AI-aided human rights education available to Filipinos

Filipinos AI-aided human rights education
The webinar was rendered in fairly simple English language with the help of Artificial intelligence (AI) instructors and speech to guide participants in the understanding of their basic rights and freedoms. Shareware webinar screengrabs.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-aided human rights education for Filipinos is being offered by the Shareware community’s group of volunteers in its bid to help educators and parents teach children well.

Shareware Community’s Rights Education University Outreach Program led by Filipino rights advocate and music icon Gary Granada teaches educators and children the importance of knowing their rights through learner-friendly presentations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The group believes that children need to know their rights while still young for them to become responsible adults in the future.

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The renowned poet-songwriter (Salamat Musika, Bahay, Mabuti Pa Sila, Barangay Ginebra ditties) and his team are collaborating to help educators and parents teach Filipino children the value of human rights using effective classroom and beyond-the-classroom learning tools.

The teaching of human rights education is both timely and relevant in the Philippines, where many still lack knowledge and awareness about their own rights and freedoms and why they must be upheld.

Human rights are freedoms that everyone is entitled to, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. The foundational text of these rights is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

To help more people understand the importance of these basic rights and freedoms, Granada together with the non-profit volunteer community organization and its online learning platform, Shareware School, have developed instructional materials based on the preamble and the 30 articles outlined in the universal declaration that guarantees a common set of Human Rights for one and all.

Human Rights Wall Flag and Poster

The 30 articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of the United Nations are represented by child-friendly symbols on the wall flag and instructional materials created by the Shareware School organization. Photo from Shareware School.

The organization and its volunteers crafted a colorful wall flag and poster with child-friendly symbols representing the human rights concepts enshrined in the United Nations document, which help make these concepts of the ideal more concrete and easily understood by young learners.

The group hopes to have these posters displayed on the walls of homes and schools so that more children can learn about human rights as they grow up, and so that parents and teachers can explain why it’s important to respect these rights.

Teaching Children Human Rights (TCHR) webinar

The human rights webinar is open to all learners. Class photo.

The group’s volunteers also host the Teaching Children Human Rights (TCHR) webinar with the AI component for a comprehensive review of the initiative and the group’s mission to have human rights education implemented in the school curriculum for the youth.

In the webinar attended by the Good News Pilipinas team on February 26, 2022, participants watched a three-part introduction about the articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with an AI-created teacher using visual aids of the icons on the Shareware’s wall flag.

The 30 articles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights for all towards a fair and equitable society were presented.

The session also explained how this universal creed of rights could be used as a framework for understanding the progress that has been made since its adoption in 1948 and the current human rights issues that still face society today.

The webinar was rendered in fairly simple English language with the help of Artificial intelligence (AI) instructors and speech to guide participants in the understanding of their basic rights and freedoms.

Participants in the webinar were free to ask questions and participate in the discussions led by Granada, which immediately followed after the viewing of the videos about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The attendees of the webinar included teachers, educational material publishers, media, marketers, bankers, government employees, human rights advocates, and regular patrons of the Pancitan Studio, the Philippines’ first and only live onstage-onscreen-online concert venue which has been staging live online concerts since January to raise funds for worthwhile causes such as human rights youth education work and most recently, women’s rights.

Granada and the participants discussed the various challenges and ways to bring human rights education to classrooms in the Philippines, where it is not a priority in the curricula of most public and private educational institutions.

The Filipino musician-activist stressed that much work still needs to be done to reach millions of young learners in Philippine schools all over the country and make human rights education part of their curriculum.

“If you look at the public sector, for example, we’re looking at 900,000 teachers handling about 28 to 30 million public school students,” Gary Granada explained.

Marketing professional Lilet Camara, one of the webinar’s attendees, praised the initiative’s use of AI learning to educate a wider audience about human rights. She suggested alternative platforms to spread the importance of human rights, including social media.

“Social media is a very powerful tool to supplement the education that our children get in schools…this kind of platform, AI learning, helps in making the message more viral and amplifies the content,” Camara said.

Dr. Bernardo “Aido” Sepeda, the Dean of Student Services and Mission at De La Salle Araneta University, offered his insights on human rights and Philippine history, saying that many could learn from Filipino nationalists like Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno, who fought against military rule in the country alongside other Lasallian Heroes of Peace whose stories earned for Good News Pilipinas the 2022 Lasallian Scholarum Award.

“Ang daming pwedeng matutunan sa mga katulad ni Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno…pinagdiriwang po natin (ngayon) ang isang daang taong kapanganakan ng idol natin pag dating sa human rights advocacy,” Dr. Bernardo “Aido” Sepeda shared.

Sepeda invited others to learn more about the history of human rights in the country through the book he authored on the life of the late senator and legal luminary, Ka Pepe, who lobbied for the rights of survivors and victims of martial law under the rule of dictator former President Marcos.

Sepeda’s work, “Jose “Ka Pepe” Wright Diokno: Makatao, Makabayan,” was recently relaunched as an e-book as part of the celebration of the former senator and human rights champion’s birth centenary this year.

The participants of the webinar were also given access to an online crash course on the Shareware School website which contained the UDHR videos from the session and other learning materials.

Here’s how to sign up for the Integrative Review of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Parents and Teachers.

About the Shareware School

Shareware Inc. is a volunteer non-profit based in the Philippines that is dedicated to developing tools that help equip teachers and parents in advancing Formative Years Rights Education.

Its online learning platform, Shareware School, aims to develop and deliver analytic tools and short courses that help instructors in simplifying, clarifying, and quickening the teaching of integrative Human Rights and Citizenship education to a large number of learners.

How to Volunteer

Those interested in the work of the Shareware School of Citizenship and Human Rights Education (SSOCAHRE) and who wish to volunteer as home-based human rights educators can join its Facebook group to find out more.

The non-partisan, non-electoral Guild of Human Rights Adherents and Educators gathered in the “Mamamayan” Facebook group of the Shareware community is conducting discussions pertaining to each article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Join the Facebook group through this link.

SHARE this article to support Gary Granada and the Shareware community’s mission to make human rights education in the Philippines more accessible for the youth.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.