A member of the House of Representatives on Monday urged the Department of Education (DepEd)to prepare for the reintroduction of subjects on good manners and right conduct (GMRC) and values education in schools.
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez made the call after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11476, institutionalizing GMRC and Values Education as core subjects in the K to 12 curriculum both in public and private schools.
Rodriguez said while it is no longer possible to implement the law this coming school year because DepEd will still have to issue implementing rules and regulations, he stressed the need to reintroduce these subjects “as soon as possible.”
“There is a need to return to our curriculum for Grades 1 to 6 the subject Good Manners and Right Conduct and to Grades 7 to 12 the subject Values Education,” he said.
He argued that young people tend to forget or ignore good conduct, manners, and values, especially in the age of the internet and modern computing devices and gadgets.
“The law is in consonance with the goal of improving our primary education system comprehensively. It is high-time we emphasize that quality education does not only entail strength in math, science, and other core subjects; rather, it includes the moral, physical and mental well-being of our youth,” he said.
He expressed hope for a “dynamic implementation” of the law, which includes teacher-parent collaborative learning activities, community immersion activities, and other self-actualization tools for students.
“Recent research and modern-day education methods call for more experiential learning with our students, especially in building the character and foundation of the next generation. We hope the law and its implementation take us a step further in the betterment of our holistic education system,” he said.
Rodriguez noted that the implementation of the law poses a new challenge to DepEd, in addition to the existing problems the agency faces in the new normal blended learning program that would initially do away with face-to-face classroom sessions.
“But I am confident that the agency, under the able leadership of Secretary Leonor Briones, is up to those challenges,” he said.
Under Republic Act 11476 inked by Duterte on June 25, GMRC and Values Education replace the existing Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (ESP) subject.
GMRC will be taught from Grades 1 to 6 as a separate subject and will also be integrated into the daily learning activities of kindergarten students.
“The Department of Education (DepEd) shall introduce GMRC through clear, distinct, specific, and concrete character-building activities such as role-playing in the classroom, community immersion activities, teacher-parent collaborative learning activities, school-initiated values formation activities, simulated activities, and other forms of experiential learning,” the law read.
Values Education, on the other hand, will be taught as a separate subject from Grades 7 to 10 and will also be integrated into current subjects in Grades 11 to 12 under the K to 12 basic education curriculum.
According to RA 11476, Values Education will encompass “universal human, ethical, and moral values, among others.”
The new law mandates DepEd to carry out appropriate training for teachers and educators on GMRC and Values Education, as well as to provide them with adequate and relevant instructional materials to develop their capacity to teach the subject.
To ensure the effective institutionalization of GMRC and Values Education in the K to 12 curriculum, a whole school approach will be adopted to facilitate the collaborative action in and by the school community and other stakeholders to foster parental involvement and develop home and school partnerships for an inclusive values education framework. (PNA)