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PIA Press Release

IRR on peace education signed

Manila (15 August) -- The implementing guidelines for Executive Order (EO) 570: "Institutionalizing Peace Education in Basic Education and Teacher Education," has recently been signed, institutionalizing a more coordinated effort within and among key implementing agencies and partners to make peace education a priority program.

Conducted last month at the Kapayapaan Room of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the signing was participated in by Presidential Peace Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, and Press Secretary Jesus Dureza.

For peace advocates, the signing of the guidelines was considered amilestone, as most of its contents were drawn from two key activities last year, the Mindanao-wide Consultation on Peace Education organized by the Mindanao Peace Education Forum (MinPEF), and the National Consultation Workshop on EO 570 organized by OPAPP.

The inputs drawn from these consultations were then incorporated by an inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of the OPAPP, DepEd, CHED, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). In the newly-signed implementing guidelines, the agency-members of the TWG then formed part of the Executive Committee, along with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), National Youth Commission (NYC), Miriam College Peace Education Center representing the Peace Education Network (PEN) and the Mindanao Peace Education Forum(MinPEF).

The committee shall be responsible in overseeing the implementation and monitoring of EO 570. The implementing guidelines of EO 570 state that the institutionalization of peace education in basic and teacher education shall "be in harmony with the educational priorities and strategies as laid down by national and international commitments related to a culture of peace and development." Further, peace education will "be pursued through a holistic approach involving pre-service and in-service trainings, school-based and alternative learning systems, and technical education.

The approach encompasses all aspects of the educational system including learning content, teaching-learning methods, co-curricular program, materials development, staff development, and others." It shall then "involve the participation of all types of schools and their stakeholders, community-based learning programs, and civil society training programs." Aside from converging efforts to make peace education a priority program, the guidelines also serve as a foundation for succeeding efforts on broadening policy structures on promoting a culture of peace.

"This signing is certainly a welcome move for the Act for Peace Programme,"noted Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, former Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, who retains his post on the said programme, which is fully named Action for Conflict Transformation (ACT) for Peace Programme. Implemented by the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), the ACTfor Peace Programme has been developed to contribute to the promotion of national harmony and a just conclusion of the Government's peace process,with its specific contribution of strengthening peace building efforts, and sustaining the gains for peace and development in Southern Philippines.

The programme was also a vital partner of the MinPEF, which launched thesaid consultations for the implementing guidelines. "The institutionalization of peace education is certainly a vital track, aspeace education has the power and influence to transform mindsets, valuesand behavior of people towards non-violence, tolerance for religious,cultural and gender differences, as well as care for the environment," addedSec. Dureza. In September 2006, the Office of the President issued the EO 570 tostrengthen the mainstreaming of peace education in the formal and non-formaleducation curriculum.

Specifically, the EO called for theinstitutionalization of peace education in basic education and teachereducation. Other key peace stakeholders who came to the signing ceremony include CHEDCommissioner Nona Ricafort, OPAPP, DepEd and CHED Directors; EO 570 TWGmembers, as well as members of the EO 570 Executive Committee.

As for the next steps, or action plan, the most immediate activity will bethe DepEd and CHED's policy advocacy campaign, which will entail the releaseof memos, policies and directives. This will serve as an important first step for the strong and sustainable implementation of the agencies' commitments to the implementation of EO 570. (MEDCo) [top]

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