[OPINION] The problem with the DepEd
Heeding the Department of Education’s April 19, 2023 advisory inviting the general public and interested stakeholders to review and to submit their feedback on the Draft Shaping Papers of the Revised Curriculum Guides for Kindergarten to Grade 10, which is being prepared by the Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD), I forthwith wrote a position paper titled “The War on Books” as a means to convey to the DepEd my viewpoint, suggestions, and recommendations.
The proposed Curriculum Guides will necessitate the writing, printing, and publication of a new batch of textbooks, learning modules, and other instructional materials, and I feel that it is a duty incumbent upon me to show the makers and creators of these new curriculum guides the lessons we ought to have learned from the many errors and mistakes of the past, in order to guide them and to persuade them to do it right this time.
It is disturbing to discover that in the new curriculum, five subjects, namely Civics, Arts, Culture, History, and Health are to be combined into one subject called SIKAP, which stands for Sibika, Sining, Kultura, Kasaysayan, and Kagalingang Pangkatawan.
The reason the DepEd wants to come out with the new curriculum is its belief that the old one is cluttered and confused and therefore in dire need of being “declustered” or “unclogged.” Yet, SIKAP, itself already a conglomeration of five subjects, is just one of six subjects in the new curriculum for Grade 1 to 3. From Grade 4 to 10, there are now a total of eleven subjects.
History, and specifically Philippine History, will be lumped together with such minor subjects as Civics, Arts, Culture, and Health and therefore stand in real danger of being diluted to the point of irrelevance and inconsequence. Philippine History will be taught only in Grade 5 and 6. The lessons on the Marcos dictatorship and Martial Law will be taught to sixth graders who are just 10 or 11 years old, and they wil