MANILA -- A lawmaker at the House of Representatives has filed a bill seeking to integrate the study of the Philippine Constitution in the Grade 12 curriculum of all public and private schools across the country.
Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao said the constitutional provision stating that “educational institutions shall include the study of the Constitution as part of the curricula” prompted her to file House Bill No. 6554, also known as the Constitutional Education Bill.
“In this time when many are talking about charter change and shifting the form of government, we need to ensure that our citizens — especially the youth who will eventually inherit the reins of leadership in this country — are given the opportunity to appreciate and understand our current Constitution,” said Bag-ao.
The proposed law will cover the Grade 12 senior high school curricula of all public and private educational institutions. “[A]t this crucial stage in basic education, young Filipinos will be empowered with the knowledge of our Constitution, whether they enter the workforce or enroll in college afterwards,” Bag-ao said.
“They would be mature enough to be able to comprehend concepts concerning the law and society, but they would still be youthful enough to be infused with the idealism necessary for truly embracing their role as stakeholders of this country’s future,” she added.
The bill mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) to develop the Constitutional Education course for the Grade 12 curriculum.
The course aims to raise the students’ level of awareness and understanding of the Constitution’s history and provisions; and develop their appreciation and exercise of democratic values, such as transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights and dignity.
The course also aims 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.
Topics included in the course are History and Overview of the 1987 Constitution; Nationalism and Sovereignty; State Principles and Policies; Government Institutions and Processes; Rights and Duties of Citizens; Democratic Values, Social Justice, and Human Rights; Active Citizenship and People’s Participation in Governance; Education, Science and Technology, Arts, Culture, and Sports; and Current Issues.
“Through the Constitutional Education Act, citizens will be more informed, active, and participative in the affairs that shape our society. Through this, we will be able to mold the minds of citizens who have a deep appreciation of our democracy and know that they have a role in further transforming it into a system that works for them and their fellow Filipinos,” Bag-ao said. (PNA)