Teachers blasted the Department of Education on Friday for a learning module that included negative content about presidential candidate Leni Robredo and praise for incumbent Rodrigo Duterte, including a phony endorsement from the Queen of England.
The ACT Teachers Partylist, a congressional group representing teachers, expressed outrage over the learning material, claiming that teachers had already suffered enough as a result of two years of pandemic restrictions on face-to-face learning.
“Strict adherence to the procedures and safeguards in the production of modules will give justice to them and will ensure that the people’s taxes indeed go to quality education instead of shoddy teaching materials and politicking,” it said in a statement.
Students aged 17 to 18 were asked to identify spelling, grammar, and content errors in a sample of news headlines, as well as detect statements that were “unsubstantiated generalizations,” all of which involved opposition leader Robredo.
The module, which was produced in 2020, began circulating on social media on Thursday, just over four weeks before a presidential election.
The module did not pass the standard review process, according to Education Secretary Leonor Briones, and has since been withdrawn.
Authorities were also “exerting all efforts to warn teachers against participating in partisan politics,” Briones said in a text message.
Other exercises required students to examine quotes for accuracy, credibility, and reasonableness, including one about Duterte purportedly by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, who said “Filipinos are very fortunate to have him.”
President Duterte is not seeking re-election, but he has a bitter rivalry with Robredo, who has criticized his government’s pandemic response and the efficacy of his bloody drug war.
On Friday, Robredo stated that educational authorities should not publish content that “would poison people’s minds.”