THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said it will give incentives to institutions that constantly use Filipino or Tagalog as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction.
In a statement, CHEd said schools that opt to use Filipino in the general education (GE) courses or offer several sections of a given course in Filipino and other Philippine languages will be given financial incentives for the development of instructional materials in Filipino.
The commission has been urging faculty members who teach general education curriculum (GEC) as well as those teaching major courses to contribute to the intellectualization of Filipino by using it.
“Filipino cannot merely be taught as a subject, but must be used in oral and written forms, across academic domains,” it said.
According to the commission, only 15 percent of the general education curriculum subject will be offered to all college students in time of the nationwide implementation of Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-to-12) program by 2016. Under the K-to-12 scheme, the general education subjects were trimmed down to 36 units from 63 units.
The commission however clarified that only Filipino subjects have been removed from the original college curriculum because these will be offered to senior high school (Grades 11 and 12) students.
Apart from the support and incentives, the CHED also assured the public that the agencies concerned on the K-to-12 transition are currently discussing how to mitigate its possible negative impacts, particularly the displacement of faculty, while also leveraging this period of transition to upgrade the quality of higher education.
The militant youth group League of Filipino Students (LFS) earlier denounced the commission’s decision to remove the instruction of Filipino courses in tertiary education.
“CHED and the Aquino regime have deliberately insulted the Filipino youth and people who clamor for the retention of Filipino courses by refusing to change the provisions of CMO 20 and paying lip-service to optional use of Filipino as medium of instruction in selected GE courses,” Charlotte Velasco, the group’s national president, said.
The LFS said the policy will lead to the closure of Filipino departments in different colleges and universities and will leave 10,000 Filipino teachers jobless.
“The imminent threat of massive retrenchment and unemployment among Filipino teachers and shutdown of Filipino departments under CMO 20 and K to 12 will only be worsened by CHED sham reforms. By feigning support to the intellectualization of the national language while removing Filipino subjects in college, CHED treads into another course of hypocrisy,” Velasco said.