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Human Rights Education in Asian Schools Volume II

Parents and Educators Empowerment Program on Human Rights

Nerissa Lansangan-Losaria

The Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), together with the Commission on Human Rights, implemented the Parents and Educators Empowerment Program (PEEP) on Human Rights in seven regions in Visayas and Mindanao. The program will be completed in 1999 after its implementation in the Luzon area and some parts of Mindanao. It was designed to tap the regional federations of Parents and Teachers Associations (PTAs) and heads of student councils and pupils' organizations. Regional human rights trainers will spearhead human rights education (HRE) among parents, teachers and students, focusing on the rights of children and basic human rights. The program is a prelude to the launching of Human Rights Teaching Exemplars for Elementary and Secondary Levels in all schools nationwide in school year 1999-2000.

The program is basically anchored on the precept that HRE should be a joint undertaking by teachers and parents. HRE is not the sole responsibility of teachers; parents should also instill human rights values in their children. HRE must start at home, where parents are not only expected to teach their children about human rights, but also to serve as role models. Teachers simply affirm what is taught at home.

Program Objectives

PEEP aims to build up a regional core group of human rights trainers drawn from PTAs, teachers and heads of student councils. It will spearhead HRE (especially children's rights) and advocacy campaigns among parents, students and other teachers. It also aims to facilitate the introduction of Human Rights Teaching Exemplars for Elementary and Secondary Levels. It hopes to strengthen the impact of these teaching exemplars and build a positive response to HRE in general.

The program aims to achieve the following:

  • forming regional groups of human rights trainers composed of parents, students and DECS supervisors, who will promote human rights through echo workshops and seminars for PTAs and students councils;
  • equipping prospective trainers with basic working knowledge of children's rights, basic human rights concepts and principles, and effective teaching techniques; and
  • developing specific HRE action plans by parents, teachers and children to be implemented in 1998-2000.

Topics and activities include the following:

  • the foundation of human rights;
  • family values vs. human rights values;
  • children's rights;
  • panel discussions on children's rights.

Action Planning

The following issues surfaced during the forum:

* the increasing number of child laborers, in spite of government's campaign to provide education for all and the existence of free elementary and secondary education;
* the alarming reports of rape of daughters by their fathers or incestuous relationships between them, and the factors that lead to the exploitation of young women;
* the aggressiveness, disrespect and disobedience displayed by children against their parents, relatives and other adults;
* physical and emotional harm inflicted on school children by teachers and parents;
* where parents stand with respect to human rights, gender-fair education and peace education.


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