OPAPP exec challenges educators to take part in promoting peace through cultural diversity May 31, 2013Posted by HERBERT CURIA in GOVERNMENT, PEACE TALK UPDATES.
From the Website of OPPAP
OPAPP exec challenges educators to take part in promoting peace through cultural diversity
Posted on Saturday, 25 May, 2013 – 10:54
Quezon City – Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Assistant Secretary Jennifer Oreta on Wednesday challenged the education sector to take part in advancing the peace process by “changing mindsets, breaking symbolic and imagined barriers that divide, and embracing inclusivity and diversity.”
“We need you to accompany us in this process,” Oreta told educators during a conference organized by the Asia-Pacific Network for International Education and Values Education (APNIEVE) held in Miriam College here.
In her address, Oreta urged participants to re-evaluate the “data” being taught and the “language” being used as these can either encourage or prevent discrimination and exclusivity.
“How much of the language and its symbolic meaning create the othering?” she asked. “Mostly sa (on) terrorists, do we say ‘Christian terrorist’? But if it is a Muslim, you will see there the label ‘Muslim terrorist.’ So it is as if when you are a Muslim, laging kakabit (you are always tagged as one). Again, perhaps that is not the intention of the message; the subliminal message that it creates is also problematic.”
Touching on the role of schools in embracing multi-culturalism, she asked the audience, “How many of our schools actually have prayer rooms for other religions? How much of our food is halal? This is what we realize when we had some of our Muslim friends come over, wala silang makain sa (they can’t eat anything at the) cafeteria.
“So again, we talk about inclusivity. We talk about non-discrimination,” Oreta said. “Sometimes we look at them as trivial but these are actually big issues.”
Summing up her address, Oreta told the participants, “We talk about education as the ideological backbone of our political system. If that is the case, then we really have to do something with our education.”
“At the same time that we want to promote a culture of peace, maybe we need to sharpen the discussions and discourse some more. How much of the core message of our curriculum actually promotes inclusivity and non-discrimination?” she added.
The audience in the APNIEVE conference was composed of educators from different regions in the country. APNIEVE is an organization that aims to promote peace, human rights, democracy, and sustainable development through values education. #
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