/ 18 September 2021

ACT TEACHERS Partylist Representative France Castro on Friday urged the leadership in the House of Representatives to swiftly pass the measure mandating the inclusion of Philippine history in the high school curriculum.

During the virtual hearing of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture, a technical working group was created to consolidate House Bill 8621 with other similar bills.

The authors of the bills agreed on the need for a separate subject focused on teaching Philippine history and local histories of different regions, saying it will contribute to nation building and critical thinking.

“We cannot afford generations of Filipinos not being able to understand the history of our country, the policies implemented through the years and how we can make sure that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated,” Castro said.

The lawmaker said as part of the so-called “educational reforms” under K to 12, the Department of Education, through DepEd Order 20, removed Philippine history from the curriculum of high school students.

Only some events in Philippine history are integrated in several subjects instead of an independent subject focused on teaching the narration of facts and ensuring that the students understand the implications of these events in our daily lives today.

“According to many history teachers and professors, students only learn Philippine History at the age of 11 and 12, nothing else is taught thereafter until seven years later when they enter college, if they continue their studies,” Castro explained.

Because of this, students have a minimal understanding of basic historical concepts and the significance of these events.

“Erasing Philippine History in the high school curriculum amounts to a deliberate effort to make Filipinos forget the lessons of the past, our hallmarks and pride as a people and a nation, and to render us greatly vulnerable to modern agents of colonization and oppression, at the hands of imperialist powers or another Marcos,” Castro stressed.