Human Rights Education in Asian Schools Volume III
Philippines: Human Rights Education in Nueva Ecija
Human rights may be generally defined as those rights inherent in people and without which people cannot live as true human beings. The concept of human rights came before the creation of the United Nations (UN). However, it was through the UN that human rights gained formal and universal recognition.
The preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that respect for human rights and dignity is the foundation of freedom, justice, and world peace. The UN General Assembly has proclaimed the declaration as "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance both among the peoples of member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."
Despite international campaigns by both government and nongovernmental institutions to promote human rights, it is taught in few schools.1
Yet, education plays an important role in making children aware of world issues such as human rights, and in developing a proper attitude toward such issues early in life.2
Education is recognized by the International Commission on Education for the 21st Century as a principal means to foster deeper and more harmonious human relations and, thereby, to reduce poverty, exclusion, ignorance, oppression, and war.3
There were early efforts to promote human rights through education in some Asian countries. In 1965, for example, Japan adopted the Dowa education policy to stress the importance of equality and to develop public consciousness against discrimination.4
However, promoting human rights education in Asian schools faces some problems:5
- lack of opportunities for teachers to study and apply new ideas in teaching human rights;
- difficulty in convincing government bureaucrats of the importance of human rights education; and
- resistance from teachers who fear that human rights education will be an additional burden to their heavy teaching load.
Still, human rights education continues to make progress, even if slowly, among Asian countries, including the Philippines.
This paper is divided into three parts. The first presents the efforts of the Philippine government to promote human rights education. The second part looks at how human rights education is implemented in selected schools in the central Luzon province of Nueva Ecija, 100 km north of Manila. The third part presents the human rights education efforts of a nongovernmental organization in Nueva Ecija, the Pampamayanang Ahensya na Nagtataguyod sa Karapatan at Kaunlaran ng Tao (Pangkat) Foundation.
Government Efforts to Promote Human Rights Education
The 1987 Constitution upholds the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights (Article II, Sec. 11). It also requires educational institutions to promote respect for human rights (Article XIV, Sec. 3[b]).
Prior to the ratification of the Constitution, then President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order (EO) No. 27 (4 July 1986), ordering the then Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECS) to include human rights courses in the curriculums of all levels of education and training in all schools. It also ordered MECS to initiate and maintain regular programs and special projects, including informal education and other means, to promote information and discussion on, and respect for, human rights.
The same EO ordered the Civil Ser vice Commission to include in the qualifying examinations for government service some basic knowledge of human rights.
Memorandum Order No. 20, issued along with EO No. 27, instructed the Ministry of National Defense, the New Armed Forces of the Philippines, the former Constabulary, and the Integrated National Police to make the study of human rights an integral and indispensable part of the education and training of all police, military, and other law-enforcement personnel, especially those in charge of detention and of prisoners. Completion of human rights courses is a prerequisite for such personnel's continuance in office. The then Presidential Committee on Human Rights was tasked to assist in developing appropriate study courses.
On 30 October 1987, President Aquino issued Proclamation No.177 declaring 3-10 December of every year as National Human Rights Week. It mandated the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to initiate activities that would highlight the observance of Human Rights Week. All government offices and agencies were urged to conduct commemorative and educational activities.
Pursuant to EO No. 27, the education secretary issued Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) Order No. 61 (9 June 1987), ordering all schools at all levels, including nonformal, technical, and vocational, to include in their curriculums the study of human rights and "accompanying responsibilities."
At the primary and secondary levels, human rights lessons may be integrated into civics, culture, geography and history, and social studies; and at the tertiary level, in political science or history. The schools were given the option to determine how to integrate human rights lessons into their courses.
CHR published A Primer on Human Rights,
which was distributed to the regions to provide basic information on formulating and developing instructional materials.
The DECS bureaus, which supervise education at various levels, including technical, vocational, and nonformal, prepared a suggested list of target learning appropriate for each grade level and the corresponding prototype teaching-learning materials to serve as a basis for regional curriculum development and evaluation. The regional directors were tasked to lead in integrating human rights in values education programs, development of instructional materials, and teacher training. They are also tasked to lead in enhancing school-community relationship through contests and other activities.
