Senator Santiago wants voters’ ed taught in HS
MANILA, Philippines—With the future of the country dependent on the youth, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has proposed that they receive voter education in high school to enlighten them on their right and duty to vote and preserve the integrity of the electoral process.
In a bill she filed last week, Santiago said the participation of the youth in public affairs was crucial to a democracy.
Election officials and watchdog groups had aired similar proposals to teach voter education in school to better prepare the younger generation for their civic responsibilities.
“Educating the youth through formal instruction of the right to vote and of the electoral system…is one of the most effective approaches to ensure that they are aware of how to contribute to nation-building, and that they would act according to such knowledge,” said Santiago in her explanatory note to the measure.
Her bill would make voter education a subject in junior high school.
The subject should include educated voting, focusing on attitudes and behaviors a voter must adopt to ensure fair, free and honest elections. It should focus on the importance of participating in elections in a manner that will stimulate and strengthen democracy.
Supplementary topics should also be tackled, delving into the country’s political system, the contextual background of elections, current political, social and economic issues affecting elections, and solutions to address them.
Other topics in the syllabus should focus on the concept of suffrage, and on the electoral system and process.
The Department of Education (DepEd) would be tasked with implementing the measure. All schools offering secondary education would also be required to stock in their libraries an adequate number of textbooks and primers on voter education to be issued by the DepEd.
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