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Filipino subjects should be

excluded in the college curriculum


(A Position Paper)

As the month-long celebration of “Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa” (National


Language Month) heads to a close August 31, educators and language experts
agree that “Filipino” is an evolving language.

Just as how the English words “you are” were shortened to “you’re” for
economic reasons like saving spaces in the newspaper, Filipino linguists,
discoveries and technology innovations are also responsible for dictionaries
getting thicker by the year.

Even these recent years, the local gays have grown their own lingo.

It would be pleasing that our national language can evolve, but not degrade
into j3j3m0n.

The Filipino language went through several circumstances just to be the


national language of the Philippines. President Manuel L. Quezon proclaimed
Tagalog as Wikang Pambansa in 1939. The language was further
renamed Pilipino in 1959 by Secretary of Education Jose Romero. The 1973
Constitution declared Pilipino to be co-official, along with English, and
mandated the development of a national language, to be known as Filipino.

English subject is being taught from elementary to tertiary schools in the


Philippines, while Filipino as a subject is being taught in elementary and
secondary schools, and is only elective in college.

Studies on the country’s bilingual education program have revealed very low
proficiency levels among teachers and students in the use of Filipino and
English.

At the tertiary level, the government’s policy of nurturing the national


language has not been a priority as many educational institutions put more
emphasis on the use and teaching of English.

Past and present language issues in the country have become the subject of
popular discussions after the Commission on Higher Education(CHED)
proposed Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 20, Series of 2013. The said
memorandum aims to remove Filipino as a subject to be taught in college as
part of the new General Education Curriculum (GEC).

The new curriculum will also be freed from Science, Mathematics, English,
Filipino, Literature, Humanities and Social Studies subjects that are “more
appropriately taught in senior high school.”

The revised GEC will push through next academic year, despite the temporary
restraining order issued by the Supreme Court against the said memorandum
order, according to CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan.

“I think so [that it will push through], it cannot be changed. The only thing
that is lightly contentious is the Filipino subject. The rest [of the general
education subjects]are not debated anymore,” Licuanan said in an interview.

“We’re waiting. But that’s in the Supreme Court. We will wait for that, but in
the meantime the rest of the general education subjects are okay,” the CHED
chief added.

The new general education curriculum, which will also shorten some college
courses by a year, will take effect in 2018, the year when the first batch of
senior high school (Grade 12) students graduate.

“This will be implemented in 2018, so those who will graduate in the senior
high school will be the first to take the new general education curriculum,”
Licuanan said.

“Our new general education curriculum really was planned in senior high
school that many of the things that used to be . . . the general education
curriculum has been brought down in the senior high school, so the required
courses in college now, general education curriculum is multi-disciplinary and
it was not anymore 60 units or 30 units,” the CHED chief explained.

General education includes subjects such as English, Filipino and Natural


Science, which will be transferred to the high school phase of basic education.

The revised general education curriculum, part of the K-to-12 program, aims
to expose college students to various domains of knowledge and ways of
comprehending social and natural realities, developing in the process
intellectual competencies and civic capacities.

The memorandum order resulted to various reactions to the public. But


citizens must realize that this came about because of a need to rationalize the
curriculum following the adoption of the K to 12 program. Aside from that,
this is beneficial, first, to the first batch of graduates of senior high school and
to the succeeding college students, second to the parents of the said students,
third to the teachers, fourth to schools, fifth to the country’s economy, and
lastly to the Philippines’ education system.

College Students

The new GEC will be beneficial to college students for they will have lesser
basic units, they will be motivated, and most importantly, they will be more
globally competitive. The revised basic and secondary education curriculum
included the additional two years which allow the Filipino subject to be
accommodated in high school. This way, the college education can focus on
interdisciplinary courses.

In the concept, its purpose is to give a balance and integrated perspective to


each student, (i.e. a student pursuing Engineering, which is in STEM, senior
high school will give him a background on humanities and arts for him to
appreciate what we call “the finer things in life”; a student pursuing
Accountancy, ABM, there’s the Filipino Pananaliksik which gives her the
background of researching using Filipino language). Hopefully the extra two
years give them time to know what they really want to become. This is the role
of the senior high school, so the college will let a student learn in his or her
chosen field specifically.