In 1990, DECS published a batch of prototype teaching materials developed with support from the Asia Foundation. The materials, intended for higher education, were titled Foundations 1 and 2, Social Philosophy 1 and 2, Methods of Teaching, Student Teaching and Health Education, and Livelihood Education.
When the materials were distributed in the regions, the deans and heads of colleges were convened for orientation on their use.
On 9 December 1992, CHR and DECS signed a Joint Declaration of Undertaking, in which the two agencies agreed to jointly implement the following:
- Curriculum development
- Continuing integration of human rights and responsibilities education in primary, secondary, tertiary, and nonformal education.
- Continuing preparation and production of instructional materials, including audio-visual and other teaching/learning aids, for both formal and nonformal education.
- Training and capability building
- Regular seminar-workshops at various school levels to identify problems and solutions in teaching human rights and responsibilities.
- Regular refresher courses for teachers.
- Regional and national conferences on the teaching of human rights and responsibilities.
- A speakers bureau for students and teachers.
- Monitoring, research, and evaluation
- Regular updating, research, documentation, and development of human rights instructional materials.
- Information campaign through sensitivity training and consciousness-raising activities directed in the academic community.
- Assessment and evaluation of the shortand long-term effects of human rights teaching.
- Policy and legislative support
- Legislative and administrative support for human rights teaching and promotion of human rights principles.
- Cooperative programs and networking
- Linkages with local and international NGOs for the following:
- exchanging information and transfer of technology to improve human rights and responsibilities education;
- conducting programs and activities for the celebration of events related to human rights, including Human Rights Week, adoption or ratification of human rights instruments, etc.;
- generating and sharing resources;
- continuing advocacy and social mobilization;
- creating a network to assist in human rights information dissemination; and
- establishing mechanisms for initiating and sustaining common programs of action.
For the joint undertaking, the CHR-DECS Implementing Committee was created with the following functions:
- operation of identified programs;
- submission of regular progress reports to appropriate agencies; and
- performance of other functions as the concerned agencies may direct.
In 1994, Republic Act No. 7722 put the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in charge of supervising public and private institutions of higher learning, including degreegranting programs in all post-secondary educational institutions, public and private. On 18 October 1996, CHR, DECS, CHED, and Amnesty International-Pilipinas signed a memorandum of agreement to jointly undertake the nationwide GO-NGO-Academe Consultative Workshop to define a national vision on human rights and produce the Long-term National Plan of Action on Human Rights Education.
In April 1996, DECS started the series of seminar-workshops for regional education officials in cooperation with CHR. The seminar-workshops provide knowledge on human rights as applied to teaching-learning processes, day-to-day interaction, teacher-training, and other activities.
On 16 May 1996, CHED issued Memorandum Order No. 31 pursuant to the memorandum of agreement, directing all higher educational institutions to conduct human rights education, and training projects, including but not limited to integrating human rights education concepts in subjects. All higher educational institutions were required to document their human rights education accomplishments and submit a semestral or trimestral report to the CHED office in their respective regions. All reports submitted to regional offices were to be consolidated and submitted to CHED.
The efforts of the Philippine government and its educational agencies to promote human rights education, including the extent of implementation of the different laws, policies, orders, and memorandums on human rights, have not been fully evaluated.
Implementation of Human Rights Education in Nueva Ecija
While human rights education stands on firm legal and policy ground, respect for human rights cannot be legislated. It should be inculcated in the hearts and minds of all members of society. Schools must help achieve this ideal.
To what extent human rights education has been undertaken in schools and to what extent it has enlightened the citizenry to respect human rights is the subject of an exploratory study conducted by graduate students enrolled in the legal foundations of education class (1998-1999) of the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology.
Objectives of the Study
The study explored the extent of implementing human rights education in the schools surveyed and the level of awareness of both teachers and pupils about human rights.
Scope and Limitations of the Study
The study covered teachers and pupils in three public elementary schools: Talavera Central School in Talavera; Muñoz South Central School in Muñoz; and Pulo Elementary School in San Isidro. It sought to find out how human rights education was implemented in the schools, and to what extent human rights as a concept and value was inculcated in the teachers and pupils. As purposive sampling was used, the findings may not represent the general situation.
