MANILA – The Department of Education said Tuesday its local office in South Cotabato would “revisit and revise” modules that are not aligned with the agency’s policy on gender sensitivity after a Grade 5 student in the province raised concerns over a learning material that depicted gender stereotyping.
“The Schools Division of South Cotabato has already convened a meeting of concerned writers, evaluators, and supervisors to revisit and revise any module not aligned with our policy on gender sensitivity,” said Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio.
San Antonio thanked Miguel Lapid, a Grade 5 student from South Cotabato’s Polomolok town, for reaching out to the DepEd to look into a locally-developed module depicting gender bias.
“This instance is proof that our learners, parents, and personnel are indeed engaged in their respective roles in advocating zero-tolerance against any form of gender discrimination in the community,” San Antonio said.
“Nonetheless, the Department… will not tolerate these kinds of lapses,” he said.
San Antonio added that the DepEd Central Office would continue to monitor and remind its field offices to promote “gender-equality standards and procedures in their development of learning materials.”
Lapid was recently praised by social media users after his father posted a photo of his letter to the DepEd, where he expressed concerns over a module that depicted “gender bias.”
The activity in the module asked students to match certain words that supposedly describe a man and woman. Based on the answer key, men are “malakas (strong)” and “matapang (brave),” while women are “iyakin (cry baby),” and “mahinhin (modest).”
“I feel that this is oddly gender biased since some males aren’t strong and tough but some females are. Also, some females aren’t fragile. In fact, many are strong and brave,” Lapid said in his letter.
“Being a male doesn’t automatically make you a brave and tough guy. Lots of males are easily frightened and tend to cry a lot,” he added.