Public high schools statewide will be the first in the nation to offer a social studies course dedicated to Filipino Studies starting next fall.
Creating the course, CHR 2300 Filipino History Culture, was a two-year long effort spearheaded by the Filipino Curriculum Project, a student-driven initiative to integrate Filipino history into school curriculum.
“I’m so proud of our entire team for having fought for Filipino representation in the classroom. We did this for the sake of future Filipino students who have never seen their histories reflected positively in the curriculum,” said Marissa Halagao, founder of the project and a current Yale University student.
The course will focus on six thematic units: identity, Philippine history, Culture and Connections, Filipinos in Hawaii and the U.S., Philippines in an interconnected world and Community Engagement and Civic Action.
Farrington and Waipahu High schools will be the first schools to offer the class, where the current student populations are greater than 50% Filipino. Students can register for the course now, and classes will begin next year.
“We’re honored that Farrington will be one of the first schools to offer a Filipino social studies course for our students,” said Farrington Principal Al Carganilla.
Filipinos make up the largest ethnic group in Hawai‘i’s public schools, accounting for nearly 24% of the student population. Ilokano and Tagalog are among the top five languages spoken at home in Hawaii.
In 2022, Hawai‘i lawmakers unanimously passed HCR56, which requested the Department “implement a Filipino history, culture and identity social studies course for high school students.”
"I encourage students and educators, Filipino or not, to take or teach this course, to learn about and feel connected to a large part of our community,” said Raymart Billote, co-director of the Filipino Curriculum Project. “‘Filipino History Culture’ has room for all students and educators to explore their identities and perspectives.”