The CHEd also said it removed subjects that duplicated those in grades 11 to
12. This will show that the senior high school is not just “a waste of time”. In
senior high school, there are tracks and strands where students can choose.
But this basic education in senior high school will be useless if they will be
tackled again in college. The students who are experiencing this already think
that they’ve just wasted their two years in their lives, considering the “back to
zero” system when they go to college. They think they will already be too old
when they graduate in college, and they will run out of time achieving their
dreams, if and only if, for example, the accountancy course which was
originally 5 years will only be four years in the new curriculum. This can only
be achieved if they will lessen the subjects in college, subjects that are logically
extended to senior high school. If people work later, they will earn money
later. And in this country, where a lot of children support their family and
parents, that’s a major disadvantage.

As the units, or maybe a year of taking up college, would be reduced, the lesser
finance the students would need, too. We are all aware that some of the
students suffice their needs through their part – time jobs. It would be
beneficial for them, not only financially, but also the time and effort they will
consume on a basic unit they will get in college if it’s not related to their
courses.
Additionally, the students would generally achieve better grades, test scores,
and attendance if all of their subjects are their passion. They will be more
attached in school if they will not feel dull or tedious about their subjects. As
they will only take up their in – line subjects on their courses, they will show
higher aspirations and motivation toward school and graduation.

Moreover, students will also make more time to learn the major subjects, the
specified subjects in their specific courses. In this case, it would prepare them
to be a better employee after they graduate in their field.

Removing Filipino subjects in college curriculum would allow college students


to take up the complex subjects more seriously (e.g. English, Science
Mathematics). International test results consistently show Filipino students
lagging way behind practically everybody else in the world. In the 2008
mathematics exam, for example, we came in dead last.

Nowadays, there are still professionals who work as Overseas Filipino


Workers (OFWs) because of unemployment here in the Philippines. But these
professionals working as OFWs tend to be domestic helpers abroad, and not in
their tracks or courses. The graduates in our country are not automatically
recognized as professionals abroad. Another example are our engineering
graduates, who are condemned to international jobs not befitting their
professional status due to our not having a 12 – year basic education cycle.
The new GEC will greatly benefit college graduates for they will be recognized
anywhere in the world, particularly accountants, engineers, doctors,
architects, etc. Those who intend to study abroad will meet the entrance
requirements of foreign schools. Currently, except for the Middle East,
Filipino professionals are not regarded as equal in countries in America and
Europe. The Washington Accord prescribes 12 – year basic education as an
entry to recognition of engineering professionals. But this education cycle
would be more effective if it is continued in college (i.e. focusing on the major
subjects).

Lastly, we all know that Filipinos are good imitators. For example, many of
them would love to imitate the British accent. Many love to see Xia Vigor, a
little girl with British accent popular on televisions. They would love to watch
Hollywood movies to imitate how they speak. They would love to watch
interviews of English speakers because they would want to imitate their
fluency in speaking English. And these idolized English speakers, whether
from America or Asia, are influential persons around the world, which are
supposedly good models for students. Accustoming them to speak in English
would align them to their idols internationally. For example, Manny Pacquiao
is a famous Filipino boxer around the world. It is but natural those in his
surroundings in the ring are fluent English speakers. It cannot be denied that
the pride of the Philippines doesn’t have the fluency in speaking the universal
language. It would be better if him as an influential person, especially to the
young ones, is like a natural English speaking.
Nevertheless, imitating is not a way as turning backs on the national language.
The Philippines just need innovations. It’s not good for a country not to
change, nor to stay in things that we are accustomed to.

Parents

Parents care. There were several benefits stated for college students. The main
benefit for parents would be financially. If Filipino subjects would not be
included in the college curriculum, it would lessen units mandatory to learn
and pay in college. Lesser units mean lesser fees. Parents did spend more than
the old curriculum. The additional two years of high school were such a
burden for parents because they have to shell out more money (i.e. for
transportation, food, tuition fees).

