By: Lita M. Magsalay, Principal I
San Jose Elementary School
Sto. Tomas South District, SDO Sto. Tomas City
Knowing what to do and doing what must be done are two different things.
Our K to 12 curriculum includes Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (ESP) which focuses on producing morally upright citizens who know how to deal with moral dilemmas and know the right thing to do when encountering a difficult situation in one’s life. Teaching our learners, the proper moral reasoning that’ll contribute to their moral development is one of the aims of this subject. The government through the Department of Education recognizes its necessity as a country rooted in people with high morals and ideals is crucial to the development of one’s nation.
Building the strong morality of our learners is part and parcel of our teaching and learning process. To have citizens who are morally grounded – know what is right from wrong and do what is right and move away from wrong – there will be no future corrupt leaders of our country, no criminals, and no irresponsible citizens.
The question now is are we producing learners who are morally upright? You might be asking the same question if you are an educator like me teaching ESP. Just like other teachers, we test our students’ knowledge about our subject matter through a written test. In this case, most of our students who took the test got high scores, but does that equate to the skills and values that we have taught them? Our subject might not be that difficult if it’s to be answered on a piece of paper, but it is difficult when the learner is already dealing with that specific test in their lives.
As ESP teachers, we must ensure that our students not only learn the theories of our subject but also apply them in real-life situations. It must be able to promote tolerance and understanding above and beyond our political, cultural, and religious differences, putting special emphasis on the defense of human rights, the protection of ethnic minorities and the most vulnerable groups, and the conservation of the environment.
From simple things like maintaining the cleanliness of the classroom and not cheating during exams; from not starting any argument with their classmates to not resorting to violence when there’s a misunderstanding – these abilities would prove to become helpful to our learners in their future life to be able to work harmoniously with other people in the society.
Being an educator and coordinator of this subject – Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao – one of my realizations is the big impact of this field on our learners’ lives not only today but as well in the future. As we always say, values can never be bought. We must know how to apply the learning we have from ESP in real life. This subject should never be taken for granted by our students, as it is part of the basic building blocks of one’s personality – character over competence – and we that having good character is much better than being good only in academics.
Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao inculcates in our students essential values like kindness, compassion, and empathy. Let us help them to become better students, and better citizens of our country in the future by developing their character, behavior, and attitude through the realization that intelligence may be crucial to one’s success, but their character is what propels it.