Congress makes 'good manners' mandatory, bishops satisfied

The subject will be taught daily in kindergarten, elementary and high schools. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the law unanimously. For the president of the Commission on Youth of the Bishops’ Conference, “real progress can only be achieved by forming the human person first and foremost”.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Philippine Church has expressed its satisfaction at the recent decision by the Philippine Congress to reintroduce ‘good manners and right conduct’" (GMRC) in schools as a compulsory subject.

“The best schools in the world begin with the education of the young in manners, values, virtues,” said Alarcon, who chairs the bishops’ Commission on Youth.

“Institutionalizing GMRC in education will hopefully reinforce the message that real progress can only be achieved by forming the human person first and foremost,” he added.

Two days ago, the Philippine Senate unanimously approved a bill making GMRC compulsory in school curricula from kindergarten to high school (4-18 years). The House of Representatives did the same on 5 February.

Under the Comprehensive Values ‚Äč‚ÄčEducation Act (Bill No. 1224), value education, including GMRC, will be taught daily for one hour to elementary and high school students.  As for kindergarten children, it will be incorporate into everyday learning activities.

Archbishop Alarcon stressed that Congress could not have chosen a better time for the move, as people are increasingly reliant on technology.

“At the time of digital transformation and artificial intelligence, all the more we realize the need to focus on being more human,” Alarcon said.

GMRC was removed as a regular subject from the Kindergarten to 12 Grade curriculum in 2013. Since then, primary schools offer a daily 30-minute lesson, whilst high schools have an hour, twice a week.