CHED keeps new GE curriculum

MANILA, Philippines – After months of nationwide public consultations, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Thursday, November 27, said it will not change provisions of the highly criticized new general education (GE) curriculum which has no Filipino subjects and other "remedial courses" in it.

Instead, CHED will provide incentives to higher education institutions (HEIs) that will use Filipino in GE courses or "offer several sections of a given course in Filipino and other Philippine languages,” CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said in a statement Thursday.

She said CHED will also discuss a partnership with the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino that will develop a “long-term plan” that includes giving incentives for the development of materials in Filipino.

Since June, advocates of the Filipino language have been criticizing CHED Memorandum Order 20 series of 2013 as an “attack against the national language.” (READ: No Filipino subjects in college? 'Tanggol Wika' opposes CHED memo)

Under the memorandum, new courses will be introduced and all programs will be reduced from a maximum of 63 units down to 36 units. 

"Remedial courses” not only in Filipino, but also in English, Literature, Math, Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences will be devolved to senior high school – the additional two years added to basic education because of the K to 12 program.

Introductory courses to specific disciplines, such as General Psychology and Basic Economics, will also be removed.

Transition plan

Tanggol Wika, an alliance of Filipino educators, has been calling for the revision of the memorandum and the retaining of Filipino subjects in the new GE curriculum which will take effect starting school year 2018-2019. (READ: Should Filipino be scrapped from the college curriculum?)

The group projected more than 10,000 professors will be affected by the 2013 memorandum and by the K to 12 program, in general. 

Starting school year 2016-2017 up to school year 2021-2022, HEIs expect a drop in enrollment because of the K to 12 program and the nationwide implementation of senior high school.

CHED earlier admitted there will be displacements of faculty members, but on Thursday, Licuanan said they are currently preparing a K to 12 Transition Plan for Higher Education Institutions with other government agencies.

The plan is meant to mitigate K to 12’s "possible negative impacts, foremost on faculty,” and to take advantage of the transition period to "upgrade the quality of higher education.” – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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