CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 30 July) — Apart from restoring the physical facilities and infrastructure lost in the siege of Marawi, a Maranao educator urged the country’s education officials to make the rebuilding effort an opportunity to revisit the education curriculum.
Dr. Nagasura T. Madale, a cultural anthropologist, said it is important to strengthen peace education and start it among the young to prevent, in the longer term, the growth of violent extremism especially in areas of the country vulnerable to inroads by Islamic State-linked militants.
“Educational institutions must teach the concept of peace and non-violence as an alternative option to resolve conflicts,” emphasized Madale, a retired professor at the Mindanao State University.
He cited as an instance that as a result of the Marawi siege, there is a need to “manage the relations between and among Maranaos, Maranaos and non-Maranaos, and Maranaos and the broader society.”
Interviewed Saturday in the sidelines of the International Conference on Marawi Post-Conflict Reconstruction here, Madale explained that the effort at fostering inter-cultural understanding among the various peoples of Mindanao and the rest of the country “must be boosted in order to increase our society’s collective capacity to address the phenomenon of extremism and radicalism.”
Madale’s proposal echoes the sentiments of the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC), a key institution for dialogue in Mindanao, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, a retired soldier.
In a recent statement, the BUC and its dialogue partners said “peace education is one best antidote to violent extremism.”
“Rebuilding Marawi means restoring broken relationships among peoples and the key institutions for fostering inter- and intra-faith dialogue, and inter-cultural understanding,” the statement read.
“For us, rebuilding Marawi is about cultivating a society that embraces social, cultural, political and…