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National artist, academe protest removal of Filipino subjects


Members of the academe, as well as a notable figure in Philippine literature, protested against a Supreme Court (SC) decision which excluded Filipino and Panitikan subjects as core college courses.

National Artist for Literature and National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCAA) chairperson Virgilio Almario emphasized the importance of these subjects in cultivating the Filipino language in a Tuesday report on GMA News TV program "State of the Nation with Jessica Soho".

"Kailangan, ang Filipino, as the national language, ginagamit mula sa pinakamababa hanggang sa pinakamataas na antas ng edukasyon. Iyon ang paraan para ang language ay ma-cultivate," Almario explained.

In its decision promulgated last week, the SC upheld the constitutionality of, among others, the Commission on Higher Education's (CHEd's) Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 20 which sought to ensure there were no duplication of subjects covered in Grades 11 and 12 under the new K-12 curriculum

While the Department of Education (DepEd) had said such changes were necessary to make the educational system up to global standards, Almario pointed out that the removed subjects played an important role in building a learner's character as a Filipino.

"While we value our global competitiveness, hindi naman ganoon talaga ang primary goal ng education. Hindi naman 'yung kumita," he pointed out.

"Kailangan pa rin ng education ay may kaugnayan sa paghubog ng karakter ng tao, ng bata, ng karakter ng Pilipino."

Protest

Meanwhile, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman students and teachers on Tuesday protested the removal of Filipino and Panitikan subjects in college.

 

 

The UP College of Arts and Letters (CAL) student council argued that the decision favored foreign influences on the country's education system and was a serious blow to Filipino culture. 

"Ipinapakita ng desisyong ito ang tahasang pagyurak sa kultura ng mga Pilipino, ang hindi pagbibigay ng pagkilala at pagpapahalaga sa mga disiplinang sumasalamin nito tulad ng wika at panitikan," their statement read.

"Bukod dito, ipinagkakait din ng pamahalaan sa bawat kabataang Pilipino ang pagkakataong magkaroon ng isang holistikong tipo ng edukasyong maaaring gamitin ang wika at panitikan upang magkaroon ng kritikal na suri at tindig sa mga konkretong kalagayan ng lipunan."

The UP College of Education student council aslo chimed,  "Ang pagtanggal sa Filipino bilang asignatura sa kolehiyo ay pagyurak sa integridad ng Pilipinas at ng mga mamamayan nito.

"Bilang mga Guro ng bayan, tayo ang isa sa mga inaasahang magpapalakas ng laban tungo sa edukasyong tumutugon sa interes mismo ng mamamayang Pilipino."

UP's Sentro ng Wikang Pilipino (SWF) and other Filipino language advocates plan to appeal for the return of Filipino and Panitikan as core subjects in college.

In an earlier interview, SWF Director Rommel Rodriguez said he was dismayed over the SC's and the CHED's lack of understanding of Filipino subjects.

"Sintomas ito ng kakulangan sa pag-unawa ng ambag ng Wikang Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas sa tuloy-tuloy na paghubog ng kaalaman, kamalayan ng ating mag-aaral," he said. — Margaret Claire Layug/DVM, GMA News

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