History education matters. It serves as an important source of what future generations perceive as their personal and collective past. To make the voices of the diverse identity groups in Mindanao hear, sharing their stories and learning from historical injustices they experienced in the past is a crucial step towards reaching understanding and reconciliation. This was acknowledged by the Transitional Justice Report, published in 2016.
In light of this, forumZFD’s Mindanao History Project aims to connect and support Mindanaoan civil society, academe, and national government institutions to achieve an inclusive history curriculum, in which local voices and narratives from Mindanao are heard. The TWG was formed after an initial conference in November 2018 titled “Conversation on Mindanaoan History and its Integration in the Philippine Education System”.
The TWG serves as a platform that enables and coordinates multi-stakeholder initiatives aiming to integrate Mindanao histories with the Philippine educational system. Furthermore, the TWG has set itself the task to engage in advocacy and lobby for the implementation of RA 10908 ‘The Integrated History Act of 2016’, and to provide technical and policy advice.
During the second TWG meeting, members worked on the draft roadmap, which now clearly defines its three thematic domains - Curriculum Development, Access, and Engagement - and a vision on how these should ideally look like in the Philippine context. As a last step, the TWG proceeded to operationalize their planning for 2019-2020, including a writeshop in April 2019 and the organization of a second conversation forum where the roadmap will be presented to the broader public.