By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) welcomed the revival of the Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) subject in the elementary and secondary levels following the approval of the bill making it a core subject in the K to 12 curriculum for both private and public schools.
Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio told the Manila Bulletin that DepEd “has been trained” to implement laws that are approved by the Congress.
“DepEd is ready to implement immediately the laws that are approved by the Congress,” San Antonio said. However, he clarified that in the case of GMRC, the subject was never dissolved but was embedded in the existing Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) subject.
San Antonio noted that DepEd has always been open to suggestions coming from various sectors, especially those that would help in the development of learners. Earlier this week, the Senate approved the bill making GMRC a core subject in all schools.
Senate Bill No. 1224 or The Proposed Comprehensive Values Education Act will be taught to students for an hour daily once it is enacted into law.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, the bill’s sponsor, welcomed this development as “this will allow students to gain real-life experiences in applying their values to difficult situations, but in a controlled environment where experienced educators will help them process the lessons they learned in a constructive and nurturing way.”
GMRC ‘always in curriculum’
San Antonio clarified that while DepEd is open to the revival of the GMRC, he reiterated that teaching “values education has always been included in the curriculum.” He noted that GMRC refers to “old subject or course” that was taught to students in the old curriculum but it is currently taught in the EsP.
In the new K to 12 curriculum, San Antonio said that from kinder to grade 12, age-appropriate values education and lessons relevant and appropriate for learners are being taught.
In school year 1991 to1992, DepEd, which was then the Department of Education Culture and Sports (DECS), issued Department Order (DO) 90 and DO 91 for the inclusion of Character Education (CE)/Values Education (VE)/GMRC at the elementary and secondary levels, respectively.
As stated in DO 90, s. 1991, CE/GMRC was added as a “learning area” in the elementary school curriculum where 30 minutes daily was allotted for values education of Grades I-VI students, using Filipino as the medium of instruction.
The implementing guidelines of Values Education (VE)/GMRC at the secondary level was issued in DO 92, s. 1991, where it was noted that as a “subject” it will revolve around four major themes focused on “acceptable norms of behavior as defined by Philippines society, including rational thinking and value judgment developed through an experiential approach.”
However, GMRC was removed in the new K to 12 curriculum and its concepts were integrated into other related subjects.
In SB 1224, teachers with certification, diploma, and training in the field of values education and other allied disciplines “shall be given preference in the teaching of the subject.”