MANILA – The Senate ratified on Wednesday the bill institutionalizing Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) and Values Education as core subjects in the K to 12 curriculum both in private and public institutions.
The GMRC and Values Education Act is the reconciled version of Senate Bill No. 1224 and House Bill No. 5829.
Under the measure, 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 into the daily learning activities of kindergarten students.
On the other hand, Values Education will also be taught as a regular subject from Grades 7 to 10 and integrated into current subjects in Grades 11 to 12.
The ratified 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.
The proposed measure also mandates the inclusion of character-building activities such as role-playing in the classroom, community immersion, teacher-parent collaborations, the school-initiated values formation, and other forms of experiential learning.
It also 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.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian lauded the ratification of the measure, as they emphasized the importance of teaching GMRC and Values Education in a child’s formative years, especially in this period of great technological change.
Zubiri, who is the bill’s main author in the Senate, said news reports on teenagers engaged in shenanigans both in real life and on social media point to lack of proper guidance.
“They were left to grow up without respect, no concern or even just a sense of consequence,” he said.
“We need to teach GMRC in our kids’ formative years, so they can develop good habits at a young age. This is how they do it in Japan, and the kids there are unbelievably responsible,” Zubiri said.
Gatchalian agreed with Zubiri, saying “the core of the bill is to create a space in every school day of every learner in K to 12 to be taught on, and to learn about values.”
The chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said GMRC and Values Education would play an important role in molding the next generation of Filipinos.
“If we teach values to our children every school day, they not only learn good manners but also learn how to become good persons,” Gatchalian said. (ia/PNA)