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Human Rights Education in Asian Schools Volume IX

Training Workshop on Human Rights Lesson Plans


Since 1998, teachers, education officials, non-governmental organization workers and other educators in Southeast Asia have been interacting in workshops to discuss and learn about human rights education in schools. The 1998 Southeast Asian consultation workshop in Surabaya, Indonesia provided a basis for a networking among those involved in human rights education in schools in the subregion.[1] The 1999 pilot training in Bali, Indonesia not only provided human rights training for teachers and other educators but resulted in a plan to do further workshops focusing on developing materials for teaching and learning human rights in schools.[2] This led to the 2001 Southeast Asian Writing Workshop on Human Rights Lesson Plans in Manila, Philippines.[3]
    In 2002, a Regional Review Team composed of educators from the 6 Southeast Asian countries[4] reviewed, selected and revised the lesson plans in preparation for their publication. After two meetings in Bangkok, Thailand and several months of exchanges via e-mail, the lesson plans were finalized in mid-2003. In November of the same year, the publication entitled Human Rights Lesson Plans for Southeast Asian Schools was printed in Bangkok.
    During the whole year of 2004 till the first quarter of 2005, the publication was translated into Bahasa Indonesia, Khmer and Vietnamese languages. Printed copies of the translations were distributed to educational institutes and schools in the 3 countries. The UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education supported the translation and printing of the publication into Bahasa Indonesia, Khmer, and Vietnamese languages. In addition, the whole publication was translated into Chinese language, while the lesson plans were translated into Japanese and Farsi languages.
    The publication of the lesson plans and their translation into several Southeast Asian languages led to the Southeast Asia Orientationcum-Training Workshop on Human Rights Lesson Plans on 5-7 April 2005 in Manila, Philippines.
    The Philippine Department of Education, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education provided financial support to the holding of the workshop. In addition, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights provided facilitation and documentation support. Part of this report is drawn from the documentation made by the Commission.

Workshop Objectives
    The workshop as the title indicates had two main purposes:
  1. Orientation on the publication Human Rights Lesson Plans for Southeast Asian Schools
  2. Training on the use of the ideas in the publication for teacher training.
    To achieve these purposes, the program had the following major components:
  • Discussion of basic human rights principles
  • iscussion of the components of the publication, namely, human rights curricular framework and the human rights lesson plans
  • Discussion of the use of the publication as a teacher training material in the different countries represented.
    Considering that the publication is a blend of the different national situations in Southeast Asia (exemplified by the focus on issues of access to education, child labor, development, and environment) and mainly designed as model human rights lesson plans, the workshop was meant to encourage the use of the publication as a teacher training material. This does not preclude the actual use of the lesson plans by the teachers in the classroom however, especially in countries where the lesson plans have local language version.
    The orientation-cum-training workshop was attended by teacher-trainers, other education officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations from eight Southeast Asian countries - Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Publications Launching and Opening Ceremonies
    The publication and its translated versions were formally launched on 5 April 2005, in ceremonies that also formally opened the orientation-cum-training workshop. High officials of the co-organizing institution, the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) attended the ceremonies.
    Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon, Undersecretary of DepEd, in his welcome remarks, noted that while the Philippines may have already produced its own set of human rights teaching exemplars, the work was not finished yet. The Philippine government has to promote human rights education on top of many problems facing the Philippine school system. The government cannot as yet reach thousands of school teachers since the production of the human rights teaching exemplars require a big amount of funds. Thus it is necessary to maximize whatever materials are available for human rights education.
    Mr. Yoshio Kawashima, Director of HURIGHTS OSAKA, in his message, expressed the hope that the publication will be used at least as teacher training material. He also expressed the hope that it will continue to be translated into other languages in the region. He likewise expressed gratitude to the partner institutions - DepEd, UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for supporting the workshop.[5]
    Ms. Alexandra Cuyegkeng of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Manila office), which funded the editing and printing of the English publication, stressed the continuing interest and support of the foundation in human rights education to promote the advancement of freedom. She added that though the "publication of this book is a small step towards that goal, it is nevertheless an important step in educating and training the students of Southeast Asia about the fundamental rights they are entitled to."[6]
    Chiam Heng Keng, PhD, Commissioner of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM), in representation of the Regional Review Team, related the hard work entailed in the review and revision of the lesson plans to prepare them for publication. She noted that the long hours of work in Bangkok paid off with the publication of lesson plans that reflect the different contexts in Southeast Asia and the application of human rights to these contexts. She also noted that the publication is not at all perfect but it is worth being used.
    Finally, Fe A. Hidalgo, PhD, Undersecretary of DepEd expressed the urgency of human rights education considering the problems faced by children. She cited the suffering of children as shown in a documentary about children in detention.
    The members of the Regional Review Team symbolically turned over the publication and its translations to delegates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam.
    The launching ceremonies were fittingly ended with a dance performance by students from San Francisco High School (Sto. Cristo, Quezon City, Metro Manila). The studentdancers portrayed the plight of migrant workers --the risks and sufferings they endure in foreign lands in order to support their families. The dance performance captured the message of one lesson plan on migrant workers in the publication.

