Peace ed­u­ca­tion pushed in cur­ricu­lum

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS - —RYAND. ROSAURO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY— A Maranao ed­u­ca­tor has urged the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials to make the re­build­ing ef­fort in Marawi an op­por­tu­nity to re­visit the school cur­ricu­lum.

Dr. Na­ga­sura Madale, a cul­tural an­thro­pol­o­gist, said it was im­por­tant to strengthen peace ed­u­ca­tion and start it among the young to pre­vent, in the long term, the growth of vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism es­pe­cially in ar­eas vul­ner­a­ble to in­roads by Is­lamic State-linked mil­i­tants.

“Ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions must teach the con­cept of peace and non­vi­o­lence as an al­ter­na­tive op­tion to re­solve con­flicts,” said Madale, a re­tired pro­fes­sor at Min­danao State Univer­sity.

He said that, as a re­sult of the Marawi siege, there was a need to “man­age the re­la­tions be­tween and among Maranaos, Maranaos and non-Maranaos, and Maranaos and the broader so­ci­ety.”

In­ter­viewed over the week­end on the side­lines of the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Marawi Post­con­flict Re­con­struc­tion here, Madale said the ef­fort at fos­ter­ing in­ter­cul­tural un­der­stand­ing among the vari- ous peo­ples of Min­danao and the rest of the coun­try “must be boosted in or­der to in­crease our so­ci­ety’s collective ca­pac­ity to ad­dress the phe­nom­e­non of ex­trem­ism and rad­i­cal­ism.”

Madale’s pro­posal echoes the sen­ti­ments of Bish­ops-Ulama Con­fer­ence (BUC), a key in­sti­tu­tion for di­a­logue in Min­danao, and De­fense Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana, a re­tired sol­dier.

“Re­build­ing Marawi means restor­ing bro­ken re­la­tion­ships among peo­ple and the key in­sti­tu­tions for fos­ter­ing in­ter- and in­trafaith di­a­logue, and in­ter- cul­tural un­der­stand­ing,” read a re­cent state­ment of BUC and its di­a­logue part­ners.

“For us, re­build­ing Marawi is about cul­ti­vat­ing a so­ci­ety that em­braces so­cial, cul­tural, po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious di­ver­sity … a na­tional com­mu­nity that is re­spect­ful of the as­pi­ra­tions of var­i­ous peo­ples,” it said.

“I be­lieve in the need to re­build re­la­tions,” Loren­zana said in his key­note ad­dress.

In a mes­sage read on her be­half, Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Leonor Bri­ones said that “more than just re­pair­ing and re­build­ing class- rooms,” the chal­lenge for the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (DepEd) was “how we can bring back nor­malcy to our stu­dents’ lives.”

Bri­ones said the DepEd was pre­par­ing for the even­tual re­open­ing of classes in strife-torn Marawi “once the go-ahead is given.”

She is con­fi­dent that with the agency’s “Adopt-A-School in Marawi” ini­tia­tive, stu­dents “are able to come to class with books, pen­cils and pa­per, and more than just a roof over their heads.”

As­sis­tant Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Resvee Es­cobedo said some 14 schools or 203 class­rooms had sus­tained dam­ages as a re­sult of the fight­ing.

The to­tal cost to re­build th­ese in­fra­struc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties is es­ti­mated at P2.3 bil­lion, Es­cobedo said.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Max­imo Ro­driguez as­sured the con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants that the House lead­er­ship was com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing the needs of Marawi’s re­con­struc­tion.

He said part of the fi­nan­cial re­quire­ments for the ef­fort would be con­tained in a sup­ple­men­tal bud­get be­ing drawn at the House.

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