to Raise Peacemakers for a Brighter Future through Peace Education

MANILA – In celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month and International Day of Peace, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) hosted the HWPL Peace Education Development Forum with the theme of “Raising Peacemakers for a Brighter Future through Peace Education”. 375 participants from the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Indonesia, and Bangladesh attended this online forum on September 18th, 2020.

In partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED), HWPL aims to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing HWPL Peace Education, as one of its core initiatives to spread the culture of peace for the future generations.

The speakers presented the following ways of advancing HWPL Peace Education curriculum in Philippines, when implemented:

1) ‘The Voice of Peace PH’, a program headed by Ms. Alecka Mae Fajardo, the National Coordinator of HWPL Peace Education PH

2) An independent program suggested by Mr. Jofit Dayoc from the Youth Formation Division of the DepEd Division of General Trias City, Cavite

3) An integrated subject within the Philippine education system presented by Commissioner Dr. Ronald L. Adamat and further developed by Division of Cotabato City and Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Concepcion Ferrer-Balawag.

In his speech, Commissioner Dr. Ronald L. Adamat said, “Through peace studies offered to the colleges and universities, we will all be preparing our students to be equipped with knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values in conflict resolution and peace works.”

Dr. Concepcion Ferrer-Balawag, who is working to integrate the HWPL peace education materials within the subjects such as Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (Values Education) in the K-12 curriculum, also showed her support by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with HWPL.

Mr. Jofit Dayoc from the Youth Formation Division of the DepEd Division of General Trias City aims to promote peace education not only for their youth leaders but for the rest of their community as well including the private education sector.

President Cherry I. Ultra of the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) expressed her gratitude by saying that this forum helped them to understand each other’s personality and eventually devise methods to hinder conflict escalation.

“The UEP Administration endeavors to do its best to bring the lessons of peace education into the hearts of our faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders with the assistance of HWPL through a Memorandum of Agreement,” she added.

HWPL is a South Korea-based international non-government organization under the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It advocates peace-building through the establishment of international law for peace, interfaith dialogue meeting, and peace education.

Moreover, HWPL launched the Voice of Peace PH in July 2020 and has been cooperating with a total of 160 enrolled students and 50 volunteer peace educators nationwide.

DepEd, partners launch RADaR app to ensure learning continuity after disasters

September 25, 2020 – The Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with Save the Children Philippines and Prudence Foundation, launched the Rapid Assessment of Damages Report (RADaR) mobile and web applications nationwide last September 22 and 24 to ensure immediate response interventions and learning continuity in the event of disasters and other emergencies.

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DepEd had been working on enhancing the safety for all learners and DepEd personnel through the development of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Information System (DRRMIS).

“The RADaR mobile and web applications will support our regional, division, and school-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Coordinators in reporting and rapidly assessing the impacts of disasters,” said Undersecretary for Administration Alain del B. Pascua.

Usec. Pascua also noted that the reports from the RADaR app will provide estimates of the damages caused by disasters and will serve as the basis for response interventions to these schools.

Save the Children Philippines Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot emphasized that the mobile and web application will be vital in ensuring the safety of learners and personnel once the safe resumption of face-to-face classes will be allowed.

“Children will bear the greatest impact if a disaster takes place in a school environment, and we must guarantee their safety during emergencies while they are away from their parents and guardians,” said Atty. Muyot.

According to the Department’s partner organizations, the accurate and timely data provided by the RADaR app will be vital in ensuring a strategic flow of information for response and life-saving decisions and actions by schools, communities, local governments, and concerned national organizations.

“Working hand in hand with the Philippine government, we are improving national systems for risk assessment, guidance, planning and reporting to support schools to build safe facilities, put appropriate emergency procedures in place, and to recover quickly when disasters take place,” said Marc Fancy, Executive Director of Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of PruLife UK’s parent company Prudential.

Due to its vulnerability to typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and droughts, the Philippines ranks ninth among the most disaster-prone countries worldwide according to the 2019 World Risk Index.

The RADaR app is one part of the DRRMIS, being established within the DepEd through the Education Safe from Disasters Project, which aims to improve the knowledge and capacity of education personnel and learners on safety from disasters. It will include other applications and tools, such as the Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) Monitoring Application and the School Watching App (SWApp), that will be pilot tested in selected schools across 20 divisions of Region III the upcoming school year. The expansion of the project may transform disaster risk reduction systems in the Philippines and beyond, helping many more children stay safe in emergencies.


