Home Top News DepEd urged to make sea dispute with China part of HS curriculum

DepEd urged to make sea dispute with China part of HS curriculum

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AN AERIAL VIEW of the BRP Sierra Madre at the contested Second Thomas Shoal on March 9, 2023. — REUTERS

THE DEPARTMENT of Education (DepEd) should add to its high school (HS) curriculum the Philippines’ sea dispute with China including the 2016 ruling by a United Nations-backed court that voided China’s claim to more than 80% of the South China Sea, a congressman said on Sunday.

“Educating our youth about the significant issues surrounding our territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea is crucial for fostering a well-informed citizenry,” Party-list Rep. Margarita Ignacia B. Nograles said in a statement, referring to areas of the waterway within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

“The 2016 arbitral ruling is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, affirming our sovereign rights over our territories that are being claimed by China,” she said. “It is imperative that this landmark decision and the ongoing territorial disputes are comprehensively taught in our schools.”

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague in 2016 ruled that China’s expansive claims in South China Sea based on a 1940s nine-dash line map had no basis under international law.

The Philippines has been unable to enforce the ruling and has since filed hundreds of diplomatic protests against its neighbor, as Beijing continues to block resupply missions to Second Thomas Shoal.

Beijing claims nearly all of South China Sea, a major shipping lane where about $3 trillion in trade passes through annually.

In a separate statement, Party-list Rep. France L. Castro urged the House of Representatives to fast-track the approval of House Bill No. 207, which seeks to make Philippine History a separate subject in high school.

She said President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. had ordered newly installed Education Secretary Juan Edgardo M. Angara to ensure Philippine History is taught properly in schools.

“President Marcos’ directive to Secretary Angara underscores the urgent need to pass House Bill No. 207,” she said in a statement. “If we are serious about teaching our youth accurate and comprehensive Philippine History, we must ensure that it is given proper attention in our curriculum.”

Philippine History should be taught as a standalone subject because it is a “scientific discipline that requires rigorous study and fact-checking,” said Ms. Castro, who authored the bill

Philippine History is being taught in schools together with Asian Studies, World History and Economics under Social Studies, according to a DepEd statement in 2022. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio

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