Lumping history with MAPEH a fatal error in proposed curriculum | Inquirer Opinion

Lumping history with MAPEH a fatal error in proposed curriculum

/ 05:01 AM April 28, 2023

Heeding the Department of Education’s (DepEd) April 19, 2023 advisory inviting the general public and interested stakeholders to review and submit their feedback on the draft “Shaping Papers” and revised “Curriculum Guides for Kindergarten to Grade 10,” which is being prepared by the Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD), I forthwith wrote a position paper titled “The War on Books” as a means to convey to the DepEd my viewpoint, suggestions, and recommendations.

The proposed curriculum guides will necessitate the writing, printing, and publication of a new batch of textbooks, learning modules, and other instructional materials, and I feel that it is a duty incumbent upon me to show the makers and creators of these new curriculum guides the lessons we ought to have learned from the many errors and mistakes of the past, in order to guide them and to persuade them to do it right this time.

It is disturbing to discover that in the new curriculum, five subjects, namely civics, arts, culture, history, and health are to be combined together into one subject called Sikap which stands for Sibika, Kultura, Kasaysayan, at Kagalingang Pangkatawan.

The reason the DepEd wants to come out with the new curriculum is its belief that the old one is cluttered and confused and therefore in dire need of being “declustered” or “unclogged.” Yet, Sikap, itself already a conglomeration of five subjects, is just one of six subjects in the new curriculum for Grade 1 to 3. From Grade 4 to 10, there are now a total of 11 subjects.

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HISTORY, and specifically PHILIPPINE HISTORY, will be lumped together with such minor subjects as civics, arts, culture and health, and therefore stands in real danger of being diluted to the point of irrelevance and inconsequence. Philippine history will be taught only in Grade 5 and 6. The lessons on the Marcos dictatorship and martial law will be taught to sixth graders who are just 10 or 11 years old and they will never encounter Philippine history ever again when they are in high school!

My position paper is my response to the DepEd’s invitation for the public to participate in the review process. I hope the Philippine Daily Inquirer will help me bring its message to the BCD, which is now tasked with the very important and momentous responsibility to come up with a better alternative to the one currently being used in all Philippine schools.

The curriculum is being subjected to change every now and then, mostly driven by the personal whim and caprice of whoever sits as head of the DepEd. Our ruined and damaged system of education proves the utter folly and insanity of this constant and incessant change. Change is worthless and useless if it is not a change for the better.

The biggest mistake, the fatal error, of the proposed new curriculum is its failure to mandate the teaching of Philippine history in high school, when the students are more critical, discerning, and intuitive. Given that this is a fundamental error of the previous curriculum, isn’t it imperative that this should now be rectified and corrected?

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Antonio Calipjo Go,

Quezon City

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TAGS: curriculum, education, Philippine history

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