February 22 ------ The Senate has approved the bill making Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) a core subject under the K to 12 curriculum both in private and public institutions. Senate Bill No. 1224 (The proposed Comprehensive Values Education Act) will be taught to elementary and senior high school students for an hour daily once it is enacted into law. Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, sponsor of the bill, welcomed this development as this would allow students to acquire values and apply these in real life experience.
Gatchalian said the bill specifically mandates values education curriculum to include 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 undertakings. “This will allow students to gain real-life experiences in applying their values to difficult situations, but in a controlled environment where experienced educators will help them process the lessons they learned in a constructive and nurturing way,” Gatchalian added.
The measure proposes a mother tongue-based multilingual education approach to be adopted in teaching values education to ensure that the subject is accessible and user-friendly to students. It also mandates the Department of Education (DepEd), in coordination with the Commission on Filipino Language and in collaboration with education academic and research institutions to formulate a mother tongue-based multilingual framework for teaching and learning.
Under the bill, teachers with certification, diploma and training in the field of values education and other allied disciplines shall be given preference in the teaching of the subject. Presently, educators noted that 70 to 90 percent of those teaching values education have no proper certification. Under the measure, DepEd shall conduct an annual review of the institutionalization of comprehensive values education in the K to 12 program curriculum to ensure its proper implementation and assess student learning outcomes for the purpose of determining its efficacy.
Once the bill become a law, the DepEd will also be tasked to establish linkages and provide the necessary support to strengthen parent-teacher partnerships to enable parents to perform their vital role in the effective institutionalization of the values formation education.