Philippines: Davao peace summit underscores role of academe


An article from Philippine News Agency

DAVAO CITY – Peace education is not only about learning the culture of peace but also about having the right mindset and skills to defuse potentially violent conflict situations, an official said Thursday.

In a statement, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said peace education must be geared toward building competencies among stakeholders.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity. (Photo from OPAPRU Facebook Page)

“Peace education approaches should aim to go beyond curriculum development and must be geared towards building particular competencies, values, and practices that can be effectively applied outside the classroom,” said Galvez, who graced the 1st National Peace Education Summit here from  Sept. 26-27.

At least 100 peace education champions across the country converged during the two-day summit, which would provide recommendations on how to promote peace and understanding in the basic and higher education sectors.

Galvez said the summit seeks to facilitate more robust peace constituency-building interventions through partnerships and network-building of peace education in the country.

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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He also underscored the role that the academe plays in promoting the culture of peace, as they can help in weeding out violence, hazing, and bullying, especially in the formative years of young learners.

“Peace education is vital in providing spaces to generate important lessons on negotiations, mediation, conflict resolution, fraternity, common good, justice, and unity,” he said.

Issued in 2006, Executive Order (EO) No. 570, entitled “Institutionalizing Peace Education in Basic Education and Teacher Education,” paved the way for the implementation of peace education activities in academic institutions throughout the country.

Since the issuance of EO 570, the OPAPRU began efforts to mainstream peace education in the country’s education curriculum.

However, these were not sustained, as the agency’s initiatives were focused on the implementation of peace agreements.

Last year, the signing of EO 158 entitled “Strengthening the Policy Framework on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity and Reorganizing the Government’s Administrative Structure for the Purpose,” put peace education at the core of OPAPRU’s peacebuilding strategies.

Meanwhile, Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte highlighted the need to revitalize the mainstreaming of peace education efforts.

“I look forward to collaborating with the community of peace education practitioners who have developed peace education teaching exemplars and are implementing peace education programs,” Duterte said in her message which was read by DepEd Assistant Secretary Dexter Galba.

Duterte urged the peace builders to help the children and the youth heal from the trauma brought by armed conflict and to protect them from being recruited into joining violent groups like the New People’s Army.