The Department of Education (DepEd) stands firm in its decision to include the topic of same-sex unions in the revised K to 10 curriculum, a topic that has been present since 2013. In a statement released Thursday, the department clarified that the inclusion seeks “to provide learners with a broader understanding of gender-based issues, encourage respect within the community, and promote inclusivity.”
This defense comes after CIBAC Party-List Representative Bro. Eddie Villanueva critiqued the education department early this week for “inclusion and promotion” of gender fluidity, same-sex union, and same-sex marriage subjects in its draft Kinder to Grade 10 curriculum guide (CG).
DepEd has chosen not to directly engage with Villanueva’s statements. However, the department did emphasize its plans to “consolidate and consider all the comments received” as it progresses towards finalizing the K to 10 curriculum guide.
The revised draft of the K to 10 curriculum guide, released last month, includes topics such as same-sex unions and marriage in the Araling Panlipunan (AP) or Social Studies syllabus for Grade 10. Specifically, junior high schoolers will delve into the distinctions between same-sex marriage and same-sex unions, understanding their privileges. The proposed curriculum for Grade 10 also integrates discussions on gender roles, hate crimes, and discrimination in various environments. Additionally, it highlights case studies focused on pressing gender issues, including the gender wage gap in the country and the experiences of LGBTQ+ children.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines has expressed their support for these updates. They view the inclusion of same-sex unions and marriage in the Grade 10 curriculum as one of the “improved presentations and progressive additions” in the refreshed basic education curriculum. ACT also highlighted other crucial topics integrated into the curriculum, including the West Philippine Sea, the Hague Arbitral Ruling, human rights violations, and discussions on red-tagging, extra-judicial killings, and trolling. Furthermore, they praised DepEd for offering a nuanced perspective on American colonialism, Japanese occupation, and the post-World War II period in the Philippines.
ACT particularly appreciated the revamped presentation of the Marcos dictatorship era, with a focus on human rights infringements, the repression of rights, the amassed ill-gotten wealth, and the severe economic crisis during the time. They commended DepEd’s initiative to “finish the AP subject in every grade level with substantial discussions on contemporary issues.”
With the curriculum’s final version still in the works, it’s clear that DepEd is aiming to present a balanced and updated perspective on pivotal national and global matters to better equip the Filipino youth.