Students to be taught concepts on martial law
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – As early as Grade 2, Filipino students will be taught concepts related to martial law to ensure that the young will not forget or be misled about history.

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV has expressed alarm anew over what he said were efforts at “historical revisionism” to make it appear the martial law era was the country’s golden years.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate also urged the Filipino youth, especially the so-called millennials, to study and resist revisionism, particularly on the “brutal and despicable years of the Marcos dictatorship.”

The nation marked yesterday former president Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law 44 years ago.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said changes had been made with the curriculum following the implementation of the K-12 program in response to Aquino’s call on DepEd officials to ensure that an accurate account of what happened during martial law was being taught to Filipino students.

During a Senate hearing on martial law education on Tuesday, Aquino read passages from several textbooks, noting omissions and – in one instance – even included a song, and called it a slap in the face of victims of the regime.

“The textbook that we are looking at is very different from the curriculum of DepEd,” Briones said in Filipino.

The current framework focuses on human rights and democracy to be taught as early as Grade 2, Briones explained.

Undersecretary for curriculum Dina Ocampo presented the current curriculum showing how martial law had been integrated in different subjects from elementary, junior and senior high school.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), for its part, said it was ready to assist DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in educating Filipinos – particularly the younger generation – about the horrors of martial law.

“The facts about the martial law regime are incontrovertible. The abuse of power, corruption and oppression of the people by the Marcos dictatorship are part of our country’s contemporary history which must be appropriately taught to all Filipinos, particularly the youth who did not experience that tragic period,” CHR Chairman Chito Gascon said.

“The CHR is ready to assist DepEd and CHED in order to develop learning material on human rights for this purpose,” he added.

In a phone interview yesterday, DepEd Undersecretary for Governance and Operations Jesus Mateo said the department was also undertaking different initiatives in partnership with other agencies such as the National Historical Commission to ensure that the youth were educated about martial law.

He said they were also willing to discuss proposals from different sectors, including some suggestions to create a separate subject solely on martial law. – With Paolo Romero, Edith Regalado

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