(DAVAO CITY, PHILIPPINES) —- Amidst the recent violent escalations in some parts of Mindanao due to bombings and encounters between armed groups, a German non-governmental organization, forumZFD (Forum Civil Peace Service), in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education Regional Office XI (CHED-RO XI) is launching today, 14 August 2013, a peace education teaching guide which will help university teachers to discuss the various conflict issues confronting the students, schools, communities and the Davao region as a whole.
Entitled Integrating Peace Education in Teacher Education, the guide is one of the major results of the collaborative project between the CHED Regional Office XI and the forumZFD in the integration of peace education in teacher education programs of universities and colleges in the whole region”, according to Dr. Raul C. Alvarez, the Acting Director IV of CHED XI.
Manuel Domes, the Project Manager of forumZFD stressed that “based on the contextualized implementation of the Executive Order 570, Series of 2006 which is the ‘Institutionalization of Peace Education in Basic Education and Teacher Education‘, the project envisions higher education institutions to be at the forefront in providing learning environment for students to understand the conflict issues around them and to learn to address them nonviolently”.
Domes added that “the teaching guide was formulated from a series of peace education workshops participated by selected teachers from 15 teacher education institutions in Region XI. Among the issues tackled in the guide which are seen relevant in the context of students in Region XI are cyberviolence, corporal punishment, structural violence, resource exploitation, armed conflict in Mindanao, women in peacebuilding, the struggles of the Moro and other indigenous peoples, and media literacy, among others”.
According to Director Alvarez, “CHED Regional Office XI issued in June 4, 2013 the Regional Memorandum 044, Series of 2013 enjoining all teacher education institutions in Region XI to formally include ‘Peace Education’ as one of the mandated Special Topics Course starting this school year. Thus, the peace education guide being launched aims to provide teachers with guidance and resource materials to teach the said subject”.
Alvarez emphasized that “the project selected teacher education as an initial entry point considering teachers as natural multipliers of society. The Special Topics Course was identified by CHED XI as the most suitable subject for the integration of peace education in teacher education”.