DepEd-CAR ready to open its doors for more than 400K learners

La Trinidad, Benguet, September 24, 2020 – The Department of Education (DepEd) – Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is all set and ready to open its doors to around 400K public school learners ahead of the opening of classes next month.

During the Readiness Shout-out or Regional Kick-Off for the New School Year held on September 23, DepEd-CAR officials showcased their ongoing projects and initiatives to ensure that learning opportunities are available for all Cordilleran learners.

As of date, there are already 400,099 learners enrolled in both public and private schools with 356,907 of the total enrolment coming from government schools, 96.78 percent compared to last year’s public school enrolment.

Benguet Province incurred the highest number of enrollees with a total of 86,230 based on the total enrolment data from Schools Division Offices and the Policy, Planning, and Research Division of DepEd CAR. The province is followed by Baguio City with 75,346 and Abra with 57,888.

Ifugao province has the fourth highest enrollment with 48,108 followed by Tabuk City with 38,549 and Mt. Province with 37,179. Apayao province has 33,319 learners and Kalinga province has the least number of enrollees with 23,480.

DepEd-CAR Regional Director May B. Eclar said that the readiness of public schools in the region is due to the concerted efforts of education stakeholders in supporting as well as bringing across DepEd’s advocacies on learning continuity to all sectors.

“Our initiatives from crafting our Learning Continuity Operational Plan, training of teachers and school heads, conduct of mental health and psychosocial activities, to preparations of materials and delivery of learning packets would have gone in vain without the support of our stakeholders from all sectors of society — the ‘binnadang’ or ‘bayanihan’ spirit is very much active in this region,” RD Eclar said.

Highlighting some initiatives during her Readiness of Basic Education in CAR Address, Director Eclar cited DepEd CAR’s partnerships with the Philippine National Police Regional Office – Cordillera (PROCOR) in the delivery of instructional packets from the school to the homes and facilitation of learning for families especially in far-flung areas

DepEd-CAR also got the services of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology for the learning of Persons Deprived of Liberty; the Armed Forces of the Philippines 503rd Infantry in the delivery of learning modules; and the Bureau of Fire Protection in the delivery of instructional packets and disinfecting of schools and offices.

“Our partnership initiative also went global with the coming in of Tata Consultancy Services, an Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company with their goIT program for grades 9 and 10 learners which is currently being piloted in the Cordillera Regional Science High School and will involve more schools offering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand until April 2021,” Eclar added.

The Regional Office also recently launched its DamiKnow which is a YouTube channel that serves as an access point and repository of locally-developed and quality-assured learning resources in an audio and video formats for online and offline learning as well as the DepEd CAR Online Help Desk for engagement with stakeholders relative issues and queries.

A project to advocate health protocols in schools and offices through various means and media dubbed Project Safe Working and Learning Spaces or “Handang Paaralan, Ligtas na Kinabukasan” was likewise set in motion and tasks health personnel, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) coordinators and information officers to continuously advocate and monitor adherence to policies to mitigate COVID-19.

“All these efforts and more are linked with our division offices and at their level, concrete efforts and actions are being undertaken or operationalized,” she said.

Meanwhile, the schools division offices, through their superintendents, gave updates on modular learning and blended learning, TV/Radio-based instruction, psychosocial support and mental health awareness preparation, health and safety protocol adherence and partnerships with their local government units.

Simultaneous division kick-off will be held on October 2 and will also be livestreamed on social media to allow provincial or division offices to showcase more of their packaged initiatives and projects at their level.

On the other hand, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones lauded DepEd-CAR and again emphasized the importance of learning continuity despite the pandemic in her video message.

“We open a historic year, a victorious year because in spite of all the criticisms, the screams, the curses, and the shouts, 24 million learners still want to go to school, 50 million parents want their children to go to school, and around 900K teachers want to stay and continue teaching learners as well as hundreds and thousands of staff of DepEd have pushed themselves to the limit during the past few months to come out with appropriate responses and solutions to the challenges of the pandemic,” Briones emphasized. – Georaloy I. Palao-ay [CAR-JC-JVM]