Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reworking Peer Facilitation

Actually, we have been doing this since the time I was employed here in the University. We gathered at least five members of the USC (representing different genders: lesbian, gay, TG, straight women) and oriented them on women and gender issues. At night, these USC group accompanied us to orient 'dormers' around the university on the said issues. What attracted these youths to join us in our campaign I believe is our analytical frame (feminism). This frame allowed them a broader understanding of the gendered relations they were experiencing (having 'outed' themselves at this 'early' stage in their lives) in campus. Though personally, I believe that these issues are too late for their schooling careers, it must have started in pre-school.

But what constraints us from continuing with this laudable activity? First, it was tasking for both the facilitators and the participants. It can only be done after 6pm when most of the dormers are at their dorm taking rest or studying. Second, the peer facilitators term last only for a year. We recruit members of the peer gender educators mostly from the fourth year class. Concomitant to the second, the unit itself did not design any continuing education program for the peer educators. It was just a one-shot orientation on the issues. This same orientation they will echo to the 'dormers'.

Reworking on the concept of peer facilitation may address our concerns. We can possibly post (manually or virtually) advertisements for those who want to become peer educators on gender issues so that we can recruit from all levels and colleges. Also, we can design a continuing or ladderized educational program for the peer facilitators. Of course, we will strengthen our analysis on the gendered process and relations between and among students and how these are recreated in campus setting using feminist lens. What we can't change is the time (after 6pm) the sessions are conducted. Or we can devise a more interactive session/s with them to lighten an enliven the activit/ies. Hope we can take off again using this approach this first semester...

No comments: