Why not current events in K-to-12 curriculum? asks lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines — Are young Filipinos so glued to social media that they lack critical thinking?
Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia sought to cure the youth’s apathy to political discussions by filing House Bill No. 6418, or the Current Events Education Act, seeking the inclusion of current events in the K-12 curriculum, such as in social studies, civics or media studies and other subjects “as may be determined by the Department of Education (DepEd).”
The measure, which was referred on Monday to the House committee on basic education and culture, aims to “strengthen the civic consciousness of Filipino learners” and encourage them to be active in political discourse.
De Venecia cited a 2018 Far Eastern University public policy center study that 86 percent of Gen Z students age 17 to 24 “never take a stand as far as their political views or opinions are concerned” and concluded that “Filipino youth are generally apathetic toward political discussions.”
Further, he said a 2021 Social Weather Stations finding that 51 percent of Filipinos have difficulty in distinguishing accurate from fake news was an “alarming reality of the lack of an informed and politically engaged citizenry.”
Understanding the world
The bill defines “current events” as “any factual political, economic or social occurrences of interest, relevance or importance in the locality, country or the world happening in the present time.”
De Venecia said it would strengthen students’ understanding of world affairs and sociopolitical engagement and “train teachers in media literacy and innovations in their pedagogy.”
The bill tasks DepEd to ensure that “current events materials will remain as factual as possible” and to train teachers in handling current events discussions and provide them with relevant instructional materials.
Schools must subscribe to such materials as newspapers, magazines, and books.
The bill stated: “Students in class activities discussing current events shall be afforded their constitutional freedom of expression.”
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