During a huddle with local media last Sunday, MSU project-designate Dr. Mark Anthony Torres said the landmark new subject called Fundamentals in Peace Education was conceptualized to be inserted into the new batch of incoming college enrollees.
Torres said the board of regents of MSU decided to formulate the new subject after hearing reports that extremists are targeting the new students in their recruitment.
Torres clarified though that these reports are still to be validated by the authorities.
Yet the MSU academic community is not taking chances this early.
More than 40 faculty members from MSU’s 11 campuses spread throughout Mindanao underwent a one-day briefing at a beach hotel in Misamis Oriental about the salient points of the semester-long subject.
Torres said the three-unit subject will be taught by the existing crop of professors and instructors.
“Anybody from the current college faculty can teach the subject as long as he has profound knowledge of either Christianity or Islamic studies,” he said.
With most of its campuses located at the heart of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), MSU enjoys religious diversity among the student population of Muslims and Christians. These campuses are located in Iligan, General Santos, Naawan, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Maguindanao, Buug, LNAC, LNCAT, Maigo and its flagship complex at Marawi City.
After a two-week lull due to the debut of the senior high school system in the country, MSU welcomes its new batch of college freshmen this August.
In MSU Marawi alone, there will be 5,000 freshmen who will avail of the subject this coming semester. A thousand more are expected to enroll within the month.
“We are there to win the hearts and minds of the youth,” Torres said.
With the project being supported by the US Embassy, Torres said they are also conceptualizing in the succeeding semesters to send students to Cambodia where peace education also funded by the United States government there to heal the wounds of war became a success.