The more years they send their sons/daughters in school, the lesser years for
them to enjoy life. A typical parent would enjoy life (e.g. travel places, eat
delicious famous foods) after their last child finish college, well if they will
have no grandchildren to take care. It is the time for him/her to complete
his/her bucket list when he/she was still young. It’s time to achieve his/her
dreams. The remaining years of his/her life for him/her to enjoy it are
reduced.

Besides, most of Filipino graduates at present are either too young or lacking
the necessary skills and competencies most of the companies requires. Most
believe that only college education is the best way to be gainfully employed.
However, even having college education is not enough and actually is not the
job market needs thus many ends up factory workers, call center agents,
service industry crews and repairmen. As a response to this problem, college
education should be sufficient enough to prepare students for work. They
should now remove the basic units in the tertiary level and let the future
employees focus on their skills relevant to the job market. In this way, the
future graduates will surely be employable and would help their parents and
their families financially.

Teachers

Aside from the students and parents, removing Filipino subjects will still be
beneficial to teachers. Some teachers are accustomed in teaching only with
their native language. As a result, they cannot speak fluently in English, and
sometimes even in written, they have wrong grammars. Focusing on the
universal language in college would broaden globally communicative process
not only for the students but also to the teachers teaching them. In this way,
teachers will also improve their English fluency.

Furthermore, the current trend in the profession, some educators see as the
best at preparing students to be successful ones that foster international
mindedness, character development, critical thinking, inquiry, problem
solving, and community.

School

The adaptation of the K to 12 curriculum guide means that students will


graduate a bit older compared to those who graduated under the 10 – year
education cycle. Far from being disadvantageous, however, Department of
Education (DepEd) states that young adults graduating at 18 or so will be
more prepared to take on their tertiary education since the additional two
years in high school originally give students ample time to master basic
academic skills as well as to participate in co – curricular and community
activities.

In this case, tertiary schools should really just remove the basic units and they
will now boost these young adults in their chosen path of career. They will
now handle more mature students who will be motivated with their passion
given that they had enough time thinking for what they really want.

More to the point, the Kto12 would be unfavorable for tertiary level
institutions in view of the fact that its main objective is for senior high school
students to find jobs even without entering college. The “back to zero” system
is also stressing it. Students will now think, especially for those who are
financially burdened, that going to college is just to get a degree. Students who
prioritize money over degree will of course choose to find job than to pursue
their education. If units will be lessened, and hopefully a year will be reduced,
then more students will still be provoked to enter college.

Economy

Education is a powerful force for promoting opportunity and growth. It is not


surprising that an individual’s educational attainment is highly correlated
with his income. As individuals gain more earnings, they would contribute a
lot to the country’s economic growth.

Graduate employment is a concern at a time when unemployment rates are


rising in the Philippines. The issue of stimulating job creation is of key
concern to the current government, and efforts are being made.

One of the solutions would be the college institutions should focus on


identifying competencies that are expected from graduates to the different
courses (i.e. business management, information technology, electronics
engineering, tourism, and hotel/restaurant management). These are the main
academic areas that produce the workforce for sunrise industries important to
the economy’s continued growth. The improvements in the system of higher
education will make institutions and their graduates more relevant to industry
and make graduates more employable. This will then create a stronger
workforce for industries.

Numerous studies show that a skilled human resource component positively


affects the growth of an economy. A better – educated society may translate
into higher rates of innovation and overall productivity. In an effort to
downplay today’s positive economic indicators, many people say that our
hungry brother and sisters cannot eat numbers. That is true because economic
reforms, coupled with the good governance that leads to improved
competitiveness rankings and ratings upgrades, are only the foundations upon
which an equitable society can be built. Education is another foundation and
provides additional building blocks. As the economy strengthens, more
investments flow into the country and more jobs are created. Education
complements this by producing graduates with the right skills to fuel and
expand the engines of growth.