 Day One - 5 April 2005

History and current context of the workshop
    Ms. Zaida T. Azcueta of DepEd gave a powerpoint presentation of the background of the workshop. She traced its link to the 1999 pilot training workshop held in Bali and the 2001 Southeast Asia writing workshop held in Manila. She also reported on the review and revision of the lesson plans in preparing the publication of Human Rights Lesson Plans for Southeast Asian Schools.
    Mr. Jefferson R. Plantilla of HURIGHTS OSAKA explained the regional and international contexts of the workshop. He mentioned the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993) which recommended the declaration of a United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (Decade), the Decade provisions, the United Nations World Programme for Human Rights Education that started in 2005 and its first phase plan of action for the formal education system. He also cited the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Human Rights adopted by the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization (AIPO) during its 14th General Assembly in September 1993. This declaration stresses the "promotion of human rights education [as] the co-responsibility of government and all sectors of civil society." He further explained the annual Workshop on Regional Cooperation for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific which adopted human rights education as one of its 4 major programs.

Human rights concepts
    Mr. Sirilus Belen of the Ministry of Education of Indonesia facilitated the session on determining the participants' understanding or misunderstanding of human rights. He requested the participants to express their concepts of human rights; clarified their views by citing examples of human rights such as the right to found a family; and used the United Nations' ABC Teaching Human Rights - practical activities for primary and secondary schools (New York/Geneva: 2003) as a reference material.
    Mr. Suthin Nophaket, Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand presented a review of the general principles contained in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). He also facilitated the expression of participants' views on human rights before giving a powerpoint presentation on human rights focusing mainly on the UDHR.
    Ms. Chiam presented the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the different categories of child rights. Using a powerpoint presentation, she explained the concept of rights, and the balance between rights and responsibilities. She pointed out that the lesson plans use three major human rights instruments: UDHR, CRC and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). She cited examples of rights under ICESCR such as right to work; right to education; right to adequate food; right to adequate shelter and services; and the right to culture. She facilitated an exercise of making the participants classify the different child rights into Survival, Protection, Development and Participation categories.
    The first day sessions ended with presentations on the right to human rights education (human rights education as basic component of right to education). Mr. Plantilla provided an overview of the concept of right to human rights education based on the different international human rights instruments. He stressed that member-States of the United Nations have pledged to work for the universal respect for, and observance of, human rights. He also stressed that human rights education is the responsibility of governments and of the people themselves. Finally he pointed out that the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations affirmed that human rights education is itself a human right. (5 December 1994, E/1996/2, para. 324)
    To complement the general introduction on this issue, Mr. Suthin presented a national perspective on the right to human rights education. He said that the right to human rights education is supported by the 1997 Constitution of Thailand which created the National Human Rights Commission. One of the important mandates of the commission is human rights education. He also pointed out the various government ministries involved in human rights education, which links with the Commission's sub-commission on human rights education. He also mentioned the role played by NGOs and people's organizations in human rights education in Thailand. All these institutions (government and non-governmental) network on human rights education.

