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Sibika in Action. Youth Leadership for Democracy’s pilot Sibika Hubs established in FAITH Colleges (left photo) and UP Visayas (right photo) implement civic education activities, engaging high school students within their academic community. (Photos by FAITH Colleges and UP Visayas)

Manila City, Philippines – To enhance civic education in the Philippines, the Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) formally launched its Sibika Hubs program in high schools nationwide at the Civic Education Summit 2023 on April 28.

YouthLed, a joint project by The Asia Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), introduced its new hubs as a centralized resource, network, and community centers on civic education and engagement established in high school communities.

“We envision these Sibika Hubs to deepen civic education in the country, transcending the usual civic education in the classrooms. Through these hubs, we are bridging social and academic approaches in civic education,” Marion Joseph Villar, YouthLed Program Officer for Civic Education, emphasized.

YouthLed is partnering with schools to establish a Sibika Hub. It uniquely positions each school to implement civic education and engagement initiatives that are localized and community- based. The hubs will also serve as centers for civic education resources that are digestible and inclusive for all youth sectors.

YouthLed believes that this approach will open opportunities for various stakeholders to come together and meaningfully participate in democratic governance in the long run.

YouthLed has piloted the Sibika Hubs program in two schools: the First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH) Colleges in Tanauan, Batangas, and the University of the Philippines Visayas campus in Miag-ao, Iloilo. Both schools have begun implementing civic education activities, engaging students within their campus and those from nearby educational institutions.

On April 25, FAITH Colleges held their Project Citizen Showcase wherein Grade 12 Humanities students presented public policy proposals solving issues such as lack of disaster preparedness and improper waste disposal. Project Citizen is another YouthLed civic education initiative, first implemented by the Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy (PCCED), that introduces students to a public policy approach to solving community problems.

UP Visayas, on the other hand, formally launched its Sibika Hub last February as part of a university-wide civic education program championed by UPV Chancellor Dr. Clement Camposano.

At the Civic Education Summit last week, YouthLed showcased its various civic education initiatives, such as the Sibika Hubs. It also invited schools to establish a hub in their campus, highlighting its potential to become a platform for youth participation and nation-building.

Institutionalize Civic Education. Marion Joseph Villar, Program Officer for Civic Education, highlights the Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) project’s civic education initiatives including its five-year roadmap in institutionalizing civic education in the country.

“Through our civic education initiatives, we hope to provide platforms and opportunities for you to maximize and reach your full potential as responsible and active citizens,” Villar underscored.

For schools and universities interested in establishing a Sibika Hub in their campus, kindly send your email to YouthLed through their youthledph@asiafoundation.org.

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