VP Sara: DepEd developing program to teach K to 12 be peace builders

By GISELLE OMBAY,GMA Integrated News

The Department of Education (DepEd) is developing a program in the basic education curriculum that would teach Kinder to Grade 12 students to become peace builders in communities, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said on Thursday.

Interviewed on SMNI, Duterte said she has seen how certain youth get their lives destroyed because of joining the New People's Army (NPA). She said high school students, particularly the Indigenous Peoples, are the ones mostly recruited.

Due to this, she said that throughout her stint as DepEd chief, the agency’s goal is to not have student dropouts because they join rebel groups---not just the NPA, but also organizations that promote violent extremism and terrorism.

With the working title “National Culture for Peace,” she emphasized the program aims to create basic education graduates who are peace builders and who could discern which is right from wrong.

“Dito, gusto namin na masali sa ating basic education ang pagtuturo kung paano maging peace builder ang isang bata from Kindergarten to Grade 12, so that when they leave basic education, they are our advocates for peace doon sa ating mga communities,” Duterte said.

(Here, we want to include in our basic education the teaching of how a child from Kindergarten to Grade 12 would become a peace builder, so that when they leave basic education, they are our advocates for peace in our communities.)

“‘Yun ‘yung gusto namin gawin for the Department of Education na they can discern kung ano ‘yung totoo at hindi totoo and they understand…na, ‘Nililinlang niya ako sa sinasabi niya,’ and they can say na, ‘Oh, this is the truth,’” she added.

(That's what we want to do in the Department of Education, to have the students discern what is true from not, and they understand what is manipulating them and what is the truth.)

She also said the Education Department is coordinating with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), which is proposed to implement the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and train students to serve the country.


Duterte further stressed how she has seen how certain young people get their lives destroyed because of joining the Reds.

She cited a story that a mother of a student from the University of the Philippines-Diliman asked for her help before finding her daughter who suddenly got lost. Later on, she said the student was found in a prison in Batangas facing murder charges.

“Here is a mother na pinadala ‘yung anak niya sa UP Diliman para mag-aral. Nawala ‘yung anak niya, the next time na nahanap niya ‘yung anak niya, murder ang kaso, nakakulong sa isang kulungan sa Batangas,” she said.

(Here is a mother who sent her daughter to UP Diliman to study. Her daughter disappeared, the next time she was found, she has a murder case and was imprisoned in a jail in Batangas.)

“That is an example of paano nasisira ang buhay ng ating mga kabataan and that is an example na meron akong personal knowledge dahil kausap ko talaga ‘yung nanay,” she added.

(That is an example of how the lives of our young people are being ruined and that is an example that I have personal knowledge because I actually talked to the mother.)

In September, Duterte met with heads of the security sector to “strengthen existing coordination and enhance interagency cooperation on issues concerning our national security and the country’s development.”

Back then, she said that no mercy should be shown to terrorists and criminals. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News