Viral: Netizen posts clarification on “Removal of Filipino From College Curriculum”

Public Domain Image

Many slammed the Supreme Court’s decision to lift a 2015 temporary restraining order on a higher education directive removing Filipino and Panitikan as required subjects in college; saying such a move could lead to the erosion of the Filipino language and identity.

Amid the controversy surrounding this and the alleged “insertion of the Korean language” in its place — as perceived by many people after it was disclosed in the news that the Korean language will be taught in some public schools this semester, two netizens shared a helpful post to give clarification regarding the real status of the aforementioned languages/subjects.

Image capture of Twitter post by Catherine Bautista

The original clarification post was from Leo Carlo Casinillo which has reached nearly 25,000 shares and was two days later aptly translated by Marianne Raterta into English with the help of binisaya./com because her Cebuano, she made mention, is conversational at most.

The translated post:

“Let’s make it clear. Filipino was not removed to be replaced by Korean. First of all, the issue with this is the exclusion of Filipino in college, and Korean to be offered in High School.

CHEd said that the reason why Filipino was excluded from the “General Education and Minimum Unit Requirements” in college is because it’s already in the basic education curriculum anyway, which means that all students will take it from elementary to senior high.

It was agreed between CHEd (which governs colleges and universities) and DepEd (which governs elementary and high school levels) to transfer the other General Education (GE) subjects, including Filipino, to senior high; so that college programs will be more specialised, as well as the structure of the K-12 Curriculum.

One of the purposes of K-12 is to decongest the curriculum, to reduce the load in college because the other GE subjects are in senior high already. It would be redundant, and an added expense to pay units in private colleges if those subjects were in college as well.

Filipino is not restricted or completely removed from the college curriculum. It was just excluded in the core subjects for MINIMUM Unit Requirement, but if CHEd decides to, it can be added to the college minimum. Colleges have the Academic Freedom to decide what they want to teach. If the college justifies that it is advisable to fill a degree program with Filipino, they can do so. For example, the BSEd-Filipino Major program will really have a lot of Filipino subjects.”

Casinillo further posted that “It isn’t new that foreign languages are taught in high school.”

Click the image to read the DepEd’s Memorandum on Special Program in Foreign Language

“Since 2009, SELECTED/PILOT public high schools have had the Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL) to help with employment opportunities for their graduates. The vanishing of borders and an increasingly interdependent world have created incentives for new generations to learn and assimilate to other cultures, not merely as a hobby but also out of necessity, since the ability to speak several languages and navigate comfortably in different cultures has become crucial for professional success.

German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin are offered. It was only the latest addition, Korean, that became an issue. It’s an elective, optional. NOT EVERYONE takes the SPFL, only those who qualify because your grades and NCAE results (DepEd Order No. 46, series of 2012 [link at end]) are taken into consideration. It can be taken instead of TLE. It’s very difficult because there aren’t a lot of trained teachers to handle this nationwide.”

Click the image to read the Policy Guidelines

The post further discloses that: “Filipino was not eliminated, it was just moved to a different department/level. It’s actually a good thing that the Filipino subjects are in senior high, because not everyone can go to college [whether for financial reasons or otherwise].

It’s not true that our native languages and culture will weaken if we study foreign culture. In Mario Vargas-Llosa’s essay, he said that “Cultures must live freely, constantly jousting with different cultures. This renovates and renews them, allowing them to evolve and adapt to the continuous flow of life. In antiquity, Latin did not kill Greek; to the contrary, the artistic originality and intellectual depth of Hellenic culture permeated Roman civilization and, through it, the poems of Homer and the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle reached the entire world. Globalization will not make local cultures disappear; in a framework of worldwide openness, all that is valuable and worthy of survival in local cultures will find fertile ground in which to bloom.”

Casinillo also suggested that reliable articles should be read thoroughly in order to be enlightened; posting three links below.

Click the image to read the DepEd’s press release dated Feb. 20, 2017

To note, it was earlier this year when the Department of Education (DepEd) signed a memorandum of agreement with the Korean Embassy for its Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL); wherein it was disclosed just this month that DepEd chose 10 schools in Metro Manila that will teach 10 public schools the Korean language in Grades 7 to 12.

Click the image to read the full post

Meanwhile, majority of the comments from netizens expressed gratitude for the “enlightening post”.

“Thank you sir for enlightening everyone. This will surely help and give further explanations for those who aren’t actually understanding the change. Also for those people who are blabbering about it.”

“Thank you so much for this post, Ms. Marianne. Hope everyone absorbs these facts.”