The teaching of “Good Manners and Right Conduct” or GMRC, which was once the bedrock of values education curriculum in the Philippines, is set to make a comeback with the signing of Republic Act No. 11476 that institutionalizes Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) and Values Education in the Department of Education’s (DepEd) K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, one of the principal authors of the measure, thanked the President and called for greater emphasis on values learning in schools.
“We thank President Duterte for signing this measure just as a new generation of Filipino students prepare to face this new, post-COVID normal. We believe it is essential that we teach our children, not just to be smart, but also to be good citizens of the country. We need to strengthen their moral and spiritual fiber to help bring out the best in them despite any crisis they may face in the future,” Cayetano said.
As the public and private schools suspend face to face classes and shift to online or distance learning in the “new normal”, the GMRC and Values Education law is vital in promoting and protecting the physical, moral, intellectual, spiritual, social well-being of every Filipino learner.
Speaker Cayetano also pointed out that with an education anchored on values and moral uprightness, our learners can easily overcome the challenges of the current situation and transcend to a better normal.
“While the students acquire the needed skills and knowledge to cope with the demands of globalization and modern times, the law seeks to provide a more holistic development and preserve the traditional values that make us Filipino. We cannot neglect the character of our students as they grow,” he remarked.
RA No. 11476 replaces the current Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao curriculum and mandates the creation of a separate subject for GMRC in Grades 1 to 6 with the same time allotment as the other core subjects. Likewise, it mandates the integration of the GMRC in the daily learning activities in the kindergarten level.
The law seeks to inculcate among the students the concepts of human dignity, respect for oneself, and giving oneself to others in the spirit of community, role-playing in the classroom, community immersion activities, teacher-parent collaborative learning activities, school-initiated values formation activities, simulated activities, and other forms of experiential learning that build character will be introduced by the DepEd through the schools.
“When we removed the GMRC in our basic education curriculum, we also removed an essential part of our being Filipino.
We began losing our patriotism and love for country and reduced our traditional Filipino values to mere lessons and readings from textbooks. We need to bring these values back into our lives,” Cayetano noted.
The newly-signed law also creates a separate subject for Values Education in Grades 7 to 10 with the same time allotment as the other core subjects and requires integration in the teaching of classes in Grades 11 to 12.
Values Education will cover universal human, ethical, and moral values with the aim to inculcate among students the basic tenets of the observance of respect for oneself, others, and the elders, gender equity, ecology and integrity of creation, peace and justice, obedience to the law, nationalism, and global citizenship. It aims to teach the values of patience, perseverance, industry, honesty and integrity, and good faith in dealing with others.
In addition, RA No. 11476 provides that teachers with diploma, certification, and/or training in the field of Values Education or other related fields will be given preference in the teaching of the subject, while DepEd will carry out appropriate training for teachers and educators on GMRC and Values Education and provide them with adequate and relevant instructional materials.
A whole school approach will be adopted for the institutionalization and teaching of GMRC and Values Education as a subject, with the DepEd as the lead agency in the implementation of the Act.