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SC: ‘Filipino’ not required in college

The Supreme Court says colleges and universities may still include Filipino, Panitikan [Filipino Literature] and the Constitution as subjects in their respective curricula.

In a resolution, the high court affirmed its Oct. 9 2018 decision declaring as constitutional Republic Act 10533, or the K to 12 Law, RA 10157, otherwise known as the “Kindergarten Education Act, and other government issuances concerning the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, including CHED Memorandum Order 20 ordering the exclusion of Filipino, Panitikan, and the Constitution as core subjects from the curriculum of college courses.

The high court denied the motion for reconsideration by the Tanggol Wika, an alliance of professors, students, writers and cultural activists seeking for a reversal of its 2018 decision “failing to offer any substantial argument.”

The petitioners argued that the Constitution mandated the inclusion of the study of Filipino and the Constitution in the curriculum in all levels.

“While the Constitution mandates the inclusion of the study of the Constitution, Filipino and Panitikan in the curriculum of educational institutions, the mandate was general and did not specify the educational level in which it must be taught,” said the high court resolution written by Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe dated March 5, copies of which were only released to reporters this week.

“CMO 20 did not violate the Constitution when it merely transferred these subjects as part of the curriculum of primary and secondary education,” the high court said.

“CMO 20 only provides for the minimum standards for the general education component of all degree programs. It does not limit the academic freedom of universities and colleges to require additional courses in Filipino, Panitikan and the Constitution in their respective curricula.”

The high court also denied the motion for reconsideration of petitioner Maria Dolores Brillantes who argued that the additional two years of senior high school was arbitrary and oppressive as it failed to consider the needs of students of Science High Schools, who had higher mental capabilities.

But the high court said this prompted the K to 12 Law, as a police power measure, “intended to promote the interest of the public and not only of a particular class.

“It is also erroneous for petitioners to assume that the K to 12 Law does not serve the interest of the students of Science High Schools. In fact, the K to 12 Law explicitly recognized the right of schools to modify their curricula subject, of course, to the minimum standards prescribed by DepEd [Department of Education],” the high court said.

In a statement, Tanggol Wika vowed to file a second motion for reconsideration, still hoping that it could get a favorable ruling despite the denial of its appeal. 

Topics: Supreme Court , Filipino , Panitikan , Filipino Literature , K to 12 Law , Kindergarten Education Act
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