Sen. Estrada introduced legislation that would require secondary students to study the Philippine Constitution in order to better understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as to strengthen nationalism and patriotism, among other things.
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada filed Senate Bill (SB) 1443 or the proposed Mandatory Constitutional Education Act requiring the study of the Constitution in the secondary school curriculum to increase Filipinos’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities and instill a “nationalist” mindset.
A "nationalist" is someone who supports a country's independence. They emphasize loyalty and allegiance to the country, which means that the bill aims to ensure that Filipinos, particularly secondary Filipino students, love, and value the Philippines by studying the Constitution.
Estrada said that this mindset must be instilled in Filipino learners who will contribute to a strong Philippine economy, grounded in their commitment to the nation. Learners can also use the knowledge of the Constitution in their analysis and involvement in public issues.
If passed into law, SB 1443 will direct the Department of Education (DepEd) to work with government agencies as well as experts from the academe to develop a Constitutional Education Course to be taught in all public and private schools for junior and senior high school students, Philippine Star reported.
"The development of technical-based skills in learners with the prioritization on the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) must be strengthened alongside the fundamentals of nationalism and patriotism which will be engrained in the inclusion of Constitution in the curriculum for secondary levels.” Estrada asserted.
On the DepEd’s current curriculum guidelines for grades 1 to 10, the study of the Constitution is only integrated into topics tackled under Araling Panlipunan or Social Studies. Topics on rights and responsibilities as well as government authority and democracy are also included.
Meanwhile, the senior high school curriculum does not have any subject specifically in the 1987 Constitution.
There have also been previous attempts to include a separate study of the Constitution in the secondary-level curriculum, specifically in Grade 12.
Last 2019, Reps. Lorenz Defensor and Michael Defensor filed House Bill (HB) No. 5522 which seeks to also include the study of the Constitution as part of the education curriculum to “prepare the youth to become effective and responsible citizens.”
In 2017, Rep. Kaka Bag-ao also filed HB 6554 seeking to also include the study of the Constitution in the Grade 12 curriculum in all schools nationwide while providing continuous training for teachers so they may effectively teach the topic under the subject.
Tags: #Constitution, #SecondaryEducation, #DepEd, #Nationalist