Press Release
September 23, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara advised the Department of Education (DepEd) to maximize the additional two years of schooling provided by the K+12 curriculum, which is set to be implemented in 2016.

The new structure should provide ample time for students to be educated on national history, arts and culture, said Angara at the DepEd budget hearing held in the Senate.

"Of all ethnic groups, Filipinos are considered the invisible minority who 'hide' their identity. Our young people are not like the Koreans or the Japanese, who are very proud of their ethnicity," lamented the lawmaker, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture. "I think that is hinged on the fact that young Filipinos don't know enough of their own history and own culture."

Angara believes that part of the solution is the inclusion of school subjects that educate young people on the Filipino culture.

"As it is, we have 12 years' worth of education crammed into 10 years of school. We do not give our young people room to develop a love and appreciation for their national heritage."

DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro mentioned that they are exploring the possibility of utilizing regional forms of art in the teaching of science in local schools. This integrated approach to instruction may aid student comprehension and also increase exposure to and appreciation of local culture.

According to Angara, the need for such heritage training is becoming more and more urgent with the advent of the digital era, as more and more Filipinos travel abroad, either temporarily or for good.

"We want our school system to nurture global Filipinos--citizens who are globally competitive, but who are also aware of and are deeply rooted in their Filipino heritage. Whether they are teachers, engineers, welders, or IT professionals, and no matter which part of the world they end up in, they will be proud of their culture as Filipinos."

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