Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) officially launched its first and only SIBIKA Hub for the National Capital Region in FEU High School (FEU HS), a student-centered educational institution for junior and senior high school in the country, last March 15. This establishes the institution as the central hub for civic education and platform for the Filipino youth in the region to participate in civic engagement activities.

YouthLed, a joint project of the United States Agency for International Development and The Asia Foundation, introduce the hub as a centralized resource, network, and community hub on civic education and engagement established in high schools. It aims to enhance civic education and engagement among Filipino youth to strengthen participation in democratic governance and positive development.

“YouthLed believes that a strong foundation of civic education leading to good governance and active citizenship is an important aspect of a functioning and democratic nation. One of our pathways to contribute to this is through the institutionalization of civic education in the Philippines,” said Assistant Program Officer for Civic Education at The Asia Foundation Jenica Czarina Mendez.

FEU HS will be an avenue to allow different stakeholders from the government, private sector, civil society, and the youth sector to collaborate on initiatives relevant to civic education engagement. Aside from the institution, there are seven more SIBIKA Hubs for various communities nationwide.

“The SIBIKA Hub of FEU High School shall represent more than just a physical space. It will embody our dedication to fostering civic education and active participation in our community. We are honored to serve as a hub for civic education for the region,” said FEU HS director for Academic Affairs Dr. Stephen Jay D. Co.

Through the FEU HS Sibika Hub, youth in NCR will be able to access other YouthLed-supported initiatives such as #DemocracyEveryday video series, Sibika.ph, Democracy Talks, and Project Citizen.

Democracy Talks

Kicking off the hub’s activities, FEU HS conducted its first Democracy Talk, a series of learning sessions and platform for the youth to discuss and understand emerging issues that involve them. FEU HS will dive into three very important aspects of this initiative: voter education, arts and culture, and gender and equality education.

After the launch, the first series of Democracy Talks, “The Voter Psychology: Paano nga ba nag-iisip ang botanteng Pilipino?” was conducted, showing the Filipino’s voting behavior in the 2022 national elections. Cleve Arguelles, CEO of WR Numero Research, discussed Filipino voter moral panics, scrutinizing surveys and its correlation between values and political behavior literature as well as highlighting its dual impact on enabling and disabling ideal political behavior.

Conversely, ADHIKA PH, Inc. Executive Director Irish Santiago delved into how the needs of Filipinos impact their voting decisions. “Filipinos’ voting preference is influenced by their personalistic trait. While we try to provide as much as possible the Filipino voter empowerment, we need to understand what the needs of these people and its community are,” she said.

FEU HS will host Democracy Talks on Gender Equality, as well as Arts and Culture featuring “Kung Paano Nanalo sa Karera si Rosang Taba” by Dulaang UP, with a dialogue session with the play’s team. Additionally, initiatives Project AKBAY and Project TUDLO with the FEU High School Community Engagement and Extension Services (CEES) will be integrated into the curriculum to enhance student civic engagement.

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