The Department of Education and the Department of National Defense have agreed that drill days, military parlance for troop formation under the scorching heat of the sun, maybe over as both agencies revisit a memorandum of agreement they signed in 2018.
In a consultative meeting facilitated by the DND and hosted by the AFP Office of Deputy Chief of Staff Reservist and Retirees Affairs or J9 at Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday, DepEd’s newly organized Office of the Assistant Secretary for Youth Affairs and Special Concerns pitched to enrich the Preparatory Citizens’ Training program while according more protection to DepEd learners.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Dexter Galban, a health, business and development professional who heads the OASYASC, pushed for the inclusion of novel topics such as psychological first aid courses, rescue and disaster preparedness, self-defense and other programs that may be integrated with the existing programs of DepEd and which are aligned with the thrust of Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte’s guidance on amplifying youth programs that champion patriotism, civic engagement, and holistic development.
DND Undersecretary Ignacio Madriaga agreed that non-militaristic citizen training geared toward enhancing learning skills in emergency response may be more suitable and practical.
He added that the Department of Interior and Local Government, the local government units and other agencies may also help enrich the proposed PCT based on their agency mandates.
Madriaga likewise said that teachers who wish to volunteer to handle PCT may be given equivalent non-military training different from those who opted to take a full reservist course which gives them the privilege of wearing military uniforms on certain occasions.
The DepEd suggested that the Proposed PCT be a “holistic approach to develop and nurture the skills of the learners in the areas of leadership, personal discipline, care for safety and welfare of people and the environment to unleash their full potential.”
Among the possible non-military oriented topics for the proposed PCT according to a post widely shared on ASec Galban’s FB account are: Public safety training, basic and advanced first aid, basic leadership training, personal security measures, map reading, drug abuse prevention education, physical fitness, health and sanitation, basic survival technique, road safety and discipline, crime prevention, voters education, volunteerism and community service, mental resilience and psychological first aid, disaster risk preparedness, among others.
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