LESSONS surrounding the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea (SCS/WPS) will be taught to learners under the “Territorial Issues and Border Conflicts” subject, as stated in the draft curriculum guide released by the Department of Education (DepEd) in Araling Panlipunan or Social Studies for Grade-10 students.
Topics will include the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which will include “Mga Pagtugon sa mga Hamong Pang Ekonomiya,” or “Responses to Economic Challenges.”
The draft curriculum is part of DepEd’s ongoing review of the K-12 program. The current one, while also focused on contemporary issues, does not clearly include or mention maritime issues on the SCS/WPS, or the arbitral tribunal ruling.
In 2013 the Philippines—under the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III—filed the historic arbitral case in the Hague, Netherlands which challenged China’s claims in the disputed waters. The former won the case after the arbitral tribunal ruled overwhelmingly in its favor on July 12, 2016.
The draft curriculum will also cover lessons on controversial issues of “red-tagging,” extrajudicial killings, human-rights violations and trolling. Such are listed under “Mga Isyu at Hamon sa Pagkamamayan (Issues and Challenges to the Citizenry).” Red-tagging is the practice of publicly labeling individuals or groups critical of the government as “communists” or “terrorists.”
Likewise, the proposed curriculum also covers a host of gender-related issues such as same-sex unions, same-sex marriages, gender-based discrimination, hate crimes due to gender, as well as local and international legislation to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual plus community, or LGBT+.
By studying these issues, Grade-10 learners, according to DepEd, will know more about gender roles; issues of gender discrimination at home, in schools and work places; and to accept that individuals, regardless of their gender, are created equal and have equal rights in the community.
The proposed curriculum also includes a lesson on “The Philippine Economy under the Pandemic: From Asian Tiger to Sick Man Again?”
The DepEd said learning about these issues will equip and prepare Grade-10 learners to face “social issues,” while understanding more about the country’s economy and the challenges it faces.