The group Tanggol Wika is up in arms against the agency’s new memos.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Advocates of the Filipino language are back on the warpath against the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), which recently released policies and guidelines that excluded units of Filipino and literary subjects in the college curriculum.
The Alyansa ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika) slammed Ched Memorandum Order Numbers 13 to 48, series of 2017, pertaining to policies, standard and guidelines for courses in college. In a statement, Tanggol Wika said these memos by Ched failed to include three to six units of mandatory literary subjects and six to nine units of mandatory Filipino subjects in the academic requirements for bachelor’s degree in all fields.
The group said this violates the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court in 2015, which stopped the implementation of the “Revised General Education Curriculum” or Ched Memorandum Order No. 20 (CMO 20) issued in 2013.
CMO 20 abolishes Filipino language, literature, Philippine government and Constitution as mandatory general education subjects in college. The memo is in line with the implementation of the K to 12, which began in 2012, and supposedly integrates college general education (GE) subjects into the senior high school core courses. Subjects in Filipino, science, math, literature, humanities and social studies will supposedly be taken up at the Grade 11 and 12; only major subjects will be taught in college once the new curriculum is fully implemented.
Tanggol Wika demanded that Ched rescinds CMOs 13 to 48 and other similar memos, to be replaced with a new one that explicitly lists six to nine units of mandatory Filipino subjects and three to six units of mandatory literary subjects on the top of the 36-unit offering under the CMO 20.
The group said they will seek a dialogue with Ched, and will have no qualms in filing contempt charges against the government agency should it fail to comply with the SC’s TRO.
“Many schools and universities will pilot-test the new curriculum this June and August and there’s chaos now with regard to whether Filipino and literature should be included,” said Tanggol Wika convener David San Juan in a statement.
San Juan said Ched should act immediately as some colleges and universities are now using CMOs 13 to 48. This goes against the TRO and also Ched’s own memorandum dated July 18, 2016 ordering all colleges and universities to comply with the SC’s order to retain Filipino and literature subjects for all college students.
“We appeal to everyone’s sense of decency and adherence to our democratic processes. Let’s save each other’s time and just do the right thing: follow the Supreme Court’s order now,” San Juan said.
Further ‘killing’ of Filipino in Philippine education
Tanggol Wika also slammed House Bill 5091, An Act Strengthening and Enhancing the Use of English as the Medium of Instruction in the Educational System filed by Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The proposed bill, if passed, will use English as the primary medium of instruction from Grade 4 to high school.
Tanggol Wika said this is against Article XIV, Section 6-7 of the 1987 Constitution, which mandates Filipino as the official language for communication and instruction.
San Juan also said that other than shortages in facilities and manpower, subjects are also lacking in the Philippine education’s curriculum.
Philippine History was also abolished in the high school curriculum, which was previously taken in first year high school, now Grade 7 under the K to 12 program. The group said this would result to students who will be unaware of their own history.
“This policy of abolishing the study of our history goes against the policy of most countries in the United States, the United Kingdom and Southeast Asia where national histories are part of the mandatory subjects from elementary to college,” the group said.