Senate Bill No. 1224 / Committee Report No. 27
AN ACT INSTITUTIONALIZING COMPREHENSIVE VALUES EDUCATION IN THE K TO 12 CURRICULUM AS A CORE SUBJECT INCLUDING GOOD MANNERS AND RIGHT CONDUCT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 Session Hall, Senate of the Philippines
Delivered by Hon. Win Gatchalian, Senator of the Republic:
Mr. President, my esteemed fellow senators, good afternoon to you all.
Dear colleagues, the legislation I am sponsoring today begs us to answer an important question:
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE MUST TEACH OUR CHILDREN?
People in highly technical professions, such as engineers and doctors, might answer Mathematics and Science. Creative-minded individuals, such as actors, authors, and painters, might answer Humanities and the Arts. Our talented crop of national athletes who have brought glory and honor to our country during the 2019 SEA Games, might answer Physical Education. Indeed, I think most people would probably answer this question based on their own personal preferences or interests.
Personally, I think that science, humanities, the arts, and physical education are all important subjects to teach our children, and they play a crucial role in our basic education curriculum. However, important as they may be, these subjects are not the most important.
Before they reach success and acclaim in the scientific world, future scientists must first be taught to use their deep understanding of the complex laws of nature for the advancement of the common good. Before they create their masterpieces on the human condition, future artists must first be taught how to persevere with honor and dignity through the failures and rejections they will surely face before their art is finally recognized. Before they bring home the gold to the Filipino nation, future athletes must first be taught the value of sportsmanship and camaraderie with their fellow athletes.
Mr. President, the most important thing we must teach our children is to hold in their hearts and minds the proper moral, spiritual, ethical, intellectual, and social values they need to develop into upstanding, productive, and fulfilled members of our society. This is the subject of the present legislation.
Senate Bill No. 1224 or the Comprehensive Values Education Act seeks to establish Values Education as an integral and essential part of the K to 12 curriculum. A broad, all-encompassing approach will be adopted, seeking to inculcate fundamental tenets such as the observance of respect for one’s self and all persons, intercultural and interreligious diversity, gender equity, environmental responsibility, peace and justice, nationalism and global citizenship, as well as the values of patience, perseverance, industry, honesty, integrity, and good faith in dealing with fellow human beings.
This bill seeks to improve upon the Department of Education’s existing Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao Program and close some of the gaps found during our public hearings and consultations on the subject. I will discuss briefly how these gaps will be bridged by this measure.
First, the amount of time currently dedicated to Values Education in schools has been found to be lacking. The 30-minute daily sessions in primary education, and the two 1-hour sessions twice per week in secondary education, do not provide enough time for teachers to engage students in meaningful discussions and exercises on values formation. Therefore, the bill converts Values Education into a core subject of the K to 12 curriculum, mandating it to be taught in five 1- hour sessions per week, covering Grade One all the way up to Senior High School.
The bill also puts special emphasis on teaching Good Manners and Right Conduct or GMRC. This will provide significant practical learnings to students about the proper way to conduct themselves according to universally accepted modes of behavior, with a special emphasis on treating every person with which they interact with the proper courtesy and respect deserved by all human beings.
As the popular saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” With this in mind, the bill mandates the use of the “whole school approach” in teaching Values Education and GMRC. Values Education teachers will work hand-in-hand with teachers of the other core subjects to ensure that learnings on values that are applicable to their respective academic subjects will be integrated and properly inculcated to students. Non-teaching personnel and other members of school communities, most especially the parents, will also be closely involved in Values Education. It is an inclusive approach that will maximize the nurturing influences around our students to really ingrain within them the values being taught.
Often, the best way to teach values is to put those values into action. After all, Values Education and GMRC involve such practical soft skills that they require real-life application to be understood as fully as possible. Therefore, this bill also mandates the Values Education curriculum to include clear, distinct, specific and concrete Character Building Activities for students. This will allow students to gain pivotal real-life experiences in applying their values to difficult situations, but in a controlled environment where experienced educators will help them process the lessons learned in a constructive and nurturing way.
Mr. President, at this point, I would like to thank the main proponents of this legislation, Senator Joel Villanueva and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, as well as Senators Lacson, Binay and Villar, for their keen insights and close collaboration in drafting this important measure.
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, I see Comprehensive Values Education, including the teaching of GMRC, as an essential but often neglected part of the basic education curriculum. Thankfully, this bill is poised to bring Values Education back to the forefront in our schools. All in all, the passage of this legislation is vital to developing and nurturing future generations of respectful, morally upright, and compassionate Filipino citizens and leaders. Therefore, Mr. President, on behalf of its authors and co-sponsors, namely Senator Joel Villanueva, Senator Miguel Zubiri and Senator Ping Lacson, I humbly seek the support of this distinguished chamber for the approval of the Comprehensive Values Education Act.
Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.