There’s a long-standing debate on who should teach manners to children – parents or teachers – but after much deliberation, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the measure that seeks to include Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) as a separate subject in kindergarten to Grade 3 levels.
Voting unanimously, the House approves House Bill 5829 which consolidates the proposals made by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and eight other lawmakers.
Taking into account the current Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EPP) Curriculum of the K-12 program under the Department of Education (DepEd), the proposal aims to bring back GMRC as a separate subject to be included in the curriculum of kindergarten to Grade 3 levels.
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According to the measure, GMRC aims to teach learners the concepts of “human dignity, respect for oneself, and giving oneself to others in the spirit of community, for the effective and holistic development of the decision-making skills of the child.”
“The curriculum shall also focus on the basic tenets of good manners and right conduct, such as: caring for oneself, giving concern for others, according proper respect to people, upholding discipline and order, cultivating sincerity, honesty, obedience, and above all, love for country.”
With the approval of the measure, it mandates the DepEd to provide appropriate training for teachers in these particular grade levels to develop their capacity to teach on GMRC. The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the measure should be completed by the DepEd within 90 days from effectivity, once it becomes law.
Learning Good Manners, Not Just Academics
For Cayetano and the other proponents of the bill, young learners should not just learn about academics but also about good moral values.
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“We want to reemphasize that learning in basic education is not only intellectual, hindi lang academic, ‘yung spiritual, ‘yung emotional, nandiyan ‘yan,” Cayetano explained.
“So, hindi lang ‘yan ang magiging focus ng Kongreso na ‘to, ‘yung music, ‘yung physical education , ‘yung arts na nawala nung dumami, dumami ang estudyante at naging libre ang edukasyon, gusto natin ibalik, pero ang pinakabasic tingin natin, ‘yung good morals and right conduct.”