In 1995, consultations about the Philippine educational system started involving education experts, public and private school teachers, regional directors, superintendents, principal and representatives of subject areas in different grade and year levels. These consultations continued in 2001 until the Philippine Commission on Educational Reforms recommended the implementation of the restructured Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) in 2002.
The BEC focuses on the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, science and patriotism which is the foundation of Makabayan. Values are integrated to all subject areas.To attain this, the BEC, according to the Department of Education (DepEd) seeks to remedy the inability of students to comprehend well at the later stage of their basic education years. However, these are not the only ones important in building a great Filipino. There are values. How does value integration work under the Basic Education Curriculum? What values should be given more emphasis and importance?
Integration of values is considered a main point in Philippine education, that is why under BEC, an English teacher like me would include values formation in my literature and grammar learning plan, unlike in the old curriculum where a teacher would only create his/her own academic plan and a separate values education teacher would create a separate lesson plan for values.
According to the article entitled “Integrated Human Rights Concepts into the School Curriculum: The Philippine Experience by Noel Miranda and Corazon L. Echano, our “curriculum has been restructured to encourage and promote reciprocal interaction between teachers and students; between and among the students or what we call the collaborative learning; between students and self-instructional materials; and between students and multimedia-assisted instruction. This is in par with the interactive learning approach. It was emphasized that Makabayan, an additional to the core subjects: English, Math, Science and Filipino, “will be the laboratory of life or a practice environment for holistic learning to develop a healthy personal and national self-identity.”
Therefore, to attain the goal, the students should have a good understanding of the Philippine history, the political and economic system, local cultures, crafts, literature, arts, music and games.
Some of the following values are expected to already be integrated in the BEC program. However, many are not clearly evident in teaching subjects where academic competency is more favorable than values formation.
1. Self-discipline. Self discipline includes self-control and at times, self-deprivation and sense of responsibility. Students today are taught to develop good study habits through accomplishing assignments, projects and dated school activities. The students are expected to focus on studying to be able to come to school prepared and this root out to the discipline that they practice.
2. Cooperation. Thisis shown through group works and class activities where the students would exemplify humility, attentiveness and sensitivity to others.
3. Willingness to learn. Discovery is the best part of learning. Through the different educational programs, whether local or national, students are encouraged to discover new things and consider their new knowledge their own. Willingness to learn is being open-minded and accepting the fact that one needs to learn.
4. Respect. Respect for others, respect for other people’s beliefs, respect for religion, respect for culture, respect for godly deeds, respect for the elders and parents, respect for the school officials, respect for the authorities, respect for the law, respect for human rights, respect for animal rights, respect for God’s creation, respect for freedom.
5. Concern for others. The ability of a person to be sensitive to the feelings of other people and to feel what they feel. Concern is an act of love. Love makes everything seem perfect, no matter how much hardships one undergoes.
6. Faith. Faith is the foundation of our belief of existence, whether it be Catholic, or Christian or Muslim or any other religion. It is the rock that makes people complete as a human being. Faith is important for motivation – to lighten up everyone’s purpose. And faith, being integrated in BEC will develop the students’ positive outlook in life.
Global competence is not only for the academically excellent teachers. They are also those who could deal well with their students of different characters. Therefore, a teacher should have the following values:
1. Appreciation. A global teacher should have a good sense of appreciation to the diversity of people which includes their religion and culture. He/She should not only maintain the world to himself/herself or to the generality of his/her students, but he/she should also respect and appreciate the beauty of others’ cultural heritage.
2. Patience. A teacher should be a symbol of tolerance. However, this value should not be practiced to the extent that students can no longer reflect on their wrongdoings because they simply know that “you can hold your temper for a long time.” Patience should be an instrument to open an open dialogue with deviant students about proper behavior in school.
3. Humanistic perspective. Humanism is a world view that focuses on human values and concerns and its importance to people, most especially, the young. Having a humanistic perspective will help the teacher understand more the behavior of students, thus, find a way to effectively solve problems and bridge gaps without having to experience abuse of any kind.
The following are most likely be considered to be steps than activities, though it would present an action plan or the execution of the program to integrate values formation in the curriculum.
1. There should be an analysis of all learning competencies which would determine how the curriculum could integrate values in its daily learning plan.
2. Identification of the values which are commonly shared by the Filipino people. These values should promote our identity as Filipinos which exhibits the beauty of our heritage and culture.
3. Preparation of learning modules that would identify the correct teaching strategy or techniques for the integration of values.
4. Training and orientation of the values.
5. Monitoring and evaluation. This would prove the effectiveness of the value integration program.
Values is an integral part of human foundation. Teachers offer a big part to the molding of these values to modern students. In the Basic Education Curriculum, it is evident that the government is trying to refresh the values of Filipino children amidst the character crisis that we experience today. In teaching grammar, for instance, when a teacher tells a student that during work interviews, good English is very necessary, he/she may be inserting lessons or reflections that would enlighten students about work ethics. Work ethics is something which is not given enough priority by values education teachers who stick mostly with their values lesson for the day.
An integration would create a very reflective atmosphere inside the classroom. Even in times when family situations arise from student sharings, a teacher’s job is extended a clear understanding about things possible to happen even in the students’ own homes. At a time when children bring the results of shattered families, drugs and even violence or bullying into the school, teachers should not assume a value-neutral stance. Every need should be carefully attended to.
The hidden curriculum has much to say in the Basic Education Curriculum. Hidden curriculum refers to the curriculum of a school where training and values formation is not taught, but made to be realized by the students. In schooling for example, students are asked to come to school at around 7:00 in the morning. This is not just because the schools want to, or DepEd wants to. This is more like a training of what is to be like waking early for work. The value of sense of responsibility and self-discipline is not taught in schools as concepts, but rather, they give tasks that would let the students redeem themselves through showing expected desired values in every activity. There are many things a teacher can do for their students, but the biggest is probably be making sure that the children will grow in good character and become productive citizens of the society, far away from adding to the nuisances.
How children act today depend greatly on how they were trained in both their own homes and in their school. Many behavioral psychologists would attest to the fact that 50% of a child’s values come from how they are treated and taught by their parents, and the other 50% would come from their training in school by the teacher. It was noted that many teachers were against BEC. One academic supervisor in a private school once have stressed that BEC would lessen the number of hours intended for the Makabayan subjects like Values Education and Social Studies, but the DepEd insisted that it would just be the “hours”. Values integration will be part of the daily routine of teaching for instance. Whatever a student needs to learn about life, he can learn in English, Science, Filipino, Math, and Makabayan, and not just in the subject Religion (for Catholic schools) or Values Education (which is sometimes referred to as GMRC).