Filipino advocates win TRO vs CHEd in K-12 controversy
Originally posted at 11:29 a.m, April 22, 2015
Updated at 1:05 p.m., April 22, 2015; Corrected headline
(Editors’ Note: The original headline of this article misappreciated the facts of the story, a case of the editing process failing the work of reporting. We sincerely apologize to our readers.)
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The Supreme Court has stopped the government from implementing a new college curriculum, which removed Filipino and Panitikan (Philippine Literature) as core courses.
The high court issued a temporary restraining order on Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 20 in response to the petition of a group of professors, students and legislators who called the new curriculum, which is part of the implementation of the K-12 program, “anti-Filipino.”
Under CMO No. 20, the new General Education Curriculum (GEC) was reduced to a minimum of 36 units. It no longer considers Filipino and Panitikan core subjects.
“The Court…issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) effective immediately and continuing until further orders from the Court enjoining the respondents from implementing and enforcing the provision of CHEd ( Commission on Higher Education) Memorandum No. 20 insofar as it excluded from the curriculum for College “Filipino” and “Panitikan” (Literature) as core courses,” the high court said.
Petitioners who are professors from universities and colleges, national artist, professors and lawmakers or the Alyansa ng mag Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika) said the new curriculum violates Republic Act 7104 (Organic Act of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino/KWF/Commission on the Filipino Language), Republic Act No. 232 (Education Act of 1982), and Republic Act No. 7356 (Organic Act of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts/NCCA).
Aside from the temporary restraining order, the high court ordered respondent CHED to comment on the petition within 10 days upon receipt of the high court’s order.
The K-12 enhanced basic education added two years to the four-year secondary education-a total of six years for secondary school, four years in junior high school and two years of senior high school. As a result, general education courses in college are integrated in the two years of senior high school.
In the petition, they alleged that CMO No. 20 disregarded the pro-national language spirit of the framers of the Constitution, the Charter’s emphasis on nationalism and cultural awareness as core values of Philippine education, and its pro-labor provisions that give workers – including teachers and workers in the education sector – the right to participate in policy-making activities.
The petitioners claim that they were never consulted in the crafting of the assailed CMO.
They added that CMO No. 20 was an assault to the Constitution’s pro-labor provisions that gives workers – including teachers and workers in the education sector – the right to participate in policy-making activities.
The group also asserts that the CMO violates Republic Act 7104 (Organic Act of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino/KWF/Commission on the Filipino Language), Republic Act No. 232 (Education Act of 1982), and Republic Act No. 7356 (Organic Act of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts/NCCA).
Petitioners include professors from University of the Philippines (UP)-Manila -Diliman, -Los Baños, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU)-Manila and -Dasmariñas, University of Santo Tomas (UST), Philippine Normal University (PNU), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Pamantasang Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar), Pamantasang Lungsod ng Pasig (PLP), Quezon City Polytechnic University (QCPU), University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), San Beda College, University of the East (UE), Far Eastern University (FEU), Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST) student leaders, union leaders, writers, cultural workers, and concerned citizens, including National Artist for Literature and University of the Philippines Professor Emeritus, Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, and ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio “Tonchi” Tinio, Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon. TVJ/KS
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