The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law restoring good manners and right conduct (GMRC) as a school subject and a major component to strengthen the teaching of “values education” in the country’s basic educational system, particularly among the young.
Education officials and concerned group of parents noted that the law restored the GMRC as a mandatory school subject seven years after it was removed from the basic curriculum with the introduction of K-to-12 programme in 2013.
In welcoming the signing, education department officials, for instance, said the law would “help the nation to guide our youth to the right path” as contained in the Philippine patriotic oath recited by grade school students before the start of classes to make them “God-centered, patriotic, nationalistic, pro-people and nationalistic.”
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, the principal author, explained that under the new law, GMRC will be taught as a separate subject from Grades 1 to 6 in the country’s educational system.
The new law will also integrate GMRC into school activities at the kindergarten level.
Grades 7 to 10 will have Values Education as a subject where GRMC will also be taught, according to Zubiri.
But more than that, he cited the urgent need to restore GMRC as a subject to strengthen the values education programme and enable the children to have stronger moral codes that they would need to navigate what he called the increasingly “technology driven world.”
Specifically, Zubiri admitted they did not anticipate that the “world would basically grind to a halt and all our interactions would move online,” the senator pointed out, referring to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is plaguing the world
“So the passage of this law is quite timely and I hope it serves students as well, noting that like most of the world, the Philippines has decided to adopt a “blended learning programme” that makes use of the latest technology such as distance learning and Internet.
Nations like France and South Korea began resuming face-to-face classes as they got their outbreaks under control, but Philippine authorities see the risk as too great. President Rodrigo Duterte said last month that even if students could not graduate, they needed to stay out of school to fight the spread of the disease.
The KHDA encouraged parents and students to focus on the positives of the school reopening while ensuring preventive measures are strictly followed.
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