaders who fought and bled for their homeland, the identities that shape what has become the Mindanao we know at present.

We know more than ever how important it is to be informed and discern what is best for the nation. Let us give the next generation the tools to be able to do the job of uplifting our communities. It is only when our leaders are intelligent, informed, and empathic to the needs of all stakeholders can we be truly at peace.


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