By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
In line with its efforts to continuously intensify its existing efforts to provide Filipino learners with safe, nurturing and drug-free environment, the Department of Education (DepEd) bolstered the preventive drug education program through curriculum and instruction.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones issued DepEd’s Preventive Drug Education Program (PDEP) Policy for Curriculum and Instruction through DepEd Order No. 30 dated July 12, 2018. The enhanced policy puts a premium on the creation of curricular platforms that shall ensure the integration of essential messages across all learning areas, and strengthen key competencies in the K to 12 basic education program.
Briones, on many occasions, has emphasized the DepEd is responding to the directives of the President to strengthen and enrich further curricular reforms on anti-illegal drugs which is part of her 10-point agenda for DepEd. The department, she noted, has always been focused on the preventive approach as part of its broader, more holistic drug education program.
“Drug prevention is a collective responsibility,” Briones said. “DepEd is not the only agency involved in the campaign against illegal drugs…you have media itself, you have church institutions, you have civil society organizations,” she added.
The PDEP, DepEd said, was developed in consultation with key stakeholders including experts, administrators, teachers, education leaders and youth representatives. The enhanced policy also aims to “forge stronger partnership with various stakeholders in promoting PDEP.”
Briones noted that the policy shall apply to DepEd officials and employees at all levels, as well as to learners in basic education. Private schools may adopt the policy, and are encouraged to formulate their own program consistent with the DepEd issuance.
With the policy in place, Briones said the PDEP shall be “mainstreamed in all programs and projects of the curriculum and instruction, covering curriculum standards, curriculum delivery, learning resources, and assessment.”
While the policy’s guiding principles stated that learning outcomes shall be anchored on areas such as health education and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) to ensure progression and continuity, Briones also “emphasized that preventive drug education concepts shall also be integrated with other learning areas.”
The strategies for curriculum standards include the development of PDEP framework; curricular mapping; use of research and evidence-based practice; and ensuring minimum standards in curricular, cocurricular, and extracurricular undertakings to supplement the academic curriculum.
On the other hand, the curriculum delivery involves the provision of developmentally-appropriate, culture-sensitive and evidence-based program; use of interactive methods and structured sessions; provision of well-designed daily lesson plans; implementation of alternative delivery modes and flexible learning options; and conduct of regular education and information activities.
Briones noted that the field offices shall also be given technical assistance in the development, contextualization, localization and indigenization of learning resources which shall be developmentally-and age-appropriate. “For assessment, core messages and key concepts shall be included in the test development process,” she said.
The PDEP policy, Briones noted, was also anchored on earlier issuance including DepEd Memorandum No. 200, s. 2016 (Strengthening the National Drug Education Program in Schools); DO No. 37, s. 2017 (Department of Education Drug-Free Workplace Policy); and DO No. 40, s. 2017 (Guidelines for the Conduct of Random Drug Testing for Public and Private Secondary Schools).