Educators condemn DepEd's plan to change the term 'Diktadurang Marcos' in curriculum

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 10) – Groups of educators condemned the planned changes of the Department of Education (DepEd) in its Grade 6 Araling Panlipunan curriculum, which they said would spread disinformation and historical distortion.

"The alteration of historical terminology is not only distortion but also undermines the truth about one of the darkest periods in Philippine history," the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said on Sunday.

Following a directive from the DepEd Curriculum and Teaching Management Committee, the agency's Bureau of Curriculum Development on Sept. 6 released a memorandum that would change the term "Diktadurang Marcos" to "Diktadura" in the Araling Panlipunan subject of the new MATATAG curriculum.

On Saturday, the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) described the revision as “a blatant example of disinformation, where the people are deliberately misled by manipulating historical facts.”

"Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ruled the Philippines with an iron fist, suspending civil liberties, suppressing dissent, and committing numerous human rights violations during his regime," ACT said.

"To reduce his oppressive rule to a mere ‘Diktadura’ is a disservice to the countless victims of his dictatorship and an affront to the pursuit of historical accuracy and truth," the group added.

CONTEND urged fellow educators to reject the revision in the curriculum and seek transparency from DepEd as it questioned the agency’s move since there is "no empirical data" to back up the changes.

Citing reports from the Amnesty International missions to the Philippines in 1975 and 1981, CONTEND said "a plethora of historical evidence justify the categorization of 1972 to 1986 as the period of Marcos dictatorship."

"What followed Marcos' declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972 were massive state-sponsored human rights violations," CONTEND said.

According to Deped's memorandum, the revision of the Araling Panlipunan curriculum was made after an "arduous process of review and revision was done under the guidance and scrutiny of experts, the review of stakeholders, and the public and the launch of the MATATAG curriculum."

The DepEd has yet to reply to CNN Philippines' request for comment on the matter.