HUWARANG GURO*: Jahziel T. Ferrer, HAPI AED

Posted by admin | Posted on February 2, 2016

By: Danielle Hill


 

“I want to create positive change through education. It is my desire to
see fellow Filipinos value humanity and put human rights first before any creed
or dogma.”
– Ferrer,
2015

It is well-known that Filipinos place an
extremely high value on education, and compared with other countries in the
Southeast Asian region, Filipino women have always been part of the country’s educational
system – even the “traditional” gender roles set forth by the Spaniards (see
more here: https://baldemor.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/prehispanicfilipina/) put
the primacy of the woman (as a mother) as the child’s first teacher. In modern-day Philippines, where women are noticeably more emancipated, this
trend continues: women comprised 89.65% of primary school teachers in 2009 (see
here http://www.tradingeconomics.com/philippines/primary-education-teachers-percent-female-wb-data.html) and 73%
of secondary school teachers in 2013 (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.SEC.TCHR.FE.ZS). HAPI Assistant Executive Director Jahziel T. Ferrer, a licensed teacher
since 2009, is part of this illustrious number.

Jahziel’s HAPI story:
At a young age, Ferrer was exposed to
the world of academe through her mother, a school owner who made her attend
conferences for fellow school owners, heads, and administrators. She saw that
the Philippines’ private school system is dominated by religious educators. While
she had nothing against the educators per se, Ferrer shares: “It really bothers
me that there are lots of private schools in the Philippines that are still
teaching Creationism and other religious ideas as truth. As a humanist, I
believe that if we want to create positive change, promote science, and teach
our children tolerance, love, and respect, we should stop indoctrinating them. Children should be taught
different philosophies and ideas. It is up to them what path to choose.
I strongly believe that if we want
productive, responsible, and globally competent citizens, we should teach our
children first how to think freely, form their own opinions, and develop their
own ideas. This is the only way we can truly empower our learners.”
How
a Safe Place became something more:
Ferrer found HAPI through the
Internet. Having have come from a conservative Baptist background, Ferrer felt
isolated from her community, and wanted to find a safe place online, where
people wouldn’t judge her for being irreligious. “I wanted a support group of open
minded Filipinos who believe that you don’t need a religion in order to be
good. I found two groups online, HAPI and Filipino Freethinkers. But I felt more
comfortable posting in the HAPI forum since the group was private. I was given
the opportunity to become an officer in June 2015. I accepted this challenge
because of my desire to be a good human and do something good for humanity.”
As an
educator by profession, Ferrer wants to develop an effective humanist
curriculum in the Philippines, and is currently working on such a feat alongside
other humanist educators. “Creating positive
change through humanism and education is my main thrust. I see
HAPI as an opportunity for me to educate people, serve others, inspire them,
and help them reach their full potential.
I want a world where
children are encouraged to think freely, form their own opinions, and develop
their own ideas. I believe that if we educate children this way, they will
become socially – responsible adults who are proactive, productive, and
independent.”

Dear
Humanist World, please focus:
“Humanism, in my opinion, is about loving, serving, and helping
fellow humans. It is about making this world a better place. We rely on logic and
believe in science. We may not find it necessary to believe in a god or the supernatural,
but humanism
isn’t synonymous with militant atheism
. Our focus, as humanists, is
humanity itself. Let’s settle our differences and focus on things that will make this world a better place,
for us and for future generations.”

 

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