By Charissa Luci-Atienza
To make the youth socially conscious and politically mature, lawmakers are proposing to include the study of the 1987 Constitution as a subject in the curriculum of senior high school students under the K to 12 program.
Iloilo Reps. Lorenz Defensor and Michael Gorriceta said the 1987 Constitution itself provides for the inclusion of the study of the Constitution in the curriculum of all educational institutions.
“However, despite this mandate, the teaching of the Constitution has not been effectively carried out,” they said.
“Republic Act No. 10553, the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, was principally enacted to enable basic education graduates to gain mastery of core competencies and skills. Unfortunately, the study of the Constitution was not included in the basic education program,” they said.
They filed House Bill No. 5522 mandating the Department of Education (DepEd) to include the study of the Constitution as a subject in the curriculum of the K to 12 program, particularly the senior high school students.
Defensor said their bill is aimed at inculcating among the senior high school students a sense of nationalism and patriotism, and develop the understanding on the fundamental principles of freedom and liberty as enshrined under the Bill of Rights.
Gorriceta said the bill also seeks to promote social justice and the values of honesty and accountability in government, the public office being a public trust, and uphold the ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people by providing patrimony and territory, and respect for the rule of law.
“The importance of the study of the Constitution cannot be overemphasized. The Constitution being the fundamental source of powers, rights and obligations of the citizens and the government must be inculcated in the minds of the youth to enable them to become citizens with social conscience and political maturity, proud of their country, culture and people. Knowledge of the Constitution will prepare the youth to become effective and responsible citizens,” they said.
HB 5522 mandates the DepEd, in consultation with the Commission on Higher Education, to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act within 60 days from its effectivity.
A similar bill was earlier filed by Antipolo City Rep. Resurreccion Acop.
Under House Bill 608, the proposed “Constitutional Education Act of 2019,” Acop is seeking the integration of constitutional education in the curricula of Grade 12 senior high school students in all educational institutions.
“The Constitutional Education course for Grade 12 students seeks to foster their understanding and practice of active citizenship and people’s participation in government processes and equip them with the knowledge of the Constitution that they can use in their analysis and involvement in public issues,” Acop said.