 Day Two - 6 April 2005
    Human rights education in the curriculum

  A. Concept of integration of human rights education into the school curriculum
    Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hoan of the Centre of Pedagogy, Hanoi University of Education explained the integration approach to human rights education in schools. He presented the reason for using integration approach, its objectives, forms, and methods. He said that there are three forms of integration:
  1. Highest-level or complete integration - In this form, the content of human rights education completely coincides with the content of the lesson of a certain subject, this allows the development of a separate lesson on human rights.
  2. Average-level or partial integration - In this form, part of the content of the lesson covers human rights, while the other part has no link to human rights.
  3. Lowest level or content-related integration - This is a form in which the content of the lesson can be related to a certain dimension or idea of human rights.
    He also presented how the integration approach is used in the publication by citing the human rights being discussed in the primary and secondary level lesson plans.
    He stressed that whatever form of integration is used, the main content of the lesson must be fully ensured. It is imperative to integrate human rights content into a subject or lesson.
    As a means of showing an example of integration approach used in one country, a participant, Ms. Maharom Mahmood of the Curriculum Development Centre, Ministry of Education in Malaysia, presented the example of moral education. She said that human rights are discussed in the moral education subject. She presented the human rights content in the 2003 moral education subject for secondary level:
Learning Area 5:
Values in relation to human rights
  5.1 Protection of children's rights
  5.2 Respect for the rights of women
  5.3 Protection of workers' rights
  5.4 Protection of consumer rights.

Learning Area 6:
  6.2 Freedom of self-expression
  6.3 Freedom of worship

Learning Area 7:
Values in relation to Peace & Harmony
  7.1 Living together in peace
  7.3 Respect for the integrity of other nations
    She also mentioned that aside from Islamic Religious Education and Moral Education, human rights education is also channeled in the following ways:
Local Studies - primary level
History - secondary Level
Family Health and Sexuality Education - primary and secondary levels
Living Skills - upper primary and lower secondary levels
Values across the curriculum - i.e., teaching of languages, geography and art
Co-curricular activities - uniformed bodies, clubs and societies, sports and games.
    Another participant, Mr. Nguyen Duc Quang, of the National Institute for Educational Strategies and Curriculum Development in Vietnam, shared his view about the integration of human rights education into the extracurricular activities of the school. He said that aside from receiving knowledge on human rights through school subjects, students can have the opportunity to understand and practice these rights through extra-curricular activities. The activities can provide the conditions for students to express themselves as individuals such as rights to participation, expression, leisure and recreation, and information. He emphasized that the teachers need to use the participatory method, and design the activities in a way that arouse interest in the students and meet their needs.
    A member of the workshop secretariat, Mr. Nobuki Fujimoto of HURIGHTS OSAKA shared the Japanese system of integrating human rights into the school curriculum. He said that there is a general subject called Integrated Curriculum which is open for various topics from environment to human rights. The schools decide what issues to take up in this subject, in line with the guidelines of the local Board of Education.

 B. Purpose, components and use of human rights curricular framework
    Ms. Chin Yahan of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia presented the meaning and purpose of the human rights curricular framework originally developed in the 2001 writeshop and adapted into the publication. She also explained the link between human rights lesson plans and the school curriculum. In her powerpoint presentation, she showed an example of curricular framework. She stressed the need to identify issues that are relevant to the situation of the students and which relate to the subject area in the curriculum. Once the issues have been identified, they can be linked to the corresponding values required to be taught/learned in the curriculum. At this point human rights concepts can be introduced. She also presented the different (and progressing) levels of the world of the students which should be considered in identifying issues and the relevant human rights. In this way, the issues and human rights concepts are correspondingly becoming more complicated as the "world" of the students becomes bigger. The human rights curricular framework is a means of planning the whole human rights education program in primary and secondary schools.

Human Rights Curricular Framework
Grade LevelHR Curriculum FrameworkIssuesHR ConceptValues
7Self· The concept of development of rights and respect for others
· Human rights violation
· Management of problematic issues
· Child rights
· Right to education
· Right to develop one's potential
· Right to privacy
· Equality
· Love for school
· Self-reliance
· Responsibility
· Self-respect
    Above is a sample human rights curricular framework.

