On May 2017, the whole world was shocked when a group of terrorist came over the silent, little city of Marawi. The Maute terrorists, a group of IS sympathizers, burned down Catholic churches and killed civilians. Schools were closed, students let go of their uniforms. The usual busyness of the streets disappeared, only to be replaced by the sounds of ricocheting bullets. For some, it was a usual scene especially for the people living in Mindanao where conflicts have long been consuming them. But for many, it was a signal, a warning that we are not safe anymore.
The army has defeated the terrorists, and rehabilitation programs are on its way in the city of Marawi. Yet there are still many things left undone, and need to be examined. We, as teachers, can learn some things from this.
First, we have to give emphasis to peace education. Peace education is the process of
of acquiring the values, the knowledge and developing the attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others, and with the natural environment.
We also have to create conversations and dialogues that will give opportunity to talk about our diversity. We can create activities that can give chances to all students to speak up about their religion, cultures, beliefs, and ideologies. In letting other people recognize our differences, we can easily teach them that fighting against each other is useless. True it is that diversities brought some conflicts among each other, but diversities can also make us work together.
Peace is a shared goal. As teachers and good citizens of this nation, we have to do our part in educating our youth that peace is not an illusion. Peace is what makes us achieve more.