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House probe set on dropping of Filipino subject in college

By John Carlo Cahinhinan
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A MILITANT lawmaker has expressed alarm on the recent decision of the
Commission on Higher Education (Ched) to remove the mandatory Filipino
subjects in the General Education Curriculum (GEC) of tertiary schools.
Kabataan Party-list Terry Ridon said the House committee on higher and
technical education is set to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the
controversial Ched Memorandum Order No. 20, series of 2013 (CMO 202013), which effectively removed Filipino subjects in the tertiary GEC.
Ridon said Congress must evaluate the possible effects of the Ched
memorandum order to students and teachers.
"Nakababahala ang panukala ng Ched na tanggalin ang mandatoryong pagaaral ng ating pambansang wika. Habang pinapaliwanag ng komisyon na ang
naturang asignatura ay ituturo na sa ilalim ng programang K-12, nananatili
ang pangangailangang higit pang aralin ang wikang Filipino sa mas mataas
na antas," Ridon said.
The recent memorandum order prescribes a new 36-unit GEC for college
students that would take effect as early as academic year 2016-2017.
Under the said curriculum, the number of GEC units has been reduced from
the current 63 units (for humanities and social science majors) or 51 units
(for science, engineering and math majors) to 36 units for all students.
As part of the reduction of the required number of units in the GEC, the
current mandatory units for Filipino subjects have been excised from the
Ched previously explained that under the Senior High School Curriculum in
the K-12 program, students are already required to take Filipino subjects for a
total of 108 hours in Grade 11.
"The proposed GEC strips away remedial courses, those that duplicate
subjects in Grades 11 and 12, and introductory courses to the disciplines,"
Ched said in CMO 20-2013.
Apart from Filipino subjects, Ched also removed subjects in English, Math,
and introductory courses such as General Psychology and Basic Economics.

" Ridon said. it is explicitly stated that the courses under the GEC may be taught in either English or Filipino. (Sunnex) . including linguists. and students. various members of the academe and luminaries including National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario called on Ched to revise the proposed new GEC and include nine mandatory units of Filipino for all courses at the tertiary level. In the said NCCA-NCLT resolution. the signatories said that many Filipino departments in colleges and universities throughout the country would be dissolved due to CMO 20-2013. The NCCA-NCLT further estimated that around 10. academics. as prescribed by experts in this field." "Congress will also study the possibility of legislating a law that would require at least nine units of Filipino courses for all college students.The removal of Filipino subjects in the GEC was met with opposition from many stakeholders. In a statement.000 part-time teachers would be laid off due to the removal of required Filipino subjects.000 full-time and 20. 2014. In a resolution unanimously signed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts' National Committee on Language and Translation (NCCA-NCLT) last May 23. Ched chairperson Patricia Licuanan clarified that under CMO 20-2013. But the youth legislator is unimpressed on Licunan's explanation and insisted that "teaching the GEC curriculum in the Filipino language is not tantamount to teaching tertiary-level Filipino courses.