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GMRC bill ratified

Senator Win Gatchalian says Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) will soon be taught again as a regular subject in schools as both houses of Congress approved the measure that will institutionalize GMRC and Values Education in the K-12 curriculum.


VALENZUELA CITY, Philippines – School children outside Maysan Elementary School wait for go-signal to cross the street from a senior citizen traffic enforcer, mirroring the city’s social reformation program ‘Valenzuela May Disiplina (Valenzuela Has Discipline),’ 30 June 2014 file. Former mayor and now Senator Win Gatchalian spearheaded as Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture chairman the ratification of a measure that will instititionalize Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) and Values Education in the K-12 curriculum. Photo by Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

On the part of the Senate, Gatchalian headed the bicameral conference which reconciled differences in the proposals of both chambers. Under the bicam agreement, GMRC and Values Education will replace the current Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (ESP) subject.

GMRC will be taught as a separate subject from Grades 1 to 6 and integrated in the daily learning activities of kindergarten students. Values Education will also be taught as a regular subject from Grades 7 to 10, and integrated in current subjects in Grades 11 to 12.

The approved measure gives both GMRC and Values Education the same time allotment as that of the other core subjects, which addresses the inadequacy of time currently allotted to ESP. Under the present curriculum, ESP is only given 30 minutes per day at the primary level and two one-hour sessions per week at the secondary level.

Gatchalian recognized the authors and co-sponsors of the bill – Senators Joel Villanueva, Miguel Zubiri and Ping Lacson.

“Mahalaga ang GMRC at Values Education sa paghubog natin ng mga susunod na henerasyon ng mga mamamayang Filipino, ngunit napabayaan natin nitong mga nakaraang taon ang pagtuturo nito. Sa pagpasa ng batas na ito, hindi lang natin ibabalik ang GMRC at Values Education, mapupunan din natin ang mga naging pagkukulang nito,” said Gatchalian, sponsor of the bill and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture.

The proposed measure also mandates the inclusion of 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.

To ensure that teachers handling the subject have the necessary expertise, the bill gives preference to teachers with the certification, diploma, and training on values education and allied disciplines. Currently, 70 to 90 percent of teachers teaching Values Education are not certified to teach the subject.

Gatchalian also emphasized that GMRC and Values Education will not be an additional cause of curriculum congestion, one of the biggest pain points in the implementation of the K-12 program. A congested K-12 curriculum led to students’ insufficient mastery of basic competencies.

GMRC was removed as a regular subject when the K-12 curriculum was implemented in 2013. Instead, it was integrated in ESP and other subjects like Araling Panlipunan.