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The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to institutionalize values education in the country, after the House of Representatives approved its version of the bill on Feb. 4, 2020.

Senate Bill (SB) No. 1224, or the proposed Comprehensive Values Education Act, will require elementary and high school students to attend a GMRC class for an hour daily.

GMRC subjects were removed from the curriculum after the K to 12 program was implemented in 2013.

Values education was integrated into other subjects such as Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao and Araling Panlipunan, and was taught for only 30 minutes daily for primary education students and an hour twice a week for secondary education students.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who sponsored the bill, said the amount of time allotted to values education is not enough for teachers to engage in a meaningful discussion with their students.

He said that the SB 1224 mandates values education curriculum to include activities like role playing in classrooms, community immersion activities, parent-teacher learning activities, and other forms of experimental learning activities.

"This will allow students to gain real-life experiences in applying their values to difficult situations, but in a controlled environment where experienced educators will help them process the lessons they learned in a constructive and nurturing way," Gatchalian explained.

Values education will most likely be taught in Filipino for students in Metro Manila, as the measure mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) to formulate a mother tongue-based multilingual education approach.

"The DepEd shall also establish linkages and provide the necessary support to strengthen parent-teacher partnerships to enable parents to perform their vital role in the effective institutionalization of the values formation education," the bill said.

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