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  • The Errors Spotted in These Local Textbooks Will Make You Cringe

    One describes a woman as a symbol of weakness and her beauty is her 'puhunan.'
    by Kitty Elicay .
The Errors Spotted in These Local Textbooks Will Make You Cringe
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • The shift to the new K to 12 system a few years ago prompted Department of Education (DepEd) to procure new textbooks that would fit the new curriculum. But the transition hasn't been smooth sailing.

    In 2016, SmartParenting.com.ph reported that one textbook that was meant for Grade 4 students contained over 775 errors "ranging from conceptual, pedagogical, logical and grammatical errors to errors having to do with simple drawings and illustrations," according to Inquirer columnist Antonio Calipjo Go. The book, titled Science Learners Material, 2015 First Edition, cost almost Php82 million to print.

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    Two years later, the DepEd is still hounded by the same problems as concerned readers have also sent us screenshots of questionable content in textbooks that children use in school.

    So we did a quick Facebook (not even Google) search to see similar posts. We typed "DepEd textbooks" on the search bar, and we found public posts where Facebook users shared what they found in their children's textbooks. It came with a plea to DepEd to investigate these so-called learning materials.

    The new K to 12 system supposedly benefits the future generation, but these textbooks with its inappropriate, inaccurate, and outrageous content, makes us wonder what our children are really learning. And the worst part is these books were discovered when the kids brought them home — they are part of the curriculum already.

    Below are some of the items that we think should be a cause for concern:

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    Gender stereotype and bias


    Where do we begin here? Aside from that illustration, every line here is offensive to women, and it defeats how we want to empower our daughters and show our sons how to respect women.

    According to Facebook user Daniella Caro, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones responded to this textbook fiasco via Twitter saying, "women are not 'sagisag ng kahinaan,'" and promised to look into the matter and trace the book. We hope she realizes that "ganda ang puhunan" also sends the wrong message.


    We think this so-called test wanted to teach kids responsibility. But it sure is not conveying the message properly when it asked the child to identify which family member has the responsibility to cook, clean and take care of the kids. The "correct" answer to most questions, of course, is both parents because Tatay can certainly cook and prepare family meals while Nanay works, right? But why do our kids even have this test? 

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    Inappropriate wording


    Technically, a cock does pertain to a rooster. But imagine your preschooler saying ‘big fat cock’ when he sees a rooster or just to get a reaction from you since he had so much fun seeing your bewildered face the last time. We rest our case. 

    Technical errors


    The textbook is called “Creative Math” and meant for preschool learning and based on the K to 12 system. The text says, “There are six children in all.” But where is the sixth child? This scared us a little. 


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    If the textbook can’t even give proper instructions, how will the children learn how to follow


    We're filing this under "technical error" because this song is actually from “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” a traditional Scottish folk song. It’s the exact song, except 'Bonnie' is replaced by the word "bunny." We thought it was changed to "bunny" to escape copyright infringement. But then there's an illustration of Looney Tunes' Bugs Bunny. There is a lesson here though. As one website pointed out, the words “ocean” and “sea” in this song are used interchangeably to mean any large body of salty water. But, geographically speaking, an ocean is not the same thing as a sea (it's a smaller body of water, and it is not as deep as an ocean). Now that's good to know. 

    Racial discrimination


    This error was spotted by Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña. He posted it on his official Facebook page with the caption, “This is the homework of my friend’s grandchild. This is both hilarious and sad, and should be brought to DepEd’s attention.”

    A child’s formative years is important — let’s not raise a child to judge discriminate against fellow Filipinos or make them think that someone with Western features (a pointed nose and white, fair skin) is more superior. And what is up with the last line on the page: "A small family has small needs." What a facepalm moment. 

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    Material that is NOT age-appropriate

    Facebook user Twinkle Neri got this textbook from a friend whose sister, a Grade 7 student, understandably did not know how to begin answering this homework.

    Question 1: "Napapansin mong nagiging malapit sa isang lalaki o babaeng kaklase ninyo ang nobyo o nobya mo. Anong gagawin mo?"

    Question 2 made our eyes pop: "What would you tell your big sister who plans to stop the wedding of her former boyfriend?"

    Question 3 assumes a Grade 7 student has a significant other who is getting married! Just how old is the boyfriend/girlfriend here?!

    We understand kids need to learn the concept of love, but these questions made us shudder.  

    According to its official website, the DepEd is tasked with supervising “elementary and secondary institutions, including alternative learning systems, both public and private. It provides for the establishment and maintenance of a complete, adequate, and integrated system of basic education relevant to the goals of national development.

    Part of its mission-vision also states that students “learn in a child-friendly, gender-sensitive, safe, and motivating environment,” where teachers “facilitate learning and constantly nurture every learner.”


    Parents, we need to do our part to make sure DepEd does its job. If you've spotted textbooks with questionable content, report it to DepEd by emailing them at action@deped.gov.ph or lodge your complaint here.

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