Senator Win Gatchalian hailed President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of the “GMRC and Values Education Act,” which will institutionalize the teaching of both Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) and Values Education in the K to 12 curriculum.
According to Gatchalian, the new law strengthens learners’ character development and values formation even as the basic education system enters the new normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new law, both GMRC and Values Education will have character-building activities such as role-playing in the classroom, community immersion, teacher-parent collaborations, school initiated values formation, and other forms of experiential learning.
However, given the restrictions on face-to-face classes which disallow the said character-building activities this coming school year, he said that these activities will enhance learners’ experience of the subject in the long run. The lawmaker added that since the pandemic gives learners more exposure to social media and other distractions, it is crucial that they receive proper guidance.
“Bagama’t magbabago ang paraan ng pagtuturo ngayong taon dahil nasa gitna tayo ng isang pandemya, kailangang patuloy ang pagtuturo natin sa mga kabataang Pilipino kung paano ba sila magiging mabuting mga mamamayan. Dahil batas na ang panukalang pagtuturo ng GMRC at Values Education sa ating mga paaralan, mas madali nating makakamit ang layuning ito,” said Gatchalian, the new law’s sponsor and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
Another deficiency that the new law addresses is the lack of expertise of teachers. Between 70 to 90 percent of teachers currently teaching Values Education are not certified to teach the subject. Under the new law, teachers with the certification, diploma, and training on values education and allied disciplines are given preference.
The new law replaces the current Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (ESP) subject with GMRC for Grades 1 to 6 and Values Education for Grades 7 to 10. Values Education will also be integrated in current subjects taught to Grade 11 and 12 learners. Gatchalian explained that the inadequate time given to ESP has compromised how learners absorb the subject’s lessons.
Gatchalian thanked the authors and co-sponsors of the new law: Senators Joel Villanueva, Miguel Zubiri, and Ping Lacson.