MANDALUYONG City, Feb. 25, 2014—Education Foundation Inc. (EFI), one of the gatherings of laypeople under the 12 sectors of the ‘Choose to be Brave’ call in this Year of the Laity, is pushing its values formation program in public schools in the country to edify young people being threatened by the moral collapse of society, EFI President Naomi A. David said on Monday.
Accredited by the Department of Education (DepEd) to integrate this values formation program in the mainstream education, the foundation, with well-trained workers and confederate groups of laypeople backing its thrust, enters different public schools to “effectively” form the values of children by forming the values of parents and teachers as well.
The foundation has “only 4” people, David said. Since eyeing to take the program to public elementary and high schools in different regions, which execution requires a long line of workers, they trained volunteers to help them push the program across the country.
The Year of the Laity calls for values formation work in as many areas as the foundation can reach, she said. “Very providential, at the right time we got this. We will be going out to public schools nationwide.”
The foundation particularly binds with Live Pure Movement (LPM), a group of Catholic young people whose apostolate is to lead the youth to a life of chastity, in its values formation program, David said.
Children, their parents, and their teachers undergo the same formation, she said. “And then they are invited to join the Live Pure Movement. These young people (LPM members) believe that they have to be pure before marriage.”
David observed that moral values among people, especially the young, have long since been “eroding.” She also mentioned a number of high school students getting pregnant even before graduating, which incidence is high in Metro Manila, but happening in different segments of the country. Worst, a grade 5 pupil had carnal knowledge as young as that.
“It’s sometimes surprising that what you see in telenovelas are happening in reality,” she said. “All the more that is what pushes us real hard. The work is difficult, but who else will do it?”
She stressed that “now is the right time to enter public schools to give values formation,” especially in the Year of the Laity, and the call is to lead lapsed Catholics retrace their way back to church.
The foundation prioritizes public schools, which are more in need for values formation program than their private counterparts, David said. About 90 percent of children in public schools, or even more, are Catholics. Most private schools are also Catholics and have similar program for students.
David’s group sees moral decadence among young people has been around for quite some time, and the mainstream education failed to triumph over it. The foundation is in a mission to help collective effort rebuild moral structure.
She also observed integrity has long been taking an alarming slide. “Everybody knows that,” she said. The glaring examples of this collapse are the shrill scandals associating government officials to embezzlement of public funds.
The foundation is strongly bent to deter young people from taking the course to moral corruption by grooming them early on as good citizens who possess integrity, honesty, and who value work.
Values formation will not do well if parents and teachers are not directly part of the process, David said. Parents and teachers shall not only remind children. More importantly, they shall serve as examples. Only by then, the prospect of restoring values may have chance to prosper. (Oliver Samson)