Aside from education, inclusive business is another key component of the


inclusive-growth agenda. Inclusive businesses are commercially viable, profit-
making private companies providing decent jobs and income-generation
opportunities, as well as relevant, affordable and accessible goods and services
for the people at the base of the pyramid. As more and more companies adopt
inclusive-business models, inclusive growth becomes more attainable.
Simultaneously, businesses employ graduates with high skills.

The economy is expected to experience accelerated growth in the long run.


Several studies have shown that the improvements in the quality of education
increases GDP growth by as much as 2 percent. A better educated society
provides a sound foundation for a long – term development for the new
system will contribute to the development of emotionally and intellectually
mature individuals capable of pursuing productive employment or
entrepreneurship or higher education disciplines.
Moreover, the result of focusing on major subjects in college would be skilled,
specialized and job – ready graduates. Labor is arguably the most important
input in any economic enterprise. With these, businesses will have a plethora
of multi – skilled workers to employ in companies.

In addition, the said motion will result to prospects of a better – trained


workforce that may potentially encourage new and additional investments,
create jobs, and dramatically decrease unemployment rate in the Philippines.
Several studies show that personal lifetime income and societal influence
increase when the subjects in college interest students with high quality
education.

The K-to-12 system answers the need for a 12 – year basic education cycle,
followed by the focused major subjects in college, which is now the
fundamental requirement for entry in most universities and companies
abroad. Once they return to the country, these students would be able to
contribute to their company’s – as well as to the country’s – success with the
fresh perspectives and skills they acquired from overseas exposure.

Likewise, as future graduates will be more skilled, innovations, mainly in


technology, is expected.

As a further matter, when Filipino subjects are excluded in college curriculum,


more foreign students will enroll to Philippine colleges. As a result, the
country will have more migrates, leading to more income. Also, more foreign
schools in the country would be established.

Education System

Although this was because of colonial education, emanating the other


countries’ education system is not because of the inferiority complex of the
Filipinos who were former colonials of these countries, but just to let Filipinos
to effectively compete globally. Would love to hear someday when somebody
says that Filipinos can be found all over the world leading in arts, leading in
sports, leading in economy, leading in science, etc.
Take a look at the different school systems of United States and Europe. In the
US, high school is relatively egalitarian, offering everything for everyone from
vocational training to college prep honors courses. In Europe, kids have two
tracks starting at about the age of 14 which can be basically defined as
vocational and professional. This system seems to be responding better to the
high – tech vocational skills in which workers are in short supply globally. The
medical company Baxter, for example, opened a large facility in Austria
because the country offers a strong work pool of highly qualified lab
technicians. They have quality education that is more focused. When VW
opened a US plant, they paid the skilled factory workers 25-50%- more than
the administrative staff.

On how an education system responds to both personal and the workplace


needs of high technology, information – driven society is a key question to
look at.

What is extremely important in a nation is education. We all know that our


educational system is patterned with that of the US. And we should be grateful
for that. Because of our good knowledge in English, we Filipinos can be found
all over the world normally enjoying competitive jobs abroad. We people are
the envy of other races because of our English training and knowledge that we
can handily adapt any situation in any foreign working environment. And be
reminded that most of the companies operating all over the world are owned
by either British or Americans. Thus, an English speaking foreigner has the
big advantage. We need to encourage the young generation to be more fluent
in English because their best hope to get a better life is to go abroad. Being
knowledgeable and fluent in English doesn’t mean betraying your own culture.
Our original culture had been screwed up by the colonizers already. We have
to be realistic. Our language culture is still sleeping in the womb of time. It
will take centuries before it will become comparable to English, Japanese,
French, Latin or chinese. Continuing to use English as the medium of
instruction in all schools will make our young generation become more
intellectually powerful in their respective area of studies or degrees. We have
to accept the fact that if you don’t know how to speak or express yourself in
English, you will be tag as an inferior educated person.

Many Filipinos asked for better education, here they are. Yet some are still
hesitant in improving the college quality education of the country.

