SCHOOL books if not corrected may lead to a gender bias for kids.

Milagros Ogalinda, secretary-general of the Samahang Manggagawang Pilipino-National Alliance of Teachers and Office Workers (SMP-Natow) said if gender biased entries in textbooks for both grade 2 and 8 are not corrected, children will grow up with a learned bias which will be hard to unlearn.

Based on research from the Asean Women’s Network (AWN) gender biases include stereotyping, depicting a patriarchal society, discussions on books focused on father figures only and under representation of females.

Ogalinda said if left unattended, the gender bias leads to a culture of bullying and a deep-seated bias which will be difficult to unlearn.

The research shows in the grade 8 book Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao, there are 11 entries that highlight a gender bias which either does not use boy-girl pictures depicting work, intelligence and strength, putting the female down.

In the grade 2 level of the same book, there are four entries of same problems.

The SMP-Natow recommends the use of neutral terms as well as teacher intervention which will reinforce that both genders can do the task and clarify that no work is solely for men and women.

Ogalinda said the research was forwarded to former DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro and present Education chief Leonor Magtolis Briones. Both have not replied to the pleas of the group nor acknowledged the flaws in the textbooks.

In a joint statement, the SMP-Natow with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, the Federation of Free Workers and the Teachers Organization of the Philippine Public Sector said “in the current curriculum of K to 12, the selected modules used in this study are teeming with gender biases and insensitivity.”

“Textbooks are the most visible manifestation of curriculum that coveys messages that help share attitude, values and behaviors,” the statement added.

There were 14 flaws seen even in the Mathematics modules with illustrations showing weakness in females like “illustrations showing a frightened girl crying as the dog barked at her.”

Researchers also observed that MAPH modules have 12 flaws.