(Photo from pns.edu.ph)

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers filed a bill that seeks to integrate programs or courses on environmental protection, entrepreneurship, reproductive health and population control, and drug prevention in the curriculum of elementary and high school students.

In filing House Bill No. 5202, otherwise known as the Responsible Youth Act, Barbers said the youth’s passions, dreams, motivation and determination can make a difference in building a nation.

“However, the youth of today face many risks and challenges, including drug addiction, teenage pregnancy and lack of awareness on the pressing issue of global warming, among others. Thus, they need proper guidance and direction to ensure that they are still on the right path in becoming a responsible adult,” he said in a news release on Sunday.

“Discussion of these programs or courses paired with broader and more comprehensive instruction as early as childhood can help prepare youth to reach intellectual and emotional maturity leading to responsible and healthy life decisions. Early intervention has a life altering impact on changing a child’s life path away from problems and toward positive behaviors,” he added.

He suggested that the Department of Education (DepEd) formulate age-appropriate topics, messages and teaching methods that are suitable to particular age and developmental levels based on the cognitive, emotional, social, and experience levels of students.

Under the bill, DepEd shall provide measures and adopt additional changes or adjustment in the elementary and high school curriculum in order to integrate the environmental protection education, entrepreneurship education, reproductive health and population control education, and drug prevention education within six months from the approval of the law.

The DepEd shall likewise provide free training to teachers and staff so that they may be capacitated to incorporate a reality framework in teaching the students.

The training may be credited to their Continuing Professional Education units required for professional license renewal. (Zaldy de Layola/PNA)

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