Change kids’ mindset on Muslims–OPAPP | Inquirer News
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Change kids’ mindset on Muslims–OPAPP

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 07:20 AM May 26, 2013

A group of Muslims pray at sunset during a break at a rally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, May 25, 2013. AP

MANILA, Philippines—How many schools serve their students halal food—that which is allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines?

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) recently raised the question as it urged the education sector to help advance the government’s peace process with the Muslim secessionists by teaching students to embrace “inclusivity and diversity.”

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OPAPP Assistant Secretary Jennifer Oreta said the education sector should take part in the government’s efforts to attain peace in Mindanao by “changing mindsets, breaking symbolic and imagined barriers that divide and embracing inclusivity and diversity.”

Oreta spoke recently before a conference of educators nationwide organized by the Asia-Pacific Network for International Education and Values Education (APNIEVE) at Miriam College.

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According to an OPAPP statement, APNIEVE is an organization that aims to promote peace, human rights, democracy and sustainable development through values education.

In her address, Oreta emphasized the need to educate young Filipinos to embrace multiculturalism, inclusivity and diversity.

“How much of the core message of our curriculum actually promotes inclusivity and nondiscrimination?” Oreta said.

Oreta noted that teachers themselves should “reevaluate the ‘data’ being taught and the ‘language’ being used” in classrooms as these “can either encourage or prevent discrimination and exclusivity.”

For example, she said, one uses the label “Muslim terrorist” but not “Christian terrorist.”

“Perhaps that is not the intention of the message; the subliminal message that it creates is also problematic,” Oreta said.

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TAGS: Halal food, Islam, Muslims, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, OPAPP, OPAPP Assistant Secretary Jennifer Oreta
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