The descriptive qualitative research method
and the purposive sampling method were used.
Respondents were 29 grade-school teachers
and 92 pupils. The questionnaire contained
queries on the implementation of human rights
education and the extent of knowledge and
values on the respondent's human rights.
Data gathered were tabulated. Simple percentages
based on the frequency of distribution
of responses to each question item were
obtained. Findings from responses of teachers
and pupils were presented in separate tables
and briefly discussed.
Responses of teachers
Of the 29 teacher-respondents, only 1 claimed to have attended a training workshop on human rights. His attendance was financed by the school.
The teacher-respondents were asked nine questions answerable by yes or no. Table 1 presents the frequency distribution of the responses. It shows that teachers received directives from their principals to teach or conduct activities on human rights education. Two followed the directives, and three said they did not submit a report to their superior. One teacher claimed to have received a reward for following the order. Twelve teachers attempted to teach human rights on their own initiative. Ten indicated that they came across written directives from DECS that human rights education should be undertaken in schools. Four said they used such directives in teaching human rights.
|TABLE 1. Frequency and Distribution of Teacher Respondents to Questions on Human Rights Education|
|1. Have you received any directions from your principal to teach or conduct activities on human rights education?||2||6.89||13||14.83|
|2. Did you follow the order given to you by your superior?||2||6.89||5||17.24|
|3. Did you render a report of your activities to the higzher authorities?||-||-||2||10.34|
|4. Did you receive any reward for following the order?||1||3.45||6||20.70|
|5. Have you attempted to teach human rights on your own initiative?||12||41.38||7||24.14|
|6. In your present work as a teacher, have you ever come across any written directive from DECS that human rights education should be undertaken by the schools?||10||34.48||8||27.59|
|7. Did you use such directives as bases in teaching human rights?||4||13.79||3||17.24|
|N = 29|
|TABLE 2. Teachers' Personal Ratings of the Extent of their Knowledge on Human Rights|
|Teachers' personal ratings||Frequency||%|
|Not very much||2||6.89|
Table 2 contains the teachers' personal ratings of their knowledge of human rights. It shows that the number of teachers who claim to have much knowledge of human rights is around the same as those who do not.
Teachers were asked to rate 12 items based on a five-point rating scale. Table 3 presents the findings. It shows that most teachers either highly agree or agree with the following statements on human rights:
- All men are born equal in dignity and rights.
- Men and women are equal.
- Children and youth have rights that must be respected.
- The promotion of human rights is the concern of all.
- By virtue of being human, we have rights.
- It is important for every person to know his/her rights.
- If you want your rights respected, you must respect the rights of others.
|TABLE 3. Teachers' Reactions to Ten Statements on Human Rights|
|Items||Highly agree||Agree||Not sure||Highly disagree||Disagree|
|1. All men are born equal in dignity and rights.||12||41.38||10||34.49||2||6.89||1||3.45||1||3.45|
|2. Men and women are equal.||10||34.49||11||37.93||2||10.34||1||3.45||1||3.45|
|3. Children and youth have rights that must be respected.||12||44.83||8||48.28||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|4. The promotion of human rights is the concern of all.||8||27.59||16||55.17||2||6.89||-||-||-||-|
|5. By virtue of being human, we have rights.||13||48.27||14||48.27||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|6. Our human rights are given to us by our government.||5||17.24||12||44.83||5||20.70||1||3.45||2||6.89|
|7. Only the State can protect our human rights.||6||20.70||2||6.89||10||41.38||-||-||6||20.70|
|8. Rich people have more rights than the poor.||1||3.45||1||6.89||1||3.45||14||48.27||6||20.70|
|9. It is important for every person to know his/her rights.||18||62.07||8||27.58||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|10. If you want your rights respected, you must respect the rights of others.|
It was noted, however, that in the first two statements, some teachers were not sure, or either disagreed or highly disagreed. More teachers agreed or highly agreed with the statement "Our human rights are given to us by our government." Only three either disagreed or highly disagreed, and six were not sure. These findings suggest that more teachers believe that the government is the source, rather than the guarantor, of human rights.
