Bill proposes to include Moro history in college curriculum
By John Carlo Cahinhinan in Sun.Star
A lawmaker has proposed the inclusion of Moro history, culture and identity as an elective in the higher education curriculum.
House Deputy Speaker Pangilian Balindong (Lanao del Sur, 2nd district) said House Bill 4832 mandates all tertiary educational institutions to offer Moro history, culture and identity as an elective subject, highlighting the positive relations among the tri-peoples, especially between Muslims and Christians, including shared origins and other points of commonality.
Balindong said history deals with the issues of ethnicity and respect that are brought to the fore in those situations of minority and majority relationships.
"The mandatory study should include an understanding of what is called the Moro problem, which is the historical and systematic marginalization and minoritization of the Islamized ethno-linguistic groups, arguably constituting a Moro nation which is the Bangsamoro, in their own homeland in the Mindanao islands, first by colonial powers Spain, then the United States of America, and more recently by successor Philippine government, dominated by an elite having a Christian-Western orientation," Balindong said.
"While Filipino and Muslim cultures may have differences, it is a fact that they are bound by a common heritage, the land they call Philippines, and they have a lot in common, on top of which, is the clamor for peace," Balindong said.
The lawmaker said that the past relations and understandings of the other greatly influence the relations of today.
"The values and differences in various cultures call out for recognition and a positive acceptance, although history shows that this has not always been the case," Balindong said.
He said the House committee on higher and technical education, the Commission on Higher Education, Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities, Coordinating Council of Private Educational Association, Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities, Association of Local Colleges and Universities, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities, Technical-Vocational Schools Association of the Philippines and other stakeholders pose no objection on the measure.
"The only concern is making this a mandatory elective because the new general education curriculum would have to be revised if we require this mandatory, meaning we have to go through the process of consultation again," Sangalang said.
ALCU executive director Dr. Dalisay Brawner said that Moro culture is equally important with other major cultures such as where the institutions are located.
"On a personal and professional level, my recommendation is that we leave it to the educational institutions because at any rate there is a window for at least three elective subjects in our new CHED curriculum and in order not to jeopardize the importance of other major cultures in the country," Brawner said.
Under the measure, the agencies concerned shall consult recognized experts on Moro History, culture and identity as well as recognized resource persons on the Mindanao peace process and Muslim-Christian dialogue in the formulation and creation of the Moro History, Culture and Identity Course, including the writing, printing and publication of textbooks and other reading materials.