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Duterte signs law mandating comeback of GMRC under K-12 program —Zubiri

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday signed a law mandating the inclusion of Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) classes in the K-12 program, according to Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Zubiri, principal author of Republic Act 11476, lauded the President's "timely" approval. Malacañang released a copy of the law following Zubiri’s pronouncement.

“I hope the Department of Education can work on the IRR in time for the opening of classes come August,” he said in a statement.

“With many schools set on implementing distance learning, it’s going to be even more vital that we give our students formative guidance through GMRC and Values Education,” he added.

Zubiri said he hopes the new law would help the youth learn important values despite the absence of physical interactions with their classmates and teachers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When we drafted this law, we thought it would be important to bring back GMRC because it would arm our kids with stronger moral codes that they would need in order to navigate this increasingly technological world," he said.

"We didn’t anticipate that the world would basically grind to a halt, and all our interactions would move online. So the passage of this act is quite timely, and I hope it serves our students well," he added.

The shift to the K-12 curriculum in 2013 dissolved GMRC as a regular subject and integrated it to the Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (ESP) which is only given 30 minutes per day at the primary level and two one-hour sessions per week at the secondary level.

Under the law, GMRC will be introduced to kindergartens in their daily learning activities. It will be institutionalized as a separate subject from Grades 1 to 6.

“The Department of Education shall introduce GMRC through clear, distinct, specific, and concrete character building activities, such as role playing in the classroom, community immersion activities, teacher-parent collaborative learning activities, school-initiated values formation activities, simulated activities, and other forms of experiential learning,” the law stated.

The law also said the GMRC curriculum must focus on the basic tenets such as caring for oneself, giving concern for others, according proper respect to people, upholding discipline and order, cultivating sincerity, honesty, obedience and love for country.

From Grades 7 to 10, values education will also be taught as a regular subject.

Once the students reach senior high school, values education will still be integrated in their other subjects.

Teachers who would handle it should have "certification, diploma, and training on values education and allied disciplines." —With Virgil Lopez/LDF, GMA News