LOUD WHISPER| A Laudable Program Mainstreaming GAD on the context of ASEAN Integration

THE PROGRAM or plan of mainstreaming Gender and Development agenda on the context of ASEAN integration is, for me, laudable. I believe that the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission of Education (CHED) should consider this program and agenda of government, a priority.

     Last week, CHED in coordination with the LGU (Local Government Unit) in Tanay, Rizal province conducted a three-day seminar for this purposes. More than 300 professors and local government officials participated in this conference. I was happy that the program was indeed successful with commitments coming from them, that they will echo and immediately implement the new program or enhance their respective GAD programs.

   But what really I am proud and happy about is that, one of the speakers was our (with my late husband, Leo Rostand) former student-editor of the official school paper of the Davao City High School during our times (when Davao Wave was on its height of recognition).

     I did not have the time to meet her and talk to her personally because after dropping my assistant director for Research and Extension Services Program in Splash Resort, Los Baños, Laguna, I left for another conference. By the way, as director of Research and Extension Service Program of our college, (International Peace Leadership College in Tanay, Rizal), I have also to attend to series of meetings and conferences in consonance with CHED mandate to implement and strengthen the government’s ASEAN Integration agenda.

     One agenda that it seriously is working on, is of course the K to 12 Program which is most crucial at this time even in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The GAD enhancement program is also part of the ASEAN Integration agenda of government which, (I heard) is the commitment of our government to an ASEAN Summit it conducted years ago. One of the objectives of this commitment is, for the Philippine Educational System to be at par with our ASEAN counterparts in terms of enhancing our quality education.

     This, to my mind, is indeed laudable. The Philippines is one of the Asian countries that is really par below in quality education. One of the indicators is, our school and HEIs curriculum are (they say) par below the standards set by the educational systems worldwide. This is the reason why when we send our children or our students to study abroad and where else in other countries abroad, they have to be demoted in terms of level of schooling. Our high school level students had to be enrolled in their elementary level schools, which means we are behind and very behind in standards of education.

     Foremost, is that, I am proud and happy that I saw the name of Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison, one of the speakers in this conference in Los Baños, Laguna. She was our (with the late Mr. Leo Rostand Sicam) outstanding editor as she won (during the National Press Conference in Manila way back in the ‘80s) the Best School Paper Editor Award representing Davao City High School. Now, I learned, she is already with the CHED. I believe, she can do a lot in changing the landscape of our educational system and I believe she will make a big difference in the implementaton of our new programs and agenda for the RP’s educational system. I only hope, she will be tapped in the CHED as a “think-tank” in the commission.

       I acknowledge what our gov’t education sector is now doing for our students. They really see the gray areas in our society. They see that other than the four (4) estates including the press, education is one very critical sector that we should most focus on because we can not have a good and prosperous society without having to give attention and give priority to this basic unit of our society – the family.

     The Universal Peace Federation (an international NGO recognized by the U.N.) where I belong, too, several times in the past believes that the family is the real institution created by God. This movement believes that this is the school of love where people can learn how to love each other and live together in peace, and it is the training center where we practice how to build a palace of peace in the world.

     The movement also preaches to its members that the family is the base camp for world peace. The most precious education takes place in the family. We can not find happiness and peace in some other place. The family is intended to the Kingdom of Heaven. It would not matter if a person possesses incredible wealth and fame or even possesses the whole world.

   If all is not right with that person’s family, then he cannot be happy. The Kingdom of Heaven begins in the family. If a husband and wife are bound together in true love and they build an ideal family, this will connect directly with the world.

   These are what I have been hearing from speakers of UPF conferences and meetings.

This movement really is very unique because aside from social, cultural, political, geographical issues that it tackles in its assembly and gatherings, SPIRITUAL and internal-external world of man, are also discussed and interacted upon.

     The family sector is one critical society where we should focus our education program and agenda in, because it is the breeding and training ground of the human resource that makes the world go round, alive and kicking in this planet earth.

Posted in Opinion