Twelve teachers were not sure whether or not "only the State can protect our human rights." An almost-equal number either agreed/highly agreed or disagreed/highly dis-agreed. The respondents were divided on who was responsible for the protection of human rights. While the state has responsibility for people within its jurisdiction, civil society, which includes organized citizens, people's organizations, and NGOs, has a role in protecting human rights. In fact, all members of humankind have the responsibility to protect human rights.
The findings also revealed that more teachers either disagreed or highly disagreed with the statement that rich people have more rights than the poor, one was not sure, and three either highly agreed or agreed. This means that some teachers still believe that wealth makes a difference in matters of human rights, and that theory is different from practice, the ideal different from the real. This finding suggests that the principle of nondiscrimination in possessing and enjoying human rights has not been fully inculcated in all of the respondents.
|TABLE 4. Legal Sources of Knowledge on Human Rights of Teacher-Respondents|
|1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights||5||17.24|
|2. Article II of 1987 PhilippineConstitution||8||27.59|
|3. Child and Youth Welfare Code||7||24.14|
|4. International Convention on the Rights of the Child||4||13.79|
|5. Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women||3||10.34|
|6. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights||2||6.89|
|7. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights||3||10.34|
|8. Magna Carta of Public School Teachers||10||62.07|
To the question, "Should human rights be taught in the school?" all the respondents answered yes. Asked what the legal sources of their knowledge of human rights were, they pointed to various sources. As shown in Table 4, 18 teachers, or 62%, obtained their knowledge of human rights from the Magna Carta of Public School Teachers.6
Others, from international covenants or conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; International Convention on the Rights of the Child; and Philippine laws such as the 1987 Constitution and the Child and Youth Welfare Code.
Responses of Pupils
|TABLE 5. Pupils Extent of Knowledge on Human Rights|
|Extent of knowledge||Frequency||%|
Findings of the study from the responses of pupils are presented in Table 5, which shows that most pupils have little knowledge of human rights. Most who did cited their teachers and parents as sources (Table 6). Many pupils cited the mass media, particularly television, as a source of knowledge, as some television ads and programs promote human rights. The mass media are therefore a significant source of knowledge, as most Filipino homes have a television set and radio.
|TABLE 6. Sources of Knowledge on Human Rights|
|Sources of knowledge|
on human rights
|From my teachers in our school||78||84.78|
|From my parents||73||79.34|
|From magazines and newspapers||41||44.56|
The smallest percentage of pupils cited movies as a source of knowledge. Although it was not clear what specific knowledge of human rights were gained from the movies, it was clear that movies influence the pupils.
To the question, "Since you started school, have you ever been taught human rights?" 83 pupils, or 90.2 percent, answered yes; only 7 (7.6%) said no, suggesting that schools are promoting human rights education.
Of the pupil-respondents, 82 (89.1%) said that human rights were taught to them in their school. Only 6 (6.5%) said otherwise. Asked further if it was taught during the school year when the study was conducted, 83 (90.2%) said yes and only 2 (2.2%) answered no.
Asked if some school activities focused on human rights, 59 (64.1%) answered yes, and 30 (32.6%) answered no. Asked further if they participated in any of these activities, 58 (63%) answered yes, and 29 (31.5%) answered no.
Table 7 shows that 43 (46.7%) pupils indicated that human rights were often taught to them, as against 38 (41.3%) who said otherwise; 6 (6.5%) said that human rights were taught very often to them; and 1 (1%) said it was taught only once.
|TABLE 7. Frequency and Distribution of Pupil Respondents to Questions on Human Rights Education|
|1. Since you studied formally in school, have you been taught human rights in any school attended?||83||90.21||7||7.60|
|2. Were human rights ever taught to you where you are studying now?||82||89.13||6||6.52|
|3. If yes, were they taught to you this schoolyear?||83||90.21||2||2.17|
|4. Are there activities in the school which focus on human rights?||59||64.13||30||32.60|
|5. Did you participate in any of these activities?||58||63.04||29||31.52|
|TABLE 8. Frequency of Teaching Human Rights|
|How often were human rights taught to you?||Frequency||%|
|Not so often||37||41.30|
Table 8 shows the pupils' reactions to 10 statements on human rights. The findings reveal the pupils' knowledge and values. Some pupils responded "not sure" to all 10 statements, which may indicate insufficient learning.
