Ways to bring back ROTC in schools being explored by DepEd, DND

·2 min read
Soldiers prepare a 105mm Howitzer as they participate in a capability demonstration during the 102nd anniversary of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program at the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters inside the Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon city, metro Manila on March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Soldiers prepare a 105mm Howitzer as they participate in a capability demonstration during the 102nd anniversary of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program at the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters inside the Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon city, metro Manila on March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of National Defense (DND) held an “exploratory meeting” talking about a “Preparatory Citizenship Training (PCT) program”, including making the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), the vice president announced Monday (September 5).

“We also talked about the ROTC program not just in basic education but in higher education and what will be the ways moving forward,” Vice President Sara Duterte said to reporters.

DepEd assistant secretary Dexter Galban described the PCT as a “multi-tiered, well safeguarded, multi-faceted citizenship program.” It focuses on areas such as basic and advanced first aid, basic map reading, road safety and discipline, and volunteerism and community service.”

It also has a component on physical fitness, health, and sanitation, which is already taught at Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health (MAPEH) subjects.

Some controversial topics include drug use prevention education and crime prevention, topics that state forces are known to hijack during some National Service Training Program (NSTP) seminars in the tertiary level as an excuse to red-tag progressive organizations and individuals.

Galban added that the program will be “facilitated by military trained teachers and DepEd personnel and monitored by child protection units and fact finding committees.”

However, DepEd spokesman Michael Poa clarified that the meeting was merely an exchange of ideas.

No less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants to make the ROTC program be made mandatory for public and private senior high school students.

“This seeks to reinstitute the ROTC program as a mandatory component of senior high school programs grades 11 and 12 in all public and private tertiary level educational institutions,” Marcos said.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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