PPCRV-CFA Hold Voters’ Education Conference

Apr 28th 2008

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) again partnered with the Communication Foundation for Asia in organizing a voters’ education conference, 21-23 April 2008. With voters’ education as the main focus of PPCRV’s long-term solution to national electoral problems, the workshop was designed to come up with a modular outline for a specialized formation in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and to redesign a basic Education Curriculum to integrate voters’ education in its framework. Both outputs are meant to be part of the kind voters’ education that will lead to informed and principled choice of elected public officials, electoral reforms and active voluntareesim to safeguard the electoral process.

Ambassador Henrietta de Villa, PPCRV national executive director, chaired the conference that included Christian and Muslim educational specialists and practitioners. Among the groups that participated were: key officials from the Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministry, the Department of Education, the Catholic Education Association of the Philippines, Citizens’ Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reforms, Elctoral Reform Advocates, Notre Dame University of Cotabato, Philippine High School for the Arts, the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, St. Scholastica’s College and Tulung Lupah Sug.

Msgr. Gerardo Santos set the direction of the whole workshop by stressing the essential elements of the modules to be outlined in the workshop: orientation and operation. The orientation of the Basic Curriculum, he proposed, should be the integration of political education and universally accepted values of common good and nationalism, while the operational direction should be the preparation of a contextualized modular design for the ARMM.

Educators from the public and private schools presented their best practice approaches for integrating voters’ education in the curriculum and regular school activities. Their presentations became guides in the creation of the modules. The presentation on Social Artistry as a pedagogy in developing the modules, which was made by Dir. Florina Castillo of the Philippine High School for the Arts, was incorporated in the final outline of the programs.

At the end of the three-day conference, the group was able to create theprogram outlines and a road map of the module preparation, from the completion of the first draft to its revision, testing, evaluation and implementation. The Basic Education Curriculum will be presented to the Department of Education for integration by schoolyear 2009-2010, while the ARMM module will be printed for use in the 2008 ARMM elections.

The workshop concluded with a Mission Sending Ceremony that gave the participants renewed vision and vigor in their service for the nation. They shared a united hope that the 3-day event would lead to the transformation of minds and hearts, and eventually of our elections and nation.

CFA’s previous collaboration with PPCRV for a conference event was during the well-attended Forum on Media and the Elections, held in September 2007. The CFA activities are part of its program on citizenship education.

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