“This is a victory for all Filipinos who clamor for a nationalist education system, aligned with the goals of strengthening national identity, and achieving national development.”
By DEE AYROSO
The Alyansa ng Mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika) lauded the Supreme Court (SC) for issuing a temporary restraining order against the new college curriculum removing Filipino as a mandatory subject in college.
The SC issued the order on April 22, a week after the Tanggol Wika filed a petition for a certiorari and prohibition with temporary restraining order to stop the implementation of the “Revised General Education Curriculum,” also known as the Commission on Higher Education Department (Ched) Memorandum Order (CMO) 20.
The SC asked the respondents President Aquino and Ched chairperson Patricia Licuanan to comment on the petition within 10 days.
“This is a victory for all Filipinos who clamor for a nationalist education system, aligned with the goals of strengthening national identity, and achieving national development,” said Tanggol Wika convener and National Artist for Literature Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera.
Lumbera is one of the 86 petitioners, who included progressive lawmakers, university officials and professors, awarded writers and poets, and leaders of linguist, literary, student and progressive organizations.
The petition said that CMO 20 violates the Constitution, including provisions on the national language, Philippine culture, nationalist education, and labor policy, as it removes Filipino language, Philippine Literature, Constitution and government from the general education curriculum in college.
Tanggol Wika said that the filing of the petition is a victory in itself, with the 45-page petition the first to be written in Filipino.
The CMO 20 is part of government’s implementation of K to 12 program, and will be effective in 2018 or earlier, in time when the first batch of K to 12 graduates enter college.
However, Tanggol Wika had received reports of colleges that started to abolish their Filipino departments, or had started cutting down the required units of Filipino subjects.
Dr. David Michael San Juan, Filipino professor at the De La Salle University and Tanggol Wika convener called the TRO “a product of our collective endeavors through petitions, forums, and rallies.”
San Juan encouraged language defenders and the public to “continue scrutinizing other aspects of the K to 12 program, and help align current educational reforms to the country’s needs and the Filipino people’s welfare, so as to further contribute to the country’s historical anti-neocolonial and anti-imperialist struggle in the arena of culture and education.”