Furthermore, rebuttal to some of the blunders of the cons is presented. The


points discussed here seek to debunk myths and hopefully convince the
concerned citizens that removing Filipino subjects in college starting next
academic year is worthy. The common myths of the results of removing
Filipino subjects in tertiary level are the teachers in college major in Filipino
are in risk of unemployment; increased dropout rates due to more complex
new GEC; a threat to the national language; “Filipino subjects are better to be
learned than English”; revival of American influence; a threat to Filipino
culture; and insufficient Filipino subjects in lower levels of education.

Teachers major in Filipino

Two main points were raised about the new GEC: its alleged failure to
intellectualize the Filipino language; and its supposed displacement of
Filipino faculty.

The new curriculum has been reduced from 63 units (for humanities and
social science majors) or 51 units (for science, engineering and math majors)
to 36 units for all students. The 27/15 units removed were not all in Filipino.
They also include coursed in English, Literature, Mathematics, Natural
Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences. The new GEC, moreover, offers
entirely different courses from the old one.

Hence the displacement is not focused on Filipino teachers but spans all the
disciplines, and therefore he claim that Filipino teachers alone are displaced is
inaccurate, just as the claim that Filipino as the medium of instruction has no
place in the new curriculum is also false.

The more important question is why the old GEC was changed. First, it
contained many remedial courses (in English, Filipino, Math, for example)
that are taught in the new K-12 curriculum. It would be unfair to have
students take academic track courses in senior high school, only to repeat
them in first years of college. Second, the old GE curriculum had courses that
were disciplinal (e.g. General Psychology, Basic Economics) were also
removed; the CHED then crafted courses reflective of liberal education.

These moves led to the reduction of the GEC from 63/51 to 36 units. By doing
so, the CHED didn’t deny the capacity of the Filipino language for intellectual
discourse. The entire GEC may be taught in Filipino if the higher education
institution wishes and, if public consultations so approve, at least nine units
can be required to be taught in Filipino. Research and publications in Filipino
will continue to be supported in key institutions to further enhance the
capacity of the language for intellectual discourse.

Obviously, Filipino teachers are not uniquely displaced by the new GEC. When
the old curriculum was reviewed, in light of the K-12 program and, guided by
the nature and spirit of liberal education, courses in many disciplines were
removed.
The displacement of higher education faculty as a result of the new GEC had
remedies discussed and being discussed such as the assignment of disciplinal
courses to former GE faculty, the deployment of some higher education faculty
to senior high school, the grant of research load to deserving faculty, and
other. The CHED, in fact, has a technical working group studying the
challenges posed by the transition to K12 and is working out alternative
solutions with the help of DepEd, DOLE and other concerned agencies. Also,
the displacement of higher education faculty has already started during the
period when the pioneers of Kto12 are in Grades 11 and 12 instead of college.
All Filipinos have already started to accustom themselves in the new GEC.

Increased Dropout rates due to more complex new GEC

Other worries such as higher dropout rate are unnecessary and are irrelevant
for the DepEd has already set programs that will address to this. The
department in partnership with other government agencies is working
together so that the transition will be smooth for it could not afford to fail.

Not only that, the department is only making sure that it is delivering quality
education which every Filipino is entitled to. This is consistent with Article
XIV, Section 2(1) of the 1987 constitution which states that “The state shall
establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system
of education relevant to the needs of the people and society.”

Any major change in a fundamental institution like the country’s basic


education system is going to create some discomfort; that is unavoidable.
Education in particular has a tremendous influence on the country’s social
make – up, and any significant change to the education system risks pushing
some people out of the way despite the best efforts of the government and the
education sector to ensure Kto12 benefits to everyone.

If the Philippines wishes to even approach the lofty goal of becoming a “first –
world country,” as former president Aquino III suggested, it absolutely must
meet conventional global standards of education. As just one example of how
the current system handicaps the Philippines’ human capital, professional
certificate holders – accountants, engineers, healthcare workers and others –
often encounter resistance for the sole reason that their education is two years
shorter that everyone else’s. Thus, all Filipinos should embrace the change,
the change that will make progress and innovations to the country.

