By Teachers Dignity Coalition chairman Benjo Basas
Members of the Teachers Dignity Coalition participated in protests on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, to commemorate the 160th birth anniversary of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio. The group joined the multi-sectoral gathering of people’s organizations calling for just wages and pro-people policies.
On its part, the TDC restated the need to strengthen the curriculum, particularly in the areas of Philippine history, literature, arts, and culture, as well as other social science and humanities courses. Along with other long-overdue benefits for teachers, the group demanded an immediate pay increase, the implementation of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, reforms to the Government Service Insurance System, funding for classrooms instructional materials, and other school facilities, as well as non-wage incentives like housing and medical assistance.
Ang mga usapin ng kahirapan at inhustisya ay mga dati nang suliraning kinakaharap ng ating mga ninuno, ito ang dahilan kung bakit may himagsikan noon. Ang buhay ni Bonifacio at punumpuno ng aral ng kasaysayan na hindi dapat malimutan ng mga mamamayan lalo na ng mga kabataan.
(The issues of poverty and injustice are old problems faced by our ancestors. This is why there was a rebellion. Bonifacio’ life is filled with lessons from history that the citizens should not forget, especially the youth.)
Attempts to rewrite history or even ignore it in our academic program would be an insult to Andres Bonifacio and other revolutionary heroes.
Itong ating K-12 curriculum ay tila hinulma upang malimutan ng mga kabataan, lalo na ng mga high school students ang kanilang kasaysayan. Inalis bilang isang hiwalay na subject ang Philippine History sa junior at senior high school at iniwan na lamang sa elementary. At bagamat nagkaroon na ng pagbabago sa curriculum sa taong ito, hindi pa ring naisama sa MATATAG ang pagbabalik ng Kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Kaya maiisip natin na baka nga sinasadya ito.
(The K-12 curriculum seems to have been molded so that the youth, especially high school students, forget their history. Philippine history was removed as a separate subject in junior and senior high school and left only in the elementary level. And although there has been a change in curriculum this year, the return of Philippine history is still not included in MATATAG. So we can think that it might be intentional.)
Philippine history, particularly the struggles of our heroes, should be given a bigger space in Philippine education and should be taught in all levels.