We are six billion souls on this planet who everyday are getting educated about living and dying – six billion individuals valuing, believing, thinking doing different things.
At millennium’s end, there’s still about a billion excluded because of basic illiteracy. Education for all is still more vision than reality. While education has helped us read asd write the past, it should also enable us to read and write a better future.
What to learn, how to learn, how to evaluate what and how we learn are the key questions for learning sustainability a kind of education which enables us to explain the ways of unsustainability and to do something about it.
We need a kind of education that results in greater equality and justice, in an inclusive society, in shifts of thought and action, toward a more sustainable society.
To this, the PRRM’s Conrado Benitez Institute for Sustainability (CBIS) proposes education for sustainability – a kind of education that enables us to question the fundamental assumptions, values and institutions of the present order of things and to assist us to see the pathways to sustainable future.
CBIS further believes that education is a life long process where each individual shares in the responsibility of educating all memebers of the community towards raising their quality of life. CBIS serves as the main training, research and technical assistance arm of the Movement. The CBIS have a faculty drawn from among PRRM’s Board of Trustees, chapter members, staff and partner people’s organizations, as well as from other training institutes, NGOs and POs. In other words, it operates as a community of knowledge rather than as a single, isolated institution. This is to ensure that it is able to draw from the widest possible source of “best practices” in sustainable development for sharing through its training and publications programs.
The CBIS is envisioned to be a school/learning system challenging mainstream education and thinking, engaged in research and development of sustainable development practices. Seven (7) priority courses were developed based on PRRM’s field experiences as well as exchanges with other groups. These are:
One of the Institute’s most important thrusts is the legitimization of alternative/non-traditional education. Towards this end, the CBIS shall propose and lobby for the recognition of operational mechanisms for equivalency of formal and non-formal initiatives. The Institute shall develop partnerships with local and international education networks/institutes to initially come up with a concept paper for an alternative certifying body, and pursue joint projects with regional/international networks and institutions.
Another important function of the CBIS is to link with and provide education support to local rural movements. This entails the design and implementation of an education track for each Provincial Rural Reconstruction Movement (ProRRM), the maintenance of local “community gardens” as learning sites/mechanisms, the development of local databases and local education programs, and the establishment and management of local learning centers (LLCs), including the definition of focal education themes.
Local Community Learning Centers
March 8, 2014, Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Quezon City, Philippines