The Commission on Human Rights on Sunday took a swipe at the Department of Education for discouraging children from joining peaceful assemblies.
“We are concerned that a module on Media and Information Literacy allegedly coming from DepEd discouraging children from participating in peaceful assemblies, such as rallies, because the government is doing its best for all Filipinos and its constituents,” lawyer-spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.
“While respect for the law is a good value to teach, it is equally important to develop among our children critical thinking, especially when it comes to issues that affect us, not only personally, but as well as those national in scope. Love for one’s country is not limited to mere obedience, but can also be manifested through collectively tackling issues of our communities and the country under the guidance of rights entitled to us and protected by the Constitution, including the people’s right to freedom of speech, of expression, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for redress of grievances,” she added.
She called on the government to recognize the rights of the people.
“We stress that our current freedoms that we enjoy today are fruits of past struggles. Instead of discouraging dissent, it would be better to demand better services and accountability from the government and its officials as part of their duty to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of all,” she said.
“At the same time, we encourage citizens to continue to report to DepEd errors found in the learning materials for the benefit of our children, as well as a call for an improvement in our current educational system,” she noted.
In particular, the CHR was referring to an activity in the DepEd Module on Media and Information Literacy for Grade 12 students. One of the guide questions was: “If given the chance, will you join this rally ? Why or why not?”
The answer, as written on the module, was: “No, because the government is really doing their best for all the Filipino people and their constituents.”
The copy of the module was uploaded on Facebook by David Waya, a member of Rise for Education-Cagayan Valley, a regional organization which calls for safe and quality education for all.