Teachers laud bill on return of History subject

We must strenghten not just teaching of history, but also of culture and art and language and literature in all levels of education,

August 7, 2022

Senator Robinhood “Robin” Padilla has filed a bill that will mandate the high school curriculum to include Philippine History as a subject again, as it will help the youth shape the country and its people.

Padilla filed Senate Bill 451 in hopes the teaching of Philippine history will aid the youth in understanding how the society they live in came to be through time.

“To lead this nation into the future would require an understanding of the country’s historical roots and cultural heritage in ideally all levels of formal education,” Padilla said in his bill.

Meanwhile, a teachers’ group expressed its appreciation for Padilla’s bill.

“We are happy because a proposed bill has already been filed (in the Senate) for the return of the teaching of Philippine History in secondary schools. It is very much important today to further strenghten the children’s appreciation and love for our history,” Benjo Basas, chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition, told Daily Tribune.

“We must strenghten not just teaching of history, but also of culture and art and language and literature in all levels of education,” Basas added.

While Padilla acknowledged that Asian Studies and World History are included in the Social Studies curriculum in the K-to-12 program, he lamented the removal of Philippine History from the high school curriculum in 2014 as a result of Department of Education (DepEd) Order 20.

Although supporters of the revised curriculum claimed that the discussion of events in the country’s history is naturally integrated into several subjects, the solon believed that there must be an independent and definitive subject that comprehensively focuses on studying the country’s history.

“It is truly unfortunate for our youth, whom we dub as the hope and future of our nation, to be stripped of the opportunity to wade through the books of our invaluable past,” Padilla said.

“Lest we forget the old saying that to deny and obliterate people their own understanding of their history is the most effective way to destroy them. In this representation’s hope to steer clear from such peril, the passage of this bill is earnestly sought,” he continued.

Teacher Hannah Dionela, who teaches Araling Panlipunan — Kasaysayang Pandaigdig and Kasaysayan ng Pilipinas at San Bartolome High School in Novaliches, Quezon City, said Philippine History should be taught in Junior High School (Grades 7 to 10) and college.

Dionela, a Grade 8 teacher, noted that Philippine History should be taught to Grade 1 pupils to be able to inculcate in every Filipino child the spirit of nationalism to have a genuine concern for each other.

“At this time, how can we show our love for our country if we lack knowledge of our own country, according to our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. To know your future, you must go back and study your history. If you are not careful and don’t study history, you may repeat the mistakes of the past,” she told Daily Tribune in an interview.

According to Padilla’s bill, the Philippine History subject should be designed to instill patriotism and should include the history, culture, and identity of the Bangsamoro and indigenous people.

It also aims to foster “critical thinking and discourse” on the effects and relevance of Philippine historical events, people, and movements to the present, as well as to comprehend the Filipinos’ roots, which are founded on facts and a strong historical tradition, patriotism and national identity.

In 2014, the second year of the K-to-12 program’s implementation, the Education department removed the teaching of Philippine history in secondary schools.

Under DepEd Order 20, S. 2014, Kasaysayan ng Pilipinas, which was previously taught in first year high school or Grade Seven, was removed in favor of Araling Asyano.

NEIL ALCOBER


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