A threat to the national language


This new GEC results to the advocates of the Filipino language, in a bid to stop
what they called an ‘attack against the national language’. “We hope that the
Supreme Court’s final decision makes the retention of Filipino and Literature
permanent. This small victory is a step in the right direction,” Tanggol
Wika (Alliance of Defenders of Filipino) spokesperson David Michael San
Juan stated. “We hope that colleges/universities will follow the new
memorandum and instantly revive/resurrect all Filipino and/or Literature
Departments that were abolished because of the K to 12. It is only 2014; the
Filipino language has not even reached its 100th year and yet it will be removed
from the curriculum,” he added.

On the contrary, removing Filipino subjects in college curriculum would not


be an ‘attack against the national language’ since Filipino is highlighted on
senior high school. Moreover, Filipino is widely used in the country; in fact it
is the medium of communication, so the national language would not be
affected if it is abolished in the tertiary level. Just like the mother tongue only
taught from Grades 1 to 3, twelve years (Grades 1 to 12) would be enough for
the Filipino language to be improved to students. Aside from this, Filipino
subjects are only abolished, but the Filipino language is not. Teachers in the
tertiary level are allowed to use Filipino language in teaching several subjects,
and at least nine units are required to use Filipino as a medium of instruction.
Thus, it is clearly seen that Filipino language is not removed.

“Filipino subjects are better to be learned than English.”

‘This small victory is a step in the right direction,’ San Juan added, pertaining
to the continuance of Filipino subjects in college education.

However, it’s better if the direction of the college curriculum will lead the
youth to a more globally competitive path. The universal language is English,
which will be used when talking to foreigners (i.e. future investors, tourists).
Many of Filipinos, mainly students, have the fears on public speaking,
especially if it’s in English. That’s why college should focus on this, because
this is really helpful for many careers (i.e. reporting a financial statement to
the board of directors, proposing a business plan, teaching students, politics).

It’s not just on public speaking, but also on casual conversations. Many
Filipinos go abroad, as migrates, as workers or as tourists, and many Filipinos
talk to foreigners in the country. It would be dismaying if we couldn’t
understand, speak or if we still need translators in speaking English (i.e. Miss
Universe Philippines answering in the Q and A portion with a translator;
talking with bad English to a foreign investor). It would be dismaying if we
still use Filipino in these conversations.
Revival of American Influence

One of the major causes why there are attempts to remove Filipino in college
is colonial education. When the education system in the Philippines was
established during the American colonial period, it used English as medium of
instruction and not Filipino.

Those in positions of authority who issue policies that affect the education
system in the country are products of this colonial education. English was the
language they used when they were still studying; thus, it is not surprising that
the education system in the country is being geared to emulate the western
system of education.

Nevertheless, the focus of this new GEC is not the revival of American
influence but to let Filipinos be more globally competitive.

The K to 12 program being pushed by the globalized system of thinking that


says the education system in the Philippines is inadequate because it lacks two
years. It was easy to convince authorities because they are products of a
colonial system of education.

Hence, as the globalized system of thinking had started, it would be


inappropriate to remain the old college curriculum yet high school already
emulated the two – more – year program. K to 12 would be ineffective if
college curriculum would not be changed.

A threat to Filipino Culture

Excluding Filipino subjects in college curriculum doesn’t mean excluding the


national language and culture from Filipinos.

Cultural works are promoted throughout the Philippines, whether in people’s


theatre, in revolutionary songs, stories and poems that are composed,
performed and patronized in the guerilla zones. Or it could be shouted as
slogans, written leaflets, placards and streamers, and delivered in speeches in
rallies and mass actions.
Also, Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) is making sure that the annual
Buwan ng Wika celebrations are not forgotten by schools. In this sense, the
recognition of the Filipino language, culture and identity is highlighted.

Insufficient Filipino subjects in lower levels of education

Some linguists say that there is actually a dire need to study Filipino in the
tertiary level, that Filipino subjects from elementary to secondary schools are
not sufficient, because many Filipino words are losing their meaning because
of consistent wrong usage, especially by those who have influence on people –
public personalities, mass media and of course, teachers. More than ignorance
of grammar rules, it means people are losing their Filipino consciousness,
with the increasing influence of foreign language and culture in the time of the
internet. In this case, Filipino consciousness should be more brought to light
in the lower levels of education. Filipino teachers should be retrained for the
improvement of Filipino subjects from elementary to secondary schools.