To three statements--"Our human rights are given to us by our government," "Only the state can protect our human rights," and "Rich people have more rights than the poor"--many said the opposite of what was expected. Most agreed or highly agreed with the statement "Our human rights are given to us by our government."
As for the statement, "Only the state can protect our human rights," 11 pupils were not sure, 23 agreed, and 8 highly agreed, 13 highly disagreed, and 35 disagreed. The same trend was observed in the pupils' reactions to the statement, "Rich people have more rights than the poor." (Insert table 9.)
One disagreed and another was not sure about the statement, "Children and youth have rights that must be respected." The rest answered positively, showing that pupils are becoming aware of their rights.
|TABLE 9. Pupils' Reactions to Ten Statements on Human Rights|
|Items||Highly agree||Agree||Not sure||Highly disagree||Disagree|
|1. All men are born equal in dignity and rights.||38||41.30||42||45.05||10||10.86||-||-||1||1.08|
|2. Men and women are equal.||15||16.30||59||64.13||12||14.13||1||1.08||1||1.08|
|3. Children and youth have rights that must be respected.||59||64.13||22||23.91||1||1.08||1||1.08||-||-|
|4. The promotion of human rights is the concern of all.||12||13.04||47||51.08||31||33.69||-||-||-||-|
|5. By virtue of being human, we have rights.||43||46.73||37||40.21||8||10.86||2||2.17||-||-|
|6. Our human rights are given to us by our government.||14||15.21||62||67.39||15||16.30||-||-||1||1.08|
|7. Only the State can protect our human rights.||8||8.69||23||25||9||11.95||13||14.13||35||38.04|
|8. Rich people have more rights than the poor.||12||13.04||4||4.35||6||6.52||29||31.52||32||34.78|
|9. It is important for every person to know his/her rights.||63||68.48||23||25||2||3.26||1||1.08||-||-|
|10. If you want your rights respected, you must respect the rights of others.||73||79.35||13||14.13||2||2.17||3||3.26||1||1.08|
Summary of Findings
- Some teachers were aware of directives from higher authorities to teach human rights. Some admitted that they received directives from their superiors to teach human rights.
- Some teachers taught human rights based on the directives of superiors, but more taught human rights on their own initiative.
- Teachers derived their knowledge of human rights from international and local laws.
- Most teachers showed positive reactions to statements that conformed with acceptable knowledge of or values concerning human rights, but a few expressed uncertainty over some controversial statements.
- Pupils were taught human rights.
- Teachers and parents were the main source of knowledge on human rights of most pupils. The mass media also contributed to their knowledge.
- A sizable number of pupils were not sure of their position on the 10 statements on human rights, although more conformed with statements that revealed acceptable knowledge of and values concerning human rights.
Based on the findings of this study, the following conclusions are made:
- Human rights education is undertaken in the schools surveyed.
- Teachers derive their knowledge of human rights from legal sources.
- Teachers' reactions to human rights generally conform with acceptable knowledge of and values concerning human rights.
- Teachers value the teaching of human rights.
- Pupils are aware of human rights.
- The frequency with which human rights is taught varies.
- Pupils need more instruction on human rights to enhance their knowledge of and respect for them.
- Human rights activities are conducted in schools.
- Pupil participation in human rights activities is not widespread.
- Teachers should undergo regular training that emphasizes content and methods in teaching human rights. NGOs may be invited to share their experience in human rights work and enrich the learning experience of teachers.
- Compliance of educational institutions with the mandate to conduct human rights instruction should be regularly monitored.
- Schools should conduct more human rights activities that will encourage or motivate more pupils to participate. These activities should be appropriate to the pupils' age, background, and interests.
- The Philippines has many laws and policies on human rights, but they are not implemented as they should be. All social sectors should participate and be involved in monitoring the implementation of the laws at the local and national levels.
- School officials should be encouraged to promote human rights education. Incentives or awards should be given to institutions that perform well in human rights education.
- Teachers should be motivated to produce instructional materials on human rights. The materials can be shared through networking among teachers, with the support and assistance of the school division. Incentives should be given to teachers who show dedication in the teaching of human rights.
