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On the Removal of Filipino and

Filipino Teachers from the New

General Education Curriculum
June 23, 2014 at 3:05pm

Press Statement

On the Removal of Filipino and Filipino Teachers from the New
General Education Curriculum

In the past week, two main points were raised about the new General
Education Curriculum (GEC): its alleged failure to intellectualize the
Filipino language; and its supposed displacement of Filipino faculty.

CHED Memorandum Order No. 20, s. 2013, creating, The General
Education Curriculum: Holistic Understandings, Intellectual and Civic
Competencies, specifically provides that the entire curriculum or parts
of it may be taught in Filipino or English, in keeping with Art. XIV, Sec.
7 of the Constitution, which states: For purposes of communication
and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino
and, until otherwise provided by law, English. For this purpose, the
course descriptions approved by the CHED are written in both

The CHED, moreover, has approved public consultations on the new
recommendation of the GE Technical Panel that at least nine (9) units
of GE courses must be taught in Filipino, with the choice of courses
left to colleges and universities. After the consultations are completed,
the Technical Panel will present the findings to the Commission, for
final action.

With regard to the 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 courses in English, Literature, Math, 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 the 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 will be 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 their first years of college.

Second, the old GE curriculum had courses that were discipinal (such
as introductory courses to specific disciplines) rather than liberal
education in character. These disciplinal courses (such as 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 so doing, did the CHED deny the capacity of the Filipino
language for intellectual discourse? No. 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 publication on and in Filipino will
continue to be supported in key institutions to further enhance the
capacity of the language for intellectual discourse.

Were Filipino teachers uniquely displaced by the new GE
curriculum? No. When the old GE 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 intellectualization of the Filipino language and the displacement of
Filipino, Math, Psychology and other former GE faculty are two
entirely distinct matters and should be addressed accordingly.

The possible displacement of higher education faculty as a result of
the new GE curriculum as well as during the period when students are
in Grades 11 and 12 instead of in College is indeed a serious concern.
There are remedies 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 others. 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.

Issued this 23rd of June 2014 at the Higher Education Development
Center Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.