“Removing Filipino as a subject in the new GEC is not just a local issue; it is a
moral issue that goes against the integrity of our race. It is not enough to teach
children up to the 11th and 12th grade to say that they are already good at
using the national language. Filipino should continue to be taught and used up
to all levels of formal education,” professor in Filipino in the National
Teachers College and Palanca – award winning writer Patrocinio Villafuerte
said.

“Filipino language is the only language that can unite Filipinos.” Yes, this is
true. But this fact cannot be affected when Filipino subjects are excluded in
tertiary level; eliminating the said subjects just wants future graduates to be
more employable.

Another argument would be the dire to still teach Filipino subjects in college
education because National Achievement Test results for the secondary level
is low. But tertiary levels should not adjust to this. The poor quality of basic
education is reflected in the low achievement scores of Filipino students. The
main reason is that students do not get adequate instructional time or time on
task. Usually, teachers are not able to teach all the content of the curriculum
due to constraint particularly of the fourth quarter which are all essential and
prerequisites for the next level (due to i.e. changing year round calendars).
The original 10 years are now 12 years. Filipinos should enhance and
decongest the new curriculum. This setup will give students more time to
master competencies and time for extra – curricular activities, thus allowing
for a more holistic development. Teachers should also be able to ensure that
each competency is taught and mastered and all the necessary skills are
transferred and developed. If retraining for teachers from elementary to
senior high school is essential, then the government will not hesitate to
address this.

All in all, the enhanced Kto12 curriculum is designed to provide a holistic


education for all. Now decongested, the additional two years in high school
give students ample time to master basic academic skills as well as to
participate in co-curricular and community activities. The new General
Education Curriculum will start the next academic school year, which will
supposedly enhance the incoming college students’ quality education and
make them more employable in the future.

Change is never easy, especially when it is about a big undertaking such as the
implementation of the new Kto12 curriculum guide in the Philippines, not
only the additional two years in high school, but also the exclusion of Filipino
subjects in college. Similar to the debatable Kto12 curriculum before, the new
college curriculum will be in full swing next academic school year if ratified.

Likewise, the new GEC will also be embraced by Filipinos eventually,


enlightened by the benefits stated. To summarize, the benefits given by the
motion are for college students to be more globally competitive, to have lesser
units, to be more focused on their specified major subjects, to be motivated in
going to school because they will mainly focus on learning subjects aligned
with their passion, to be more employable as they graduate and for them to be
recognized in other countries; parents to be challenged less financially and to
have more time to enjoy life; teachers to be more fluent in speaking the
universal language; college institutions are perturbed due to Kto12, the fact
that the additional two years in high school allows high school graduates to be
employable even without college degree, hence college institutions should
lessen the number of mandatory units, or if ever a year, to be taken up by
college students to maintain its number of enrollees before Kto12 was
approved; the country’s economy to have more graduates with high
educational attainment, with great income, more relevant to their industry,
more employable, and more skilled, specialized and job-ready professionals,
stronger workforce for industries, lesser number of college graduates
unemployed, innovations particularly in technology, more investments, more
jobs created, improved college quality education, more multi-skilled workers
to employ in companies, more foreign students, more foreign schools and
decreased unemployment rates to be expected; and the Philippines’ education
system to be made parallel to the ‘first-world-class’ countries.

