Home > RH Bill 5043 > catholic school wants to hold a forum for teachers on RH Bill 5043 – need suggestions

catholic school wants to hold a forum for teachers on RH Bill 5043 – need suggestions

from ringo:

i head the social studies dept of an up-scale private catholic school in makati and we are planning to host a forum for teachers to discuss the RH bill. Although most of the Social Studies teachers are for it, communicating the same stand to the whole faculty becomes difficult as our school is a strong supporter of CEAP. what do you think should we do? and how do we get over this dilemma? thanks.

posted from here: Ateneo Professor’s Position Paper RH Bill 5043

here is my POV:

  • it is important that you are very clear on the objective/s or what you intend to achieve from holding that forum for teachers. everything must start from there.
  • in my mind, there are 3 possible objectives : (a) convince others to support the RH Bill; (b) convince others to go against the RH Bill or (c) give all the teachers a balanced view (pros and cons) on the RH Bill so that they can make their well-informed choice/stand 
  • the actions you will take for the forum will be dictated by the choice of your objective

having said that, knowing the school is a catholic school and supports the CEAP stand which is anti-RH Bill, to be practical and smart about it, i would adapt letter (c), give a balanced view on the RH Bill.

i  think letter (c) is the most fair of the 3 objectives. it is smart as i think your school will find it difficult not to allow it. objective letter (a) is dead in the water. objective (b) can be insulting to the forum attendees.

personally, i think just getting the school to agree to hold such a forum in your school is by itself already a huge achievement.  taking on objective (c) gives you a better chance of pulling it off.

you can invite speakers to your forum to talk on the various aspects of the RH Bill as follows:

  • the Catholic lay group stand  – there is a lay group who goes around schools giving a lecture on it
  • the Catholic church stand – invite a priest to talk about the religious aspect of it
  • anti-RH bill congressman
  • the economic aspect – dr. ernie pernia of UP or cielito habito of ateneo (or any of the UP or Ateneo eco professors)
  • the health aspect of it – RHAN will be a good resources
  • pro-RH bill congressman – congressman lagman
  • PLCPD – legislation aspect
  • population aspect – there is a group in UP who can talk about population growth trends

there are other aspects you may want to look into that talking  from anyone of  the above might give you ideas on. 

the above is working on the idea of holding a forum in your school. there is another approach.

that other approach is the ateneo professor’s approach where on their own they released a white paper. the Ateneo as a university also supports the CEAP stand but that did not deter the Ateneo professors to make their own stand known to the public. the Ateneo university did release a statement that they disagree with their professors and that they support the CEAP stand but they nevertheless allowed the professors to take their stand.

i am suggesting that you may want to release your own white paper written by the professors in your university. i believe this approach will serve the RH Bill in many good ways. i guarantee you that your white paper and your university will get very high press coverage if you release this white paper. it is also very timely as congress is set to open next week and the RH Bill is set to be voted on. because of recency to the deliberations in congress on the RH Bill, the impact of the release of your white paper will be much greater than you can imagine.

i suggest you give anyone of the ateneo and UP professors a call to get their ideas and their experience for their own white papers.  

these are my initial thoughts. you may send your reply here as a comment or you may send me an email here : wawam.email@gmail.com

also, i know of someone who can be a speaker in your forum on any topic on RH and who you can talk to on planning for your forum. just let me know if you are interested.

  1. ringo
    November 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    thanks for the insights. i will consider ur suggestions. i agree that option c will be the most viable choice. more so that the school already plans to include in the curriculum a marriage and family life program as a support to the CEAP anti-RH bill module called SAFE (Subtle Attacks against Family Explained) which was shown to the school community several months ago. i just realized that my department is about to take on a herculean task.

    maybe communicating with the ateneo professors would be a very good first move, being catholic teachers in a catholic university, they surely could add to the valuable ideas u have shared.

    • November 11, 2009 at 9:49 am

      i am glad i was able to help.

      yes, talking to the ateneo professors will help. i am sure they will share with you their experiences, the process they applied and the barriers they experienced. it will give you a good idea on what you might face in your own school.

      it will be difficult but i hope you will not give up on the idea. i had talked to this person who is knowledgeable on RH issues and he has agreed to help you in any way. just let me know so he can hook up with you.

      please let us know here or through email re your talk with the ateneo professors. good luck to you.

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