K-12 revisions tackle same-sex unions, gender discrimination
MANILA, Philippines — Grade 10 students will soon learn about the difference between same-sex unions and same-sex marriage as the revised K-12 curriculum integrates diverse contemporary issues in the social studies subject.
Based on the proposed draft for the social studies or Araling Panlipunan (AP) curriculum made available to the public last week, the Department of Education (DepEd) plans to teach Grade 10 students the concept of gender roles and related issues, including hate crime and discrimination at home, school and workplace.
They will also tackle the definition and privileges of having a same-sex union or civil union, as well as its difference from same-sex marriage.
According to the Family Code, marriage is restricted to the union between a man and a woman.
While there has been a push from lawmakers to pass a bill that would give same-sex couples the rights enjoyed by married straight couples—like adopting children, labor benefits, and tax exemptions—Congress has yet to approve such legislation.
Pay gap, Sogie
The new AP curriculum was also designed to teach different case studies on gender issues, like the existence of a gender pay gap in the Philippines and the experiences of LGBTQ+ children nationwide.
The students will also be introduced to gender-related laws at the international level, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Complaint vs Sara
Aside from the national laws, the DepEd will also teach local initiatives like the establishment of a Barangay Council for the Protection of Children and ordinances of Quezon City and the City of Manila related to Sogie (sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression) issues.
The department also included topics on human rights violations, particularly Red-tagging, trolling and extrajudicial killings, in the fourth quarter of Grade 10.
Recently, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers lodged a complaint with the International Labor Organization (ILO) against Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte for “Red-tagging” the group.
In its complaint, ACT cited Duterte’s March 4 and March 6 statements which associated their group with communist insurgents, when a jeepney strike was in progress and the group called on the DepEd to suspend classes in areas experiencing the effects of the strike.
In their April 19 letter to Chihoko Asada Miyakawa, regional director of the ILO Southeast Asia, ACT requested the international body’s intervention to compel the government to be more respectful of human rights and unionism.“
It is appalling to note that despite the recommendations set forward by the High-Level Tripartite Mission of the International Labor Organization … the Philippine government especially through the Vice President has not relented in its notorious practice of Red-tagging,” ACT said in their complaint.