The common myths of the cons on removing Filipino subjects in college


curriculum were shown. First, the risk of unemployment of college teachers
major in Filipino is untrue because the new curriculum is just to remove the
Filipino subjects, but not totally; Filipino language is still obliged to be used as
medium of instruction in college to at least nine units; also, it’s not just the
Filipino subjects but some (e.g. English, Literature, Mathematics, Natural
Sciences) will also be removed due to the fact that these are already tackled in
senior high school; college Filipino teachers are also chosen to teach on senior
high school, so obviously, they will not be unemployed. Second, removing
these would increase dropout rates due to more complex new GEC is such a
‘big mistake’ because this will lead to college students to be more focused on
their chosen fields. Third, many believe that the motion will serve as a threat
to the national language. But this is fictional since Filipino language is still
observed in college institutions and community, only Filipino subjects are
excluded. Fourth, most of the Filipinos believe that Filipino subjects are better
to be learned than English, but this statement is false for the reason that
English should be highlighted in the higher levels of education since this is the
national language. Fifth, various comments say that the motion leads to
the revival of American influence in the country, yet it’s not. The purpose of
focusing on the major subjects in college is to prepare the future graduates to
be more employable, skilled and globally competitive professionals. Aside
from a threat to the national language, it’s also a common myth that it would
be a threat to the Filipino culture. It is clear that removing Filipino subjects in
college wouldn’t affect the culture of the country because ‘Buwan ng Wikang
Pambansa’ is made sure to be annually celebrated; the culture is as it is; and
cultural works will still be made, some in Filipino language by the future
college students in lined with that (but not only the students but all of the
Filipinos). Lastly, it is not the tertiary level education who must adjust to the
belief that Filipino subjects in the lower levels of education is insufficient.
Teachers in the elementary and high school should make sure that they will
teach the given subjects from first to fourth quarters.

In all these epochal shifts, the university has always maintained its vision to
define its general education as preparing students to become good leaders
with moral integrity and critical minds.

Removing the Filipino language in the college curriculum doesn’t mean the
end of nationalism of the future professionals of the country. Being a fluent
speaker in Filipino is not the only way Filipinos show their nationalism and
patriotism. As long as they use it in their daily lives, and they are not ashamed
of it when using abroad, these would still be considered as a respect in our
national language.

The first batch of the Kto12 system is already in the edge. Because they are the
pioneers, they are vulnerable to experimentations of the government
education system. It would be better if the government will already start to the
pioneers excluding Filipino subjects for them to be more focused in their
chosen courses.

The goal of education in the Philippines must be defined. Without a significant


transformation of the support needed for kids to attain excellence, K-12 is just
a waste of time.
The Kto12 program is supposed to produce a better-educated workforce. But
starting it without continuing is inappropriate. Without a change in the
education after the added two years, without an improvement in tertiary
education would make no difference.

It is high time that we join the rest of the world and improve the quality of our
basic education system and graduates.

The new GEC may be a challenge, it may create practical difficulties for some,
but it is an absolute necessity. Any effort applied by anyone that is not an
effort to make it happen more effectively is an effort that is wasted, and
ultimately harmful to the country and its livelihood.

We Filipinos love changes. It is evident in the way we embrace almost


anything that is new. Therefore, why not changes in college education which
after all is intended to make it relevant to the need of the times. #

Works cited:

http://school-principal.blogspot.com/2012/04/benefits-of-k-to-12-program-
of.html

http://bulatlat.com/main/2014/06/27/removing-filipino-as-a-subject-in-
college-a-betrayal-in-the-name-of-business/

https://www.rappler.com/nation/140144-ched-order-filipino-subjects-new-
ge-curriculum
http://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/06/17/14/why-ph-scrapping-filipino-college

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/631905/up-profs-students-dont-remove-
filipino-from-college-curriculum

http://www.manilatimes.net/new-curriculum-push-2018/315405/

https://www.rappler.com/nation/140144-ched-order-filipino-subjects-new-
ge-curriculum

http://bulatlat.com/main/2014/06/25/educators-students-form-alliance-to-
defend-filipino-language-subject/

http://bulatlat.com/main/2017/06/09/ched-violates-supreme-court-order-
removing-filipino-college/

http://bulatlat.com/main/2014/08/22/the-national-language-evolution-
through-revolution/

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/687228/in-the-know-filipino-curriculum-in-
tertiary-level

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/614200/house-urged-to-probe-dropping-of-
filipino-as-a-college-subject
http://opinion.inquirer.net/76155/must-filipino-be-taken-out-of-tertiary-
curriculum

http://www.braincontour.com/2014/07/03/statement-removal-of-filipino-
and-filipino-teachers-from-the-new-general-education-curriculum/