With support from Responsive Innovation Fund (RIF)

Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao

If we want Peace, start in the Classrooms” by Mahatma Gandhi.

A quote fit to nurture the young minds on the culture of peace and this is also in the Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which states that: “The education of the child shall be directed to the preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples.”

A project named “Enhancing the Integration of Peace Education Curriculum into Kindergarten to Grade 3 Schools” was initiated to cater the 2 conflict affected Municipalities of BARMM namely Kapatagan, Lanao Del Sur and Parang, Maguindanao. Its strategy is to mainstream peace education in the existing curriculum of Kinder to Grade 3 believing in the early years of life is considered as “prime time” for brain development which can affect a child’s social capacities, critical to preconditions necessary for peace. This suggests that peace education can be the contributing factors in building a child’s later capacities such as empathy, kindness, tolerance and behavioral control.

With this, last November 29 to December 1, 2019, happened a 3-day training on “Capacity Building for Peace Education and Standards on Lesson Exemplar Writing”. An AusAID’s RIF-Pathways funded project, this activity was implemented by Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) and Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) in collaboration with the MBHTE and Department of Education Region XII. Sixteen (16) K-3 teachers (8 from Parang, Maguindanao and 8 from Kapatagan, Lanao Del Sur) were trained to integrate Peace Education into their daily lesson exemplars. Teacher-writers were capacitated in adapting the 6 Pillars of Peace but mainly focusing on building inter-cultural respect and solidarity and dismantling the culture of violence. Islamic values and teachings were also emphasized in the integration that is also essential in promoting spiritual growth in an early stage of child’s development.

Part of the activity was also for the teachers to learn about the technical standards of writing lesson exemplars wherein it is essential part in the integration of peace education to their curriculum. Teachers can utilize their learning material as models of effective instructional planning based on planning guides. These exemplars were designed for immediate classroom implementation where teachers can use the lessons by modifying the content into peace along with Islamic teachings to meet the needs of their students.

Feedback from teachers has been positive and indicates that they are excited to share their learning from this training. According to them, as writers of this project, it is their pride and honor to be part of the children’s peaceful behavioral growth.

Currently, the lesson exemplars are in the process of finalization and for approval to the MBHTE. It is expected to be piloted this February up to March 2020.