The Words of the Ame Family

2-Day Educatorsí Workshop in Tanay

Ria Ame
June 23-24, 2007
Manila, Philippines

One hundred eleven educators composed of superintendents, principals and values education teachers in the National Capital Region (NCR) attended a 2-Day Educatorsí Training Workshop on Character Education at the ICEF International Youth Center in Tanay, Rizal. The seminar, with the theme "Institutionalizing the Culture of Heart in the Family, School and Society", was organized by the Universal Peace Federation, in cooperation with the Philippine Teachersí Association for the Research of Principles (PTARP) and the Department of Education-NCR.

Dr. Alan Saunders, Director of the Office of Character Education of the UPF, tackled the UPF character education initiative with emphasis on program prospectus. In his lectures, he focused on the three life goals, namely how to develop a mature character, how to foster and build successful relationships, marriages and families, and how to make a positive contribution to society.

The seminar started with an opening program with Bp. Elias Soria, the Secretary of the IRFWP, Philippines, giving the doxology. It was immediately followed by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem. Dr. Michael Zablan, National Executive Director of UPF, Phils., delivered his welcome remarks and he expressed his delight in seeing all the educators gathered together in one seminar to revolutionize the teaching of values in the different schools in the Philippines.

Miss Agnes Barredo, a professor from the UP College of Music and members of the Tong-Il Moo Do, Philippines each presented an intermission number. Dr. Ruth Fuentes, the Head of Values Education in Secondary Schools in NCR, introduced the participants from the different divisions.

During the first session, Engr. Joseph Navalta, Secretary General of the IIFWP-Philippines, delivered the lecture on the "Theory of Education." In his presentation, he discussed the need for a new approach in education that will promote the development of individualís full potential, strengthen the family and society and promote harmony among cultures and nations. He touched on the universal and individual aspects of education based on universal values.

It was followed by Dr. Saunders presenting the "General Overview of Character Education Initiative and CE Curricula." His lecture gave the participants an idea about the goals, visions and the scope of the character education initiative of the UPF. When he tackled the topics on the Character Education in both Elementary and High School levels, the teachers were able to get inspiration on how to inculcate character education in the students and how to better approach them and deal with them in order to educate them more effectively.

On the same day, the teachers, principals and superintendents divided into 10 groups and they discussed about a particular chapter in the Discovering the Real Me series. They tried to evaluate the strengths and the weaknesses in the book and they also gave suggestions on how to make the chapters more relevant to the Filipino readers by adding indigenous stories and examples. They also watched the "The Real Deal" documentary video where they were able to see the realities about love and relationship among the youth today. On the second day, the participants listened to the "Virtue and Core Ethical Principle Presentation on the Virtue of Respect". There, Dr. Saunders tried to delineate how the virtue of respect should be taught to the students and how it is also important for the teachers themselves to practice respect in their lives.

From all these lectures, the participants gained knowledge on how to better integrate the values and character education initiative of UPF to the students in the National Capital Region. Everyone felt the urgency and importance of taking and implementing this initiative to their respective divisions in order to revolutionize the education of students in the area of character development.

During their closing ceremony, everyone was inspired to hear the message of Dr. Samuel Salvador, VP for Academic Affairs of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and the President of the Philippines Teachers Association for the Research of Principles (PTARP), who came to congratulate the participants for completing their workshop. BGen. Florencio Magsino, Chairman of the National Steering Committee of the UM-Phils. gave a lengthy yet very moving speech which was a testimony of how the Unification Movement has been spearheading the work for peace and development in the country.

Lastly, selected representatives from DepEd-NCR shared their reflections on the seminar. Mr. Alfonso Rodriguez, an instructor from Muntinlupa Business School, shared that he found the seminar very enlightening and that the lectures were only affirming that the teachers are responsible for the lives of their students. Mrs. Consolacion Diaz, on the other hand, stressed that institutionalizing the culture of heart in the academe will help focus the motto of the Department of Education-- Makabayan (Patriotic), Makatao (People-loving) and Makakalikasan (Nature Lover). Finally, Dr. Estela Santos, commended the staff and organizers of the worshop which she found very comprehensive and well-contained.

In a nutshell, the 2-Day Educatorsí Workshop Seminar in NCR served as an awakening for the educators to be more vigilant in the promotion of good morals and values within the school.

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