1 A PETITION Urging the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Commission on the Filipino Language/Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF

), National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Philippine Congress, Philippine Senate, Philippine Universities, and other Concerned Agencies and Institutions to Support the Retention and Strengthening of Filipino Departments in higher educational institutions (HEIs) by working for the crafting of mandatory subjects on Philippine language, literature, culture and society to be handled by the said departments at the university level if the K to 12 program will push through (NOTE: THIS IS A DRAFT. Please send an email to dmmsanjuan@gmail.com or a text message to 0917-8959-434 for comments and suggestions. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT FOR THIS. IF YOU SUPPORT THE PETITION IN PRINCIPLE, SEND YOUR NAME AND AFFILIATION TO THE AFOREMENTIONED AND YOUR NAME WILL BE ADDED SOON. WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO SHARE/REPOST THIS AND URGE OTHERS TO SUPPORT THIS PETITION. THE FILIPINO TRANSLATION WILL BE RELEASED SOON AFTER THIS DRAFT IS FINALIZED.) Whereas, in a September 2012 report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer1, Dr. Patricia Licuanan, the CHED chairperson, urged HEIs to “come up with a good idea,” on how to resolve the dilemma of not having freshmen students in 2016 due to the Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K to 12) program, and promised “support” for such, Whereas, educators in both public and private HEIs – especially those teaching subjects under the current General Education Curriculum (GEC) A and B mandated by CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 59 Series of 1996 and CMO No. 4 Series of 1997 respectively – are apprehensive that the K to 12 program would not only create the dilemma of HEIs having no freshmen students in 2016, but also actually decrease the number of subjects and units under the proposed Kto12-compliant Revised College General Education Curriculum (RGEC), Whereas, in the most recent draft RGEC crafted by the CHED Technical Panel on General Education, there are only 36 units, and not even one unit is allotted to subjects taught by the Filipino departments at the university level2, Whereas, such seeming disregard for the subjects taught by the Filipino departments might increasingly weaken their capability to pursue the constitutionally-mandated goal of propagating the national language and culture in education and research, at all levels,
1

See http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/264136/private-colleges-urged-to-prepare-having-nofreshmen-by-2016-under-k-to-12 2 See http://ceap.org.ph/upload/download/20129/1881921971_1.pdf and http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=789616&publicationSubCategoryId=442

2 Whereas, in a number of universities where the Filipino departments teach only subjects under the current GEC – considering that they don’t offer a bachelor’s degree on Filipino language or Philippine Studies – the obliteration of the Filipino departments is imminent, if the K to 12 program is implemented, Whereas, we are very much concerned that the official language; the language of the masses; the language that unites our archipelago; the language that is very effective in inculcating Filipino culture, deepening our students’ understanding of our society, and molding the Filipino identity – the Filipino language – is unjustly sidelined by the current educational reforms, Whereas, the Filipino departments at the university level are duty-bound to lead the academe’s efforts in preserving the gains and further strengthening the country’s national language and culture through their effective propagation, mainly in the field of higher education, Whereas, it is necessary to reverse any policy that might weaken or even obliterate the Filipino departments in Philippine universities, as it is unimaginable for any country to lack an academic department in its universities that offer training and courses in and on that country’s national language (in the Philippines’ case, a Filipino department), Whereas, transferring the Filipino subjects under the old GEC to the senior high school/junior college under the K to 12 program won’t be enough to effectively deepen the typical students’ skills in using the Filipino language, understanding his/her society, and appreciating his/her country’s culture, NOW THEREFORE, we resolve as it is hereby resolved to urge the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Commission on the Filipino Language/Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Philippine Congress, Philippine Senate, Philippine Universities, and other Concerned Agencies and Institutions to support the retention and strengthening of Filipino Departments in higher educational institutions (HEIs) by working for the crafting of mandatory subjects on Philippine language, literature, culture and society to be handled by the said departments at the university level, if the K to 12 program will push through. As our additional contribution, we incorporate a draft concept paper on possible mandatory subjects on Philippine language, literature, culture and society at the university level, in this petition. Through this petition, we also signify our willingness to further explain our ideas through dialogues, meetings etc. with concerned individuals, agencies and institutions. As a proof of our collective concurrence and resolve to support this petition, we hereby put our names and our institutional and/or organizational

