As partners in developing the country’s youth for societal growth, the University of the Philippines Visayas (UP Visayas), through the UPV Action Research Project of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division of Iloilo (SDO-Iloilo), through its Youth Formation Division (YFD), with the support from the Iloilo Provincial Government started their youth formation collaboration project with the planning writeshop on the crafting of citizenship education session guide for basic education learners on 25 to 28 October 2022, at Zuri Hotels and Suites in Iloilo City.
The event commences the review of the existing citizenship curriculum in the Schools Division and the development of more “ACTIVE” (Agile, Collaborative, Thoughtful, Introspective, Value-based, Engaged) citizenship session guides designed for the needs of the 21st century learners. It was attended by grassroots teachers, education specialists, program specialists, and program developers from DepEd SDO-Iloilo and supported by the provincial government, the provincial unit of the Commission on Elections, and academics from the Higher Education sector.
More than 30 participants and facilitators participated in the event, graced by the presence of Iloilo Governor, Hon. Arthur “Toto” R. Defensor, Jr., addressed the participants on the vision, challenges, and potentials of the 21st century Filipino citizenship. Gov. Defensor emphasized that the 21st century learners “need not only be aware but also be more active citizens” on the current issues concerning the nation’s democracy and development. He also pronounced the importance of citizenship education and the need for it to be cultivated and strengthened in schools. His talk highlighted the need for learner materials that will deepen their “sense of nationalism” and “sense of progress.”
“It is high time for us to capacitate our citizens [the youth] to take part in the responsibility and administration of deciding what is best for our country. Let us capacitate them so they can participate and decide more intelligently in our processes of democracy,” he said. Moreover, Gov. Defensor Jr. believes that it is through voter education that the learners start to become aware of their civic responsibility and that reviewing and developing the citizenship curriculum is a “fundamental campaign for the right to vote and the right vote.”
The four-day lecture-writeshop consisted of discussions and sessions on the basics and mechanics of module development, the young citizen as a learner, the Filipino citizen as an ACTIVE* citizen who takes action, the Filipino citizen as an ACTIVE* citizen who learns from and builds with the community, framework making, and situational analysis and desired outcomes in learning module development. A performance of Imagine-A-Nation from the University of San Agustin Little Theater (USALT) was also presented for small group discussions and processing.
Resource persons for the workshop were the UPV Action Research Project implementers from the CAS Community Outreach Program/BIDANI, Division of Professional Education, and Division of Social Sciences.
Prof. Early Sol A Gadong, outgoing UPV Action Research Project Manager, discussed the basics and mechanics of module development. Her presentation emphasized the importance of engagement with key persons and the community through the CoLLab Model (Community as a Learning Laboratory). She also highlighted the challenges and the opportunities drawn from her experience working with key persons and communities in the development of learners’ materials for high school Mathematics.
The UPV Action Research Project Assistant Project Manager, Prof. Donne Jone P. Sodusta, on the other hand, discussed the topics of the young citizen as a learner, framework making, situational analysis, and desired outcomes in learning module development. He highlighted the importance of using appropriate models and frameworks based on the current needs of the learners and emphasized the need for careful analysis of the learners and their environment as part of the process.
Meanwhile, the Division of Social Sciences faculty, Prof. Tomasito T. Talledo, discussed the Filipino citizen as an ACTIVE* citizen who takes action through an interactive approach, highlighting the need for learners to take part in the critical thinking process. He emphasized that learners need to be engaged in real-life situations and to be taught how to decide between good and bad.
CAS Community Outreach Program/BIDANI Coordinator, Prof. Josephine T. Firmase, discussed the Filipino citizen as an ACTIVE* citizen who learns from and builds with the community. She emphasized that learners should learn how to take space and be engaged in the process of community building, highlighting their responsibilities as contributors to the country’s national development. She also shared her students’ recognized community projects and contributions as examples making a point that learners can do as much if they are properly nurtured, inspired, and advised.
DepEd SDO-Iloilo Superintendent Ma. Luz M. delos Reyes, said: “I am very glad that we are doing this in the Schools Division. As educators, we really need to educate our learners to become good and active citizens. It all starts with us in schools. We also need to invest in a good partnership with them. I am happy that UP Visayas and the Iloilo Provincial government are there with us.” Superintendent delos Reyes also said that the Schools Division is making a huge step in this endeavor and that she hopes for the best in the future.
Division of Professional Education Chairperson and the Project Adviser, Prof. Pepito R. Fernandez, Jr., said, “Doing this task is a big challenge [but at least we have this goal, to begin with]. I just hope that by starting this, parents, agencies, sectors, and society will take part in this process, as there is this growing lack of democracy that is happening not only in our country but in other countries as well. Citizenship education should be collaborative, and with us gathered here, we are taking the first step for a more democratic future.” Prof. Fernandez encouraged the participants to carry on with the mission of educating and collaborating with experts in the field for a more active citizenship education curriculum in the province.
The four-day lecture writeshop was organized by the DepEd SDO-Iloilo YFD and the UPV Action Research Project team. The small group discussions and writeshop were facilitated by DepEd SDO-Iloilo YFD Project Development Officers Ms. Jennifer Pedroso, Ms. Jennifer Cubos, Ms. Marianne Joy Polonan, Ms. Cindy Grace Amor and UPV Action Research Implementers and Individual Advocates Ms. Elna Mariel M. Nanta, Prof. Jeena A. Amoto, Prof. Ronela S. Jundos, Mr. Rey Alexander V. Palmares, and Mr. Prabhat Ranjan B. Ubas. The event was hosted and moderated by DepEd SDO-Iloilo Araling Panlipunan teachers Mr. Nelson Cabelando, Jr. and Mr. Glen Dave S. Horbino. The remaining phase of the project is set to begin in the first quarter of 2023.