Human rights lesson plans

 A. Format and components
    Ms. Nerissa L. Losaria of DepEd presented the lesson plan format used in the publication. She explained the 4As approach in lesson planning which is used in the publication. She emphasized the need to be careful with "processing questions" to be able to make students follow the discussion in each section of the lesson.
    The participants were asked to present the lesson plan format used in their school systems. Following are some of the formats presented:

Cambodia Lesson Plan Format
› The usual way of preparing a lesson guide/plan:
    Identification of objectives of the lesson plan
Knowledge (content of lesson)
- Skills (technology)
- Attitude (moral education, HRE)
    Identification of Teaching Aids
    Time Allotment
- Activities
- Analysis
- Abstraction
- Application/Assignment

› Standard guide/format:
    Time Allotment
- knowledge
- skills
- attitude
    Resources: Materials & references
    A. Opener
Step 1 - Organization of class
Step 2 - Review of last content in relation to new content
    B. Development of the Activities
1. Activity (experiential/role play)
2. Analysis - expect answers
3. Abstraction - summarize the responses - note the impact
4. Application - ask students to do something (theory to practice)
5. Closure (assignment for the next session)

East Timor
Lesson Plan Format
Time allocation

Lesson Plan Format
Subject : Civics & Citizenship Education
Level : Form 3 (15 years old)
Themes : Future Challenges
Topic : Rights of Children
Method : Active Learning
Learning Objectives:
    At the end of the lesson, the children will have
Tools : Situational/ Scenario Script
Role play
Discussion in groups/class
Evaluation (lessons learned from the activities)
  - knowledge
  - skills
  - values
    Teacher explains the rights of children
    (Articles 3 & 19 of the CRC)
    Written Assignment
Observation (community service)
Lesson Plan Format
K (knowledge)
S (skills)
A (attitude)
V (values)
    Materials/Resources/Teaching Aids:
    Presentation -
Asking questions
    Practice -
Work in pairs
Group work
Production -
Role play
Telling stories
    - Assignment
    - Homework

Lesson Plan Format
    1. Topic (Basic Education Curriculum, Learning Competency)
    2. Materials
    3. Reference
    a. Preliminary Activities
• Drill
• Review
• Motivation
    b. Development of Activities
• Activity
• Analysis
• Abstraction
• Application



    The lesson plan formats in the eight countries follow basically a pattern similar to the format used in the publication. This proves that the publication's lesson plans can be applied to the countries in Southeast Asia.

 B. Methodology
    Mr. Belen presented the appropriate teaching/learning methodologies employed in the lesson plans. Using the United Nations' ABC Teaching Human Rights practical activities for primary and secondary schools (New York/Geneva: 2003) as reference material, he explained the need for participatory methodologies in teaching human rights.

 C. Human rights content
    Ms. Chiam facilitated the identification of human rights concepts that constitute the major contents of the lesson plans. Using the CRC pamphlet developed by SUHAKAM, she asked the participants to work in pairs in finding out what rights are covered by the different lesson plans. This exercise allowed the participants to review the lesson plans in the publication, though cursorily, and check the human rights involved.

 Day Three - 7 April 2005
    Training teachers on human rights lesson plans

    The whole morning of the final day was devoted to group discussion (per country) to discuss how their own teacher training system can be used to train teachers on human rights education using the publication.

    To facilitate the group discussion, the following guidelines were given:
  • What can you do to promote human rights education in teacher training using the lesson plans publication as a material?
    Objective of the activity (group discussion):
To brainstorm on realizable program or plan or project or initiative on teacher training that uses the lesson plans publication.
    The program or plan or project or initiative is considered realizable when it is
  • within the scope of one's position and authority; and
  • integrated into existing or upcoming program or project on education that can be related to human rights education.
    Items for discussion and presentation
  1. Basic background information on the existing teacher training system in your country - describe the 1) program and 2) system of implementation.
  2. Training program or plan or project or initiative Objective(s)
    • Human rights content (can be focused on UDHR or CRC or any other human rights instrument)
    • Methodology to be used in the training.
  3. System of dissemination of the program or plan or project after the training
  4. Monitoring and support system.
    At around noontime of the same day, each country delegation presented their respective reports. A participant, Ms. Orathai Moolkum, of the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC), Ministry of Education in Thailand presented the child-friendly schools project in Thailand which involves schools in disadvantaged communities in various provinces. She discussed how the project was implemented and the success in getting many schools involved, and how this project promotes education on child rights.



  1. Human rights training - 31 established Lab Schools
  2. Distribute SEA lesson plans to
      a) 420 child-friendly secondary schools
      b) 921 Lab schools
      c) Interested schools
  3. Develop "Living" human rights lesson plans
      Use information and communication technology - such as web-based competition among child-friendly schools to find the best practices.
  4. Organize seminars

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