MANILA – Obedience to the government is not the only measure of one’s love for the country, the Commission on Human Rights said Sunday as it raised concerns over an alleged learning module from the Department of Education (DepEd) that discouraged students from joining protests.
The CHR was referring to a Grade 12 Media and Information Literacy module, which had a guide question: “If given the chance, will you join this rally? Why or why not?”
The correct answer, also written in the module, said: “No, because the government has really doing their best for all the Filipino people and their constituents.”
Photos of the module were uploaded last Wednesday on Facebook by a netizen, who noted the grammar error in the answer and questioned how “exercising democratic right[s]” were being taught to students.
There was no immediate comment from the DepEd on the matter.
In a statement, CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said developing critical thinking among children, especially on national issues, is just as important as teaching them to respect the law.
"Love for one’s country is not limited to mere obedience, but can also be manifested through collectively tackling issues of our communities and the country under the guidance of rights entitled to us and protected by the Constitution, including the people’s right to freedom of speech, of expression, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for redress of grievances,” De Guia said.
“We stress that our current freedoms that we enjoy today are fruits of past struggles. Instead of discouraging dissent, it would be better to demand better services and accountability from the government and its officials as part of their duty to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of all,” she added.
De Guia urged the public to continue reporting to the DepEd errors found in its learning materials.
Last Monday, the DepEd launched a formal system where the public could report errors seen in its learning modules, TV episodes and online platform.
Classes opened in public schools across the country last Oct. 5, under a blended distance learning system that includes the use of modules. In-person classes are prohibited until a vaccine for the COVID-19 is available, the government said.