400 student govt. officers get primed on good governance PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 13:36

Some 400 student government officers coming from 32 local national high schools had a day-long skills enhancing encounter towards the building of the culture of peace last Saturday, March 17 at Claret Gymnasium, Zamboanga City.

The student leaders came from as far as rural schools of Tictapul located at the eastern part of the city and Limpapa, the last village of Zamboanga in the west coast, along with their advisers to convene  the student leadership training whose theme and agenda was “Peace, Leadership and Governance: Key to Student Initiatives for Societal Change”   The pre-summer event was sponsored by Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) and the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) in partnership with the Department of Education and Task Force Zamboanga.

Fr. Mauricio Ulep, CMF,  Director of the Claret school of Zamboanga, in seeing the huge number of  student leaders gathering for the cause of promoting  just peace in their respective schools, underscored the importance of taking the student’s responsibility towards peace promotion.

“I believe that this is our task in building peace initiatives.  We come together in advocating for peace and let us bridge the gap between us,” Father Ulep said during the opening program of the youth leadership training.

The youth summit is an offshoot of last year’s inter-school peace camp, whose participants were composed of different supreme student government officers in the secondary level. PAZ and IRSMP see to the need for the continuing enhancement of the student leadership potentials, abilities and skills in understanding and realizing the culture of peace in their respective schools and communities.

PAZ President, Fr. Angel Calvo in his opening ceremony message said:   “Student leadership is the key element in our dreams of living in peace.”

He challenged the young leaders to pursue their dreams and visions of peace and affirmed the belief that they are capable to achieve them.

In the training proper, the student leaders were briefed on peace, leadership and governance, which were presented by various panelists. 

As supreme government officers, the training taught them how to discharge their duties and responsibilities according the principles of good governance, with an eye towards building peace within their immediate circles.

Dr. Maybel Tee, Peace Coordinator of DepEd’s  Schools Division Office, remarked that “the student leaders should understand that leadership is a dynamic process and its concern is to make an effect to other’s life.”

Trained secondary school teachers from different schools facilitated the workshop. In a separate session, the student leaders formed their groupings for the workshop, in which they mapped their strategies to achieve the so-called six paths to peace.

The six paths to peace are cultivating inner peace, living with justice and compassion, living with harmony with the earth, dismantling the culture of war, promoting human rights and responsibilities and promoting inner cultural respect, reconciliation and solidarity.   These will allow the student leaders to concretely draw up doable programs in the schools and communities.  

PAZ and DepEd have been working hand in hand in the promotion of the culture of peace in the different schools in the city. The Department of Education had issued earlier the Executive Order 570 which mandated the institutionalizing of  peace education in basic education curriculum and teacher education. — Albert F. Arcilla