2 Cebu universities to set up human rights education center

CEBU CITY, Cebu (PIA) — Two universities in Cebu have pledged to integrate and mainstream the concepts and principles of human rights in their institutions.

The University of the Visayas (UV) and the University of Cebu (UC) are set to establish a Center for Human Rights Education (CHRE) in their respective schools after they recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

CHR is collaborating with the higher education institutions for the establishment of CHRE on their campuses as the academe plays a vital role in achieving a stronger culture of human rights.

“Critical to our success is nurturing institutional partnerships with the vital sectors that play a significant role in human rights education and promotion and one of those most important is the academe,” said CHR Chairperson Richard Palpal-latoc.

CHRE aims to nurture a culture of human rights among the faculty, staff, students, and their clientele.

It will serve as a social laboratory for human rights education innovations and in building a culture of human rights in various community settings.

“Academic institutions have a critical role in influencing young minds to develop and nurture the values and attitudes necessary to create a stronger culture of human rights,” said Palpal-latoc.

The MOA signing was one of the highlights during the CHR-led “Lakbay: Karapatan Tungo sa Kamalayan (LaKaRan)” caravan.

Representatives from the University of Cebu (UC) and Commission on Human Rights signing the Memorandum of Agreement for the the establishment of a Center for Human Rights Education (CHRE) in their campuses. Photo shows (L-R, seated): CHR-7 regional director Arvin Odron, CHR chair Richard Palpal-latoc, University of Cebu executive vice chancellor Atty. Manuel Sarausad, and UC Law School secretary Atty. Emi Rose Parcon. (JJT/PIA7)
Capacitating educators on human rights

UV College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Ramie Bulaybulay Jr. said the establishment of CHRE in their university complements the institutional learning outcomes of the university.

“In fact, that’s why we had the initiative in adding human rights in one of our subjects even before the MOA signing, because we fully understand the importance of human rights,” said Bulaybulay.

He said the faculty members will also benefit from the training and retooling on human rights under the partnership.

“It really suits the institutional learning outcomes of the university particularly the tri-focal, instruction, research and extension. We need to capacitate our faculty members so that we can deliver one of our subjects, which includes human rights,” Bulaybulay added.

CHR will provide CHREs with technical support in the development of human rights programs, projects, and activities of the universities.

“If need be, we are also willing to wade in, building the capacity of your faculty officers and staff and student volunteers as well in operating your Center of Human Rights Education,” Palpal-latoc told the university officials after the MOA signing.

University of the Visayas College of Arts and Sciences dean Dr. Ramie Bulaybulay giving his message during the MOA signing for the establishment of a Center for Human Rights Education (CHRE). He said the academe plays an important role in human rights education as anyone can better exercise their rights if they know their rights. (JJT/PIA7)
‘Know their rights to exercise their rights’

Under their partnership, CHR and the universities will work together for the establishment, development, strengthening, and continuous operation of the CHRE.

The agreement states that the center should be established in an office inside the campus that is accessible to its clientele, with a designated center director or coordinator and a secretariat to manage the CHRE.

The responsibilities of the CHRE include the organization of volunteers, training and accreditation with the regional CHR, human rights education program development and implementation, research and special studies for human rights education program enhancement, and providing assistance on the establishment and capacity-building of the Barangay Human Rights Action Center (BHRACs) within its jurisdiction.

Bulaybulay said there will be a series of training and sharing of materials between CHR and the university.

“It is not just CHR giving the University of the Visayas materials, training, and findings but at the same time, University of the Visayas also contributes to the CHR such as sharing of resources, similar to that,” he said.

The UV official said human rights education is relevant as “anyone can better exercise their rights if one knows their rights.”

CHR has announced that the University of the Philippines in Cebu is also expected to partner with them in the establishment of a CHRE on their campus. (JJT/PIA 7)

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