MANILA—Professors and students of Filipino courses in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, voiced opposition Friday to an order from the Commission on Higher Education removing Filipino subjects from the general education curriculum in college.
“We believe that nine units of Filipino subjects should remain in the tertiary GE because what is needed is to improve the quality and not the length of education,” said the statement of unity read in Filipino during a forum at the UP College of Mass Communication.
The Commission on Higher Education earlier issued Memorandum Order No. 20 series of 2013 revising the GE curriculum by removing remedial courses that would be taught in senior high school under the K+12 program, removing disciplinal courses and adding new liberal education courses.
The reason of decongesting the curriculum is inconsistent, according to a forum speaker, linguistics professor Ricardo Ma. Nolasco.
“We moved to K+12 because we crammed in 10 years what should be taught in 12 years. And then you will transfer tertiary subjects to senior high school, then you’re just congesting it,” Nolasco said.
“Language courses are an important part of GE,” Nolasco said, adding that language permeates other disciplines.
Professor Raniela Barboza said, “It’s not merely an issue of Filipino subjects. It’s an issue of nationalism. (The removal of Filipino subjects) goes against the aim of making students rooted in the Filipino identity.”
The CHEd said in a statement in June that it was false to claim that Filipino as medium of instruction has no place in the new curriculum because the memorandum states that the entire curriculum or parts of it may be taught in Filipino or English.
“Most universities would opt for English,” Barboza said.
“Courses should be taught in a language that the learners understand,” said Nolasco, a proponent of mother tongue-based multilingual education.
“You’re decongesting the tertiary curriculum but you’re not ensuring the quality of education,” Nolasco said. “Even if you put all those courses there, where are your teachers? The teachers should be retrained.”
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