On shaky ground

One of the desired outcomes in the K-12 Program is for a learner to have a “solid moral and spiritual grounding”.

The phrase stands on shaky ground, because if I were to make a translation it means K-12 will make saints out of the little devils.

In this, the phrase scares me, because it’s rigid fanatic religiosity all over again. And I thought Filipinos are so through with and have been set free with the lives and blood of our heroes from such Spanish colonialism mentality!

What is ‘spiritual grounding’ doing among the outcomes? ‘Spiritual’ is a very deep and expansive word. The sages of this world have spent their lifetimes in search for and actualizing spiritual grounding. Unless DepEd was thinking about children parroting (again!) the content of their Catechism textbook as indication, how could DepEd measure or assess for the outcome within the formative (12) years? I’ve seen young children start out as angels but end up as adults in jail. And I’ve seen young devils who end up as saintly adults. Being ‘spiritual’ is a personal decision and to make such a decision entails a certain level of maturity, depth, and commitment. It cannot be drilled into you. The natural reaction to an unpleasant invasion of your person is resistance.

And what is ‘moral grounding’ but a holier-than-thou judgmental attitude? I’d agree to schools teaching ‘moral grounding’ only if they use the likes of King David, Mary Magdalene, St. Paul, St. Augustine, the tax collector as the torchbearers of morality. We don’t put children in schools just so they would come out as snobs. We don’t put children in schools just so they would come out in neat boxes marked Muslim morals vs. Christian morals, or non-IP morals vs. IP morals. These neat packages create division and perpetuate misunderstanding.

Public schools, since their continued operation is possible because of people’s taxes, ought to promote, in the context of inclusivity, freedom of worship, faith, and moral beliefs.


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