The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) accepted the peace offer of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) for a political settlement. The GPH and MNLF signed a peace agreement in 1976 to end the war that devastated the whole region of Bangsamoro. Another initiative towards peace is the agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). During the administration of Fidel V. Ramos, additional set of peace negotiations were conducted between the MILF to address their grievances and demands. Since 1997, there have been various negotiations, but only President Rodrigo Duterte's enactment of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in 2017 has given rise to the empowered regional autonomy known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
BARMM has opened more opportunities to the underprivileged people of the Bangsamoro. More importantly, socio-economic status was uplifted due to political settlement.
In order to ensure the permanence of peace and sustainable development, reintroducing peace education in the school curriculum is of paramount importance given that it has a separate ministry administering education called the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE). Yes, the Peace Education subject is offered to some public and private colleges in the Bangsamoro region. The reason is to propagate and spread the gospel of peace especially in Mindanao which is jolted by war for decades.
Executive Order (E.O.) 570 issued by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo mandated the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to teach peace education. In Section 1, it says that the DepEd shall mainstream peace education in the basic formal and non-formal education curriculum, utilizing the existing peace education exemplars and other peace related modules, and enhance the knowledge and capability of supervisors, teachers and non-teaching personnel on peace education through the conduct of in-service trainings. And in Section 2, it says: “the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) shall introduce and mainstream peace education in teacher education.
Unfortunately, E.O. 570 is not implemented and peace education is not taught in the elementary and high school classrooms. That means, there is an idea of trying to mainstream peace education but the reality is not evident and how can it be seen if not implemented?
The very reason for the need of integrating or mainstreaming peace education in the curriculum especially in elementary and high school is its potential development in the minds of the learners and that eventually become their values. They will, in the end, embrace the meaning of peace education.
Building a peaceful environment in the classroom and outside is the main focus of integrating peace in the curriculum. The teacher-learner relationship in the classroom dominated by peace education is harmonious since it is child-centered and has no room for punishments. Peace is instilled in the hearts and minds of the children, and a solution to enhance the natural tendency of students to have a peaceful environment.
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