THE head of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) wants to shorten the length of some college degree programs, because senior high school under the K-to-12 enhanced basic education program has been fully implemented this school year.
CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said the commission’s technical panels have begun discussing the proposed new general education curriculum.
The duration of some baccalaureate degree programs will be reduced by one year, as general subjects for college freshmen will be covered in senior high school.
“That is being discussed at the disciplinal level, so that‘s very difficult. Many don’t want to really reduce, but engineering courses had been reduced because of the K to12. They’re now four years instead of five years,” she said in an interview on Friday.
“But the other disciplines are also being urged by CHED to consider that because we see that there are some courses and some disciplines that can be taken, maybe in three years.
But it’s up to higher education institutions if they would consider it,” the CHED chief added.
The proposed new general education curriculum will take effect in 2018, the year when the first batch of senior high school (Grade 12) students graduate.
The CHED chief said there were courses that don’t need four years of education, but she clarified that the reduction of college courses would not be mandatory on higher educational institutions, since they have academic freedom.
Licuanan said she was still hoping that both private and public colleges and universities consider the reduction of the general education curriculum.
She, however, doubted that private school owners would consider this, as they would be losing revenue from the decreased college years.
“We see that since we cut the general education curriculum practically in half they (schools) are also putting in what they thought was much needed before,” Licuanan said.
General education includes subjects such as English, Filipino, and Natural Science, which will be transferred to the high school phase of basic education.
In previous discussions, CHED technical panels had recommended that the four-year degree courses on arts and sciences be reduced to three years.