I.D.E.A. 2017 (An Invitational for Debate, Essay and Art) is a high school academic competition
which also aims to encourage civic engagement from young citizens if Mindanao
by focusing on issues pertaining to peace and conflict resolution.
Cagayan de Oro City - November 24, 2017. As the conflict in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur grinds to a halt, and the process of rebuilding from the rubble begins, we are all faced with the question of whether all this turmoil will ever stop. Will the bloody and deadly Marawi conflict stand as a turning point in the quest for elusive peace in Mindanao? This is the difficult question high school students from Northern Mindanao will be striving to answer in this year’s I.D.E.A. (An Invitational for Debate, Essay and Art).
I.D.E.A. 2017 is unlike other academic competitions both in scope and impact. The competition has always attracted the top schools in the region. But this year, the roster got a whole lot longer, with over 150 junior high school students from 40 public and private high schools from all over Northern Mindanao competing, including institutions from the provinces of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and the cities of Iligan, Ozamiz, Valencia, Malaybalay and Cagayan de Oro.
The students will compete in 4 scholastic events: Debate, Essay, Editorial Cartoon and Painting, where they will grapple with topics which revolve around this year’s theme: “Peace through Use of Force: Lessons from Marawi” seen in light of the complications of achieving lasting peace when armed conflict, terrorism and insurgency are involved. “We wish to engage young students in the region to think about and have informed opinions on important local issues and to realize that they are stakeholders in their own communities”, says RC CDO Premier President Marion Hazel Du.
The Invitational, launched in 2015 as part of the Rotary Club of CDO Premier’s mandate to address Rotary International’s six areas of focus, specifically the promotion of peace and conflict resolution, will be a two-day affair. It will be held on November 24-25, 2017 in Liceo de Cagayan University, Cagayan de Oro City. Previous themes in 2015 and 2016 have addressed the proposed creation of a Bangsamoro region, and the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China.
“It is important to hear what the youth of Mindanao has to say about the state of Mindanao.”, adds I.D.E.A. 2017 Chair Anna Katrina Sarraga. Thus, I.D.E.A. 2017 was not envisioned merely as an academic competition. It is also geared to be a public awareness and public information platform on peace and conflict resolution and the struggle for identity, stability and progress in Mindanao.
I.D.E.A. 2017 is brought to you by ACER and Pyramid Consolidate Builders, with the support of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr., Representative Juliette Uy of the 2nd District of Misamis Oriental, Representative Maxie Rodriguez of the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro City, Star Ads, Ororama Department Store and Mercedes Bakery.