Aiming to give credit and appreciation to students, teachers and the community, who have given their valued participation and support to the endeavor of strengthening tri-people children’s access to quality education through a culture of peace, Pasali Philippines together with Cordaid and Respect Education Foundation crafted the culmination day. For this school year, 2014 to 2015, the Respect Education Program or REP held two culmination day events. First in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat and the second in General Santos City. The latter of the two, which fell on the 16th day of February, included 9 schools, two (2) from the division of Sarangani Province and seven (7) from General Santos City. The venue, KCC Convention and Events Center, came to life as more than a thousand participants composed of students, teachers, school heads, various guests and representatives from both public and private sectors and Pasali Staffs attended the event.
But the glory of the day was not in the guests, nor in the huge venue, it was in its the capacity to let the children speak in front and advocate themselves, showing that a child is also aware of social issues and has the ability to speak and understand it. Roxan Kapawan, a student of Upper Labay National High School gave her own thematic speech. Promoting the need and want of her fellow Bla’an and other IP communities to be respected the way they are. She also believes that respect is the way to peace, if only each person takes its meaning to heart.
A number of children from different schools also gave their presentation of poems they were able to pen for one of the REP’s workshop; ‘I Am Poem’. They were expressions of their personalities and were a showcase of a child’s talent to create something whimsical but meaningful. Aside from speeches and poems there were messages of response from students and teachers, each one expressing their appreciation of how educating about respect has taught them and for the better. Sir Stephen Leornas of Bawing Elementary School even testified that through “the trainings I have went through … made me confident to share my hidden talents, skills and expertise”.
Gracing the event, Dr. Allan G. Farnazo, Regional Director for DepEd XII, shared his own thoughts on Respect. He began by saying that DepEd is the only department in the country where you can see almost all children, it is also in this department where you can find the different challenges that each children faced, and in his own words he said “…ang mga batang hindi natuto at hindi maturuan ng maayos dahil may mga personal na hamon na hinaharap. At isa dyan ang respeto sa sarili na dapat matanggap ng bawat mamayang Pilipino…” Seizing the moment the director gave his advices to the crowd at hand saying that the challenge to a child with self-respect is to learn how to respect his fellow human, even encouraging children from far flung areas to strive for success.
After the day’s activity each school begun to line up and file out of the venue. Pasali staffs also stationed at the door to greet each child going out with a high five and a wave. Smiles were thrown from each side with the children themselves calling out names of their “kuya” and “ate”. Some said thanks; others expressed a hope for the same activity next year and almost every child you ask was certain he or she was going to miss the staffs and the program they have all came to know through the past years. It is after all for the best of the children, a journey to peace through respect, values formation and education by the country’s next generation.
Respect Education Program (REP)
Enhancing quality of teaching and promoting respect.
How it all started