- Implementation of human rights education laws and policies should be evaluated.
- Human rights education should be a major concern of all school officials and personnel. Every school should cultivate a climate conducive to promotion of respect for human rights. Administrators and teachers should serve as role models in showing respect for the human rights of pupils and other members of the academic community.
- Teachers and parents should jointly promote the teaching of human rights. Parents should be involved in reinforcing human rights instructions.
- The curriculum at each grade level should include human rights courses. Periodic curricular review should be conducted.
- DECS, CHED, and the Technology Education and Services Development Authority should rigorously observe Proclamation No. 177 and continue to improve human rights education.
- This study should be followed by a more thorough and detailed qualitative study on the status of implementing human rights education at different levels of formal and nonformal education.
The Provincial Association for Human Rights Advocacy--Nueva Ecija (Panlalawigang Asosasyong Nagtataguyod sa Karapatan ng Tao--Nueva Ecija, or PANGKAT-NE) was established in 1986 as an alliance of human rights organizations in 3 cities and 29 towns in Nueva Ecija province. Its members are groups of farmers, farmworkers, professionals, urban poor, women, youth, and students. It was converted into a foundation in 1991 and renamed PANGKAT Foundation.
The foundation primarily aims to promote and protect human rights through preventive and remedial legal measures. It also aims to conduct education campaigns for the general public on basic individual and collective rights and to institutionalize human rights education by offering short-term non-degree and nondiploma courses on human rights teaching.
To implement its programs, the foundation established the Nueva Ecija Human Rights Action Center, which was later renamed the Center for Human Rights and Development Advocacy.
The PANGKAT Foundation implements the following programs:
- Human Rights Education and Training;
- Paralegal Training Development;
- Legal Aid and Referral;
- Community Organizing for Human Rights and Development;
- Family Welfare and Barangay (Community) Development.
To support its programs, it organizes various groups such as chapter units in communities, Human Rights Groups (HRGs) composed of people who have attended its human rights education activities, and volunteer-run Human Rights Extension Offices (HREOs) in some towns. By 1991, the foundation had established 19 community chapters, 25 HRGs, and 5 HREOs. It also organized students at the Central Luzon Polytechnic College into the CLPC Human Rights Volunteers Association, which helps in campaigning for the rights of children and youth in several towns.
The foundation's human rights education program is implemented through the following activities:
- a radio program;
- an awareness program on human rights;
- leadership training for core human rights advocates;
- study programs on
- human rights, law, and development;
- human rights teaching; and
- human rights and barangay (community) justice;
- seminars on human rights for teachers;
- echo seminars on human rights protection systems;
- seminars on curriculum and human rights; and
- orientation seminars.
In 1986, the foundation started a radio program called "Unlad Talino sa Himpapawid"
(Knowledge Development through Broadcast). The radio program broadcast five modules on human rights (foundation of human rights; human rights advocacy; civil, political, economic and cultural rights; rights of specific groups in society; and human rights remedies and safeguards). The program broadcasts lectures by lawyers, public prosecutors, government officials, and community leaders. Home listeners clubs were formed in schools and communities to help increase the number of listeners. In a 1987 survey of listeners, most of the 1,879 respondents said they became interested in human rights through the radio program.
The radio program's human rights courses change their content every year. One of the first courses was General Course on Human Rights and Rebuilding of the Filipino Character. Another course which targeted teachers is Listeners' Course on Human Rights Teaching. Enrolled teachers get a certificate for completing the course by listening to the radio program, attending lectures to supplement radio presentations, and passing an examination. In 1993, the radio program adopted a magazine format with live discussions among a panel of speakers. It stopped broadcasting briefly, then reopened in 1995 as "Karapatang Pangtao at Paralegalismo sa DWNE" (Human Rights and Paralegalism in DWNE), aired every Sunday, 8:00-10:00 am. The radio program has been renamed "Pinoy Gising sa Yong Karapatan at Kaunlaran" (Filipinos Wake Up to Your Rights and Progress). In this program, discussions on problems on agrarian laws, human rights in general, and specific sector rights (women and child rights) are taken up.
