Change Agents: a Youth Campaign and Information Drive to Assess and Address the Current Educational Situation
Project location: PHILIPPINES
Project start date: May 2009 - Project end date: May 2010
Project number: 2009-09
ISKOLAR - Institute for Youth Development and Services, was established by the student and youth leaders who aimed to respond to different issues and plight of the youth of Philippines. As an initial achievement, ISKOLAR conducted a Metro-Wide Summer Youth Camp at Baguio City, a city in northern Luzon in the Philippines, which was attended by almost 150 youth and students from all over the 14 cities of the Region. The focus of this summer camp was to give leadership trainings, capability-building experiences, sports clinics and art workshops to youth; as a result, ISKOLAR established School and City/Municipal Coordinators, as well as institutionalized itself as the genuine institute for youth development and services.
The ACPA National Secretariat convened the secretariat of ISKOLAR in August 2007 to lead the nationwide campaign of the Filipino children and youth against child pornography, named Batingaw Network, which conducted a series of successful activities. ISKOLAR, through Batingaw Network, opened additional alliances to community and faith-based groups, school administrators and various sectors in Metro Manila, including the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the National Youth Commission, the Commission on Higher Educations, the Department of Education, the Catholic Educators Association of the Philippines and others.
IKOLAR believes that education is a fundamental right of everyone. However, in the local setting of the Philippines more and more youth are not able to acquire such right. The 1987 Philippine Constitution states that the government must "protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all". However, studies revealed that the spiralling cost of education, concurrent with the rising statistics of poverty, hunger and political indifferences are hindrances to fulfil this youthful task. According to studies, 1/3 children/youth is not attending school. A research made in 2003 estimated that 1/3 of young people within the ages of 6 to 24 had never been to school or have dropped out. As of January 2008, Social Weather Station revealed that worsening condition of poverty is experienced by 46% of Filipinos families who see themselves as poor; while involuntary hunger is experienced by 16.2% of Filipino Families.
The first step to address the educational situation is to review the policies on this matter. This Project is a campaign that the Institute for Youth Development and Services sees as a key tool to address the pressing concerns of the youth education.
The Campaign will be implemented with a creative method, using the abbreviation IDEA (Integrate, Depict, Evaluate, and Address):
INTEGRATE - Integration with the marginalized sector and performing of basic literacy, mathematics, arts and health teaching to the underprivileged. This component aim to re-awaken the patriotic values among the In-School-Youth participants.
DEPICT - An information and dissemination campaign is designed to represent the current educational situation through different fields of arts (Literary, Music, Visual arts, Theatres and Multi-media). Documentaries, literary folios, cultural nights, film showing and photo exhibitions are the expected media to expose the grim conditions that hinders the youth's access of their right to be educated. It hopes to document various indifferences and stakes that pose great threat to the brilliant future of the Filipino youth, such as the pressing issues of poverty and unemployment and the raising statistics of the Out of School Youth (OSY) that opens the gate for child labour. The outputs will circulate through seminars, forums and other information dissemination drives.
EVALUATE - Research and survey to evaluate the current educational situation through the proposed youth camp. The expected outputs of this component are resolutions, action plans and alliances. The methodology to be applied in the research area is the case-study. Round table discussions with Youth-Student Leaders and Government Agencies will provide information and datum for the research.
ADDRESS - Address the current education situation through social actions, information dissemination campaign, press conferences, petition signing, regular consultation with school administrators, government education agencies concerned such as the Department of Education (Dep-Ed), Department of Labour and Employment (DoLE), National Youth Commission (NYC) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The expected results of the project funded by the Nando Peretti Foundation are:
1. Create pressure on government agencies and legislators to act and give their commitment to prioritize the youth sector and their right to be educated
2. Establish an "education supervisory body" composed of youth and youth organizations together with concerned citizens and other organizations with the advocacy to ensure that concerned agencies and legislators are doing their work
3. Come up with a conclusion or assessment of the education situation and the steps that needs to be undertaken to address such scenario.