Urdaneta City University, in collaboration with Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) international organization conducted a two-day seminar on Peace Education Capacity Building Program: “Empowering Educators in Spreading the Culture of Peace,” from August 8-9, 2022 in a Hybrid arrangement via Onsite and Zoom Meeting platforms at the UCU Cafeteria.
HWPL organization equips educators to become “citizens of peace” and “peace messengers” through the Peace Education program, with the aim to spread a culture of peace in all parts of the world. As initiated by Dr. Amihan April C. Mella-Alcazar, UCU Acting University President, the Peace Education curriculum will be integrated in the National Service Training Program (NSTP) course of the university.
"In terms of its curriculum and instructional design, this is going to be a very innovative pedagogy or methodology of teaching that you have adopted. The Commission on Higher Education Regional Office in Region 1 has supported Peace Education as a priority among the delivery of academic programs in the different higher education institutions in the region,” Dr. Alcazar remarked.
Dr. Alcazar also elaborated that the expansion of the NSTP course, inculcating the said peace education, will start this academic year, “…so during the first semester, we will have 2.5 units instead of the usual 2 units for our NSTP, and then we will have a continuation in the second semester for another 2.5 units in order to include Peace Education.”
The two-day seminar tackled the twelve lessons that consist of the peace education curriculum. The twelve lessons were developed by HWPL, promoting what they call “heavenly culture,” or a culture of peace, coexistence, and development that humanity creates together, going beyond the confines of differences in religion, idea, race, and nationality. Each lesson has three “explorations” or sub-topics, and each exploration has a guiding question.
Most of the time, lessons presented true-to-life videos and stories of significant figures or events that will support the topic being discussed. After each lesson, the participants, both from onsite and online, engage in ISTs or Impression Sharing Time sessions.
"Most of my faculty members attended this seminar. The lessons that we have learned here, we also have to share with our students… and also practice generosity, consideration, and order to follow… especially my faculty, so that we don't have any conflict in terms of instruction,” said Dr. Mary Ruth T. Cinchez, the Head of UCU-NSTP department, on her take regarding the seminar.
During the awarding, the HWPL organization awarded the university the certificate of recognition through Dr. Alcazar, the Acting University President, and at the same time awarded the banner of peace that heralds UCU as a “zone of peace.” Aside from the institutional awards, as a symbol of the partnership, HWPL also gave instructional materials to the university for the teaching of the said integrated program.