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Education not distortion

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A teacher’s group has condemned the Department of Education for a revision in the grade school curriculum to “distort history” by dissociating the 14-year dictatorial rule of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, the current president’s father and namesake.

A memorandum dated September 6 from the DepEd’s Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) said the “nomenclature” for the term “Diktadurang Marcos” (Marcos dictatorship) in the Grade 6 Araling Panlipunan (AP, or Social Studies) curriculum would be changed to plain “Diktadura”, losing its very relevant connection to the Marcos family.

The BCD informed Gina Gonong, DepEd undersecretary for curriculum and teaching, to whom the memo was addressed, that this was meant to comply with a directive from the Curriculum and Teaching Management Committee.

Congress of Teachers / Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (Contend) said in a statement the move by DepEd was intended “to distort history by downplaying the image of Ferdinand E. Marcos as dictator.”

“This revision by the DepEd is a clear strategy of the current administration to rehabilitate the dark history of the Marcos family. It is also a blatant example of disinformation, where the people are deliberately misled by manipulating historical facts,” said Contend spokesperson Mon Sy, an assistant professor of Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

The revised Grade 6 curriculum will be implemented starting in school year 2026-27 under the Matatag curriculum launched on August 10 by Vice President Sara Duterte, who also serves as education secretary.

“Aside from the political motives behind this move, there is no empirical data to support DepEd’s decision,” Contend said in its statement. It called on fellow teachers to “reject this atrocious move” by DepEd and seek transparency in the revision of curriculums.

“We also demand accountability from VP Sara Duterte who, on top of her relentless Red-tagging spree, has been an instrument of the Marcoses in state-sponsored historical distortions,” it added.

Among all government agencies that should take the most care when it comes to being involved in historical distortion and disinformation, it is the Department of Education that has to be the most responsible. If this move to tweak the curriculum to favor a political family is the result of underlings trying to score brownie points with the current administration, it is the duty of Education Secretary Duterte to reign in such moves and focus on the department’s goal of improving the still-poor quality of education in the country, instead of wasting time and effort on pleasing certain vested interests.*

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