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DepEd X spearheads virtual forum on peacebuilding programs, projects, and activities

 

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, June 9, 2021 ― DepEd Region X convened today member-institutions of the Consortium of Peace Educators in Mindanao (CPEM) via virtual teleconferencing.

The first regular meeting provided a platform for members of CPEM to share updates on youth-oriented peacebuilding programs, projects, and activities, including the presentation to the member-institutions the outline of the strategic planning matrix as prelude to the forthcoming strategic planning in July 2021.

DepEd Region X Regional Director Arturo Bayocot, lead convener of the consortium, presided over the meeting and welcomed the participants by providing them with a context of Region X.

During the meeting, RD Bayocot emphasized that radicalization, terrorism, and violent extremism pose a great threat to children and youth.

"It is within this complex context, with knowledge of the power of education to impact conflict or peace, that education policymakers and practitioners must work to ensure the right to quality education for all,” he said.

Moreover, RD Bayocot expressed that developments in the national and global political landscape have necessitated the resolve to strengthen not just the curriculum and instruction dimension, but also how DepEd strengthens its pillars to provide for a more holistic approach towards its contributions to peacebuilding, transitional justice, and reconciliation.

“Conflict-sensitive education needs to be an embedded lens in all planned and current programs, policies, and systems, and the interventions to reintegrate children and youth caught in conflicts back into society must be considered,” he added.

Also, Mr. Myron Talosig of DepEd Region X shared the peacebuilding efforts of the Department, which are made possible through the cooperation of the members of the Regional Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

Cooperative efforts include the implementation of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program for former rebels and their immediate families, construction of classrooms in barangays with armed conflict or vulnerable to armed conflict, and orientation for parents, teachers, students on the communist terrorist group recruitment in the student-youth sector, among others.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Janet Lopoz, executive director of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), presented the Mindanao Peace and Development Framework Plan that focused on the intersect between youth and peacebuilding.

Usec. Lopoz commended the members of the consortium for committing to share their resources in contributing to the peacebuilding efforts in Mindanao.

Formally launched last December 2020, the CPEM aims to create a permanent exchange forum for members of the education sector in Regions X and XIII on youth-oriented peacebuilding initiatives.

The forum envisions for a “peaceful, responsive, contextualized, and engaging coexistence in schools and communities where everyone is a stakeholder working for sustainable peace in Mindanao.”

The consortium is bound by a memorandum of understanding signed by the following member-institutions: Bukidnon State University (BukSU), Caraga State University (CSU), Capitol University (CU), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office 10, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office 13, Department of Education (DepEd) Region X, Department of Education (DepEd) Region 13, Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU), San Francisco Colleges (SFC), Surigao Del Sur State University (SDSSU), Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT), Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (XU), and NEDA 10.

CPEM is supported by GIZ (German Development Cooperation) being commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) under the project Youth for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Mindanao (YOUCAP). │ By Myron Gil. D. Talosig – DepEd X