3 affiliations (for the purpose of identification only as we are joining this petition on our individual capacity only and not to represent our particular institutions and/or organizations) below:

Concept Paper on the Proposed Mandatory Subjects on Philippine Language, Literature, Culture and Society Introduction Language, literature and culture are among the pillars of a strong society. Indeed, these are the very glue that binds the peoples of a country together. Our shared knowledge and traditions are mirrored by our national language, our literature and our culture. Internally, without a solid and comprehensive understanding and appreciation of our language, literature and culture, the foundations on which our young republic stands would be weakened. Amidst the onslaught of unbridled globalization, our national language, literature and culture our only strong defenses against the ills brought by cultural imperialism and the economic dependence on foreign countries that it breeds. Constructively, our national language, literature and culture are also our contributions to the global bank of shared knowledge(s) from which all countries may find something useful to their own context, as the positive aspects of globalization such as multilingualism and multiculturalism blossom. Hence, strengthening our national language, literature and culture in higher education, is a necessary ingredient to achieve not only national progress and development, but also contribute something to the emerging globalization of shared knowledge(s). General Objectives 1. To pursue the constitutionally-mandated objectives of propagating national language and culture 2. To strengthen the students’ concept of national identity and culture 3. To develop and deepen appreciation of our own culture

4 4. To raise the level of students’ skills in using Filipino in reading, writing research, translating and/or producing knowledge etc. 5. To further the intellectualization of the Filipino language by strengthening the academic use of the language in higher education 6. To develop and deepen a sense of national pride 7. To mold Filipino and Filipinized workers, professionals and leaders who would use their skills and talents for the socio-economic amelioration of their motherland 8. To preserve and enrich the national language, literature and culture as the country’s contribution to the global bank of shared knowledge(s) 9. To propel the Filipino language and literature to global prestige and/or use Suggested Mandatory Subjects (universities maybe given leeway to choose at least 2 among the suggested subjects, and even allow them to develop their own subjects similar to what is suggested here) For purposes of easy reference, we suggest that each subject be labeled as Philippine Cultural Studies (PCS) 1, 2, 3 and so on… Language, Culture and Communication (a subject aimed at implementing a multidisciplinary approach in teaching the Filipino language for communication within the country’s multicultural setting) Nationalist Literature (Novels, Essays and Songs)3 (a subject aimed at deepen awareness, understanding and appreciation of Filipino writings that inspired previous generations and have the potentials to pave the way for the further strengthening of our citizen’s nationalism) Advanced Creative Use of Filipino (a subject aimed at raising the level of students’ skills in using the national language to write creative works and hence widen our pool of literary talents for the survival and improvement of our national literature) Advanced Academic Writing and Research in Filipino (a subject aimed at further intellectualizing the use of Filipino in various fields relevant to the course taken by every student through translation and knowledge production) Advanced Multimedia Production in Filipino (a subject aimed at advancing the level of students’ skills in producing multimedia materials in the Filipino language for specific course-related topics/concerns)
3

See: http://www.scribd.com/doc/47172392/Paper-on-Nationalist-and-Socially-ConsciousEducation

5 Filipino Identity in the Global Context (a subject aimed studying how foreigners and/or foreign films, songs, books etc. view and/or represent Filipino identity) Language and Social Transformation (a subject aimed at studying how the national language empowers the common man, the grassroots organizations and other individuals and entities that advance social transformation) Comparative Cultural Studies of Southeast Asia (a subject aimed at studying Philippine culture vis-à-vis the culture of other Southeast Asian countries) Contemporary Filipino Language and Culture (a subject aimed at deepening understanding and appreciation of contemporary Filipino language and culture towards their further enhancement) Third World Concerns (a subject aimed at discussing and proposing solutions to various Third World problems, using cultural theories as springboard)

(NOTE: THIS IS A DRAFT. Please send an email to dmmsanjuan@gmail.com or a text message to 0917-8959-434 for comments and suggestions. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT FOR THIS. IF YOU SUPPORT THE PETITION IN PRINCIPLE, SEND YOUR NAME AND AFFILIATION TO THE AFOREMENTIONED AND YOUR NAME WILL BE ADDED SOON. WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO SHARE/REPOST THIS AND URGE OTHERS TO SUPPORT THIS PETITION. THE FILIPINO TRANSLATION WILL BE RELEASED SOON AFTER THIS DRAFT IS FINALIZED.))

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