Conflict is one of the biggest hindrances to achieving national unity and economic development and, sadly, the Philippines is not exempt from problems of ethnic conflict, amongst a host of other types of conflict.
Media coverage, with catchy headlines and limited word counts, can often further narrow public understanding of complex issues that surround conflict leading to a greater gap between different groups in Philippine society.
In a global environment where extremism threatens our democratic ideals, it is imperative for our nation to introduce Peace as an integral part of our school curriculum. By doing so, we can ensure that our youth and future generations are in a better position to unite, founded on a solid understanding of our multicultural nation.
This bill seeks to introduce Peace Education in the school curriculum at all levels, in both public and private educational institutions. Under the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), a Peace Education Advisory Council would be formed whose mandate would be to formulate the syllabus, learning materials and facilitate teacher-training and evaluation of the Peace Education program.
By introducing topics such as religious pluralism, gender and sexuality, cultural diversity, and conflict management into classroom discussions, we may begin to develop our youth’s openness to meaningful expressions of diversity. In creating this conversation within a safe and moderated school environment, we can bridge together the many different ideas that, left unexplored, threaten to pull our nation apart.
Conflict has great economic and social costs, and most importantly, leads to many human casualties. To achieve prosperity as a nation, we must take the necessary steps in uniting our diverse population through formal education on Peace.
in view of the foregoing, the passing of this bill is earnestly sought.