Training under the human rights paralegal development program equips community members with skills such as documentation of human rights violations. Awareness campaigns on human rights issues relating to children and youth, women, the disabled, and indigenous people are undertaken under the Family Welfare and Barangay (Community) Development program.
Schoolteachers participate in many of the foundations's human rights education activities. In the 1990 study program on human rights teaching, 50 teachers from 10 primary schools, 6 secondary schools, 2 colleges, and 1 university participated.
In 1997, the foundation co-organized a seminar on the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education with the Central Luzon Polytechnic College (later renamed the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology), the Commission on Higher Education, and the Commission on Human Rights. Organized for administrators and faculty members of higher educational institutions, the seminar introduced the UN Decade and discussed the needs, problems, and activities relating to human rights education.
In the same year, the foundation worked with the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST), Department of Education, Culture and Sports, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Commission on Human Rights to establish the Central Luzon Human Rights Education Center. The center offers the following services:
- human rights education training;
- consulting services on human rights education programs and projects;
- library services; and
- materials procurement, development, and dissemination.
The center's library is housed at the NEUST Department of Management library. The center aims to serve the needs of all educational institutions in central Luzon and civil-society institutions such as NGOs, workers and employers organizations, community organizations, and officials of local government units and national government agencies. It held a regional trainers' training on human rights education in cooperation with NEUST and TESDA. Lecturers came from CHR, CHED, TESDA, DECS, NEUST, and PANGKAT Foundation.
PANGKAT Foundation has influenced the NEUST in integrating human rights education in the activities of its students and offering a subject on human rights education in its graduate programs where teachers from both private and public schools enroll. Human rights education is covered under the subject Legal Foundations of Education for graduate students taking up courses on educational management, master of arts in teaching, and master of arts in industrial education. Human rights education is likewise included in the practicum of students, which entails doing field research and attending seminars. This system is employed in NEUST's graduate courses held in collaboration with the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT). In March 2000, graduate students of ASCOT enrolled in Legal Foundations of Education held a human rights education seminar in one community in San Luis, Aurora, for the local residents (including indigenous people) and officials. A similar seminar held two years ago in two other towns of the province resulted in the establishment of the Teachers' Legal Bureau composed of the teacher-graduate students. The organization aims to promote human rights.
1. Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center, Human Rights Education in Asian Schools
, Osaka, 1998, p. iii.
2. Valai na Pombejr, "The United Nations and Human Rights Education in Schools " in Human Rights Education in Asian Schools
, p. 2.
4. Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center, p. 5.
5. Ibid., p 6.
6. The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers is another name for Republic Act Number 4670, which was enacted on 18 June 1966. This law is meant to promote and improve the social and economic status of public school teachers, their living and working conditions, their terms of employment, and career prospects. Many provisions of this law "while qualified or strengthened by subsequent laws, including the New Constitution, are still valid." Jose N. Nolledo, The Education Act of the Philippines--Annotated
, Manila: National Bookstore, 1995, page 89.
Castro, Imelda M. Human Rights Education in the Philippines, Shaping a Culture. The Human Rights Agenda
2(5) June 1997.
CHED Memorandum Order No. 31 series of 1996, "Promotion of human rights education (HRE)."
CHR-DECS Joint Declaration of Undertaking, 9 December 1992.
DECS Memorandum No. 180 s. 1990. "Prototype materials for the integration of human rights concepts in teacher education courses."
Documents and Reading Materials on Human Rights and Human Rights Education. Cabanatuan City, Philippines: Nueva Ecija Human Rights Action Center.
Executive Order No. 27, "Education to maximize respect for human rights".
Human Rights Education in Asian Schools.
1998. Osaka: Asia Pacific Human Rights Education Center.
Memorandum of Agreement between CHR, DECS, Amnesty International Pilipinas and Commission on Higher Education, 18 October 1996.
Memorandum No. 20, "Education of arresting and investigating personnel personnel on human rights."
Memorandum dated April 29, 1996 on "Seminar-workshop on human rights education for regional and division supervisors."
Proclamation No. 177, "Declaring December 3 to 10, 1987, and the same period of every year thereafter as "National Human Rights Week."
ABC--Teaching Human Rights--Practical Activities for Primary and Secondary Schools.
1989. New York: United Nations.
United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004)
. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.