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Manila, Philippines — Civic education stakeholders all over the country gathered on April 27-29, 2023 at the Diamond Hotel, Manila for the annual Civic Education Summit organized by the Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) project.

Themed “Elevating Civic Education Skills in the 21st Century”, the three-day event aims to elevate the discourse and understanding on civic education in the country. The summit also highlighted online and offline innovative approaches in civic education that can strengthen the civic knowledge and skills of educators and learners.

The annual summit is a flagship activity of YouthLed, a project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Asia Foundation. The Civic Education Summit 2023 featured presentations and discussions on emerging findings on the current state of civic education in the Philippines including concrete plans to enhance it in both formal and informal sectors. Educators also showcased their experiences and pedagogical innovations on civic education teaching. YouthLed, on the other hand, put forth training opportunities and resources for educators and the youth such as the Project Citizen and Sibika Hubs.

Other topics for the three-day event include updates on upcoming education reforms that promote the civic education agenda, emerging findings on the assessment of civic education in the K-12 basic education, and a presentation of a roadmap of institutionalizing civic education in the country.

Present at the Summit was Assistant Secretary Dexter Galban from the Department of Education who relayed a message from Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte reinforcing the role of civic education in promoting good governance. “Civic education is indeed instrumental in harnessing the participation of the Filipino youth in promoting good governance guided by our common democratic ideals.”

Asec. Galban furthers that, “the Department of Education endeavors to effectively and holistically integrate civic education in our curriculum and our operations.” Ryan Washburn, Mission Director to the Philippines, Pacific Islands, and Mongolia at the USAID, also emphasized major developments to mainstream and institutionalize civic education across the country.

“USAID is supporting The Asia Foundation in preparing to formalize its partnership with the Department of Education so that civic education will be given priority throughout the DepEd Regional Offices. We are also launching Project Citizen, a civic education approach that allows students a hands-on experience in understanding how public policy impacts their lives.

“USAID is happy to support these initiatives where stakeholders work together to build an environment where democracies can thrive,” Washburn underscored.

The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative, Sam Chittick, also showed his support reinforcing The Foundation’s commitment towards improving the country’s education system through the YouthLed project.

“It’s one of the goals of YouthLed to assist in the evolution of civic education and increasing the knowledge, skills, and actions on civic rights, duties, and responsibilities among Filipino youth.We believe that civic education is fundamental in building the capacity of youth for meaningful participation in nation-building and sustaining the engagement to strengthen the country’s democracy.”

Natalie Christine Jorge, Chief of Party of the YouthLed, is optimistic about the opportunity for various stakeholders to come together and be part of the process.

“21st century civic education requires us to move beyond building good citizens to building a democratically engaged citizenry. This summit provides us an opportunity to bring together the academe, civil society, government, and the youth to share their experiences, learn, and elevate the discourse on civic education. While we have achieved gains in recent years, we need everyone’s support to continue and sustain what we have started,” Natalie shared.

Aside from a series of discussions, the summit also featured YouthLed’s resources on civic education developed in collaboration with civil society organizations, academic institutions, youth-led organizations, and the government.

YouthLed also launched its Sibika Hubs at the summit which pushes its goal further on institutionalizing civic education in the country. Sibika Hubs are centralized resource, network, and community hubs that aim to make civic education and engagement accessible among Filipino youth in the country. The hubs are currently piloted in the University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo and FAITH Colleges in Batangas.


Jann Adriel Nisperos
Communications Officer
Youth Leadership for Democracy | The Asia Foundation

Anne Camille Brion
Communications Officer
Youth Leadership for Democracy | The Asia Foundation

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