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CHR: Red-tagging, EJK, trolling in DepEd lessons to raise rights awareness

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said that recognizing red-tagging, trolling and extrajudicial killings as human rights violations in its draft K-10 curriculum would help promote a culture of respect for human rights and the rule of law among Filipino students.

CHR issued the statement after the Department of Education (DepEd), in its proposed curriculum guide for the Araling Panlipunan subject of Grade 10 students, included discussions on the three social issues on the topic of human rights violations.

The commission said it will “not only help raise awareness among students on the dangers of red-tagging, but also on the importance of protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals.”

“The Commission particularly stresses that red-tagging only serves to stigmatize and silence individuals and groups critical of the government or advocating for social justice. More alarmingly, however, is that this practice has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, torture, and even arbitrary executions,” it said.

“DepEd’s decision to incorporate the recognition of red-tagging, trolling, and extrajudicial killings as human rights violations into its curriculum is a significant step towards promoting a culture of respect for human rights and the rule of law among young Filipinos,” it added.

CHR also pointed out that DepEd’s draft K-10 curriculum is consistent with their existing policy on Rights-Based Education (RBE) Framework for Philippine basic education, which highlights the need to integrate human rights concepts, values, and principles across all subjects and levels of education.

“This inclusion of red-tagging, trolling, and EJKs as human rights violations shows a concrete example of the application of the RBE Framework in addressing human rights issues. Likewise, it provides an opportunity for students to critically analyze the complex and multi-faceted nature of human rights violations, and to explore ways to address them through peaceful and lawful means.”

CHR thus called on DepEd to ensure that the implementation of the draft curriculum is consistent with the principles of human rights education, and that it will provide accurate and balanced information on the issue.

DepEd Undersecretary Michael Poa also said that the proposed inclusion in the draft K-10 curriculum of contemporary issues such as those on the West Philippine Sea and human rights is based on facts.

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House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro said human rights should be taught well among learners, considering the “dangerous” implications of red-tagging.

“Human rights inclusion in the curriculum should be taught very well and given appropriate time [or] number of hours in the subject,” Castro told GMA News Online.

“This is an admission on the part of the DepEd that red tagging is real and should be taught as dangerous and life threatening and it could cause death," she added. —LDF/NB, GMA Integrated News