By Erma Edera
Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) has urged colleges and universities to offer more and new courses in Filipino and to use it as a medium of instruction in the Philippines after the Supreme Court (SC) removed Filipino and Panitikan or Philippine Literature from core subjects in college.
“State universities and colleges (SUCs) as the educational instrument in fulfilling the mandates of the Constitution should be the model and vanguard in the propagation of the language provision,” KWF said.
National Artist Virgilio Almario, the chairperson of National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and KWF, said the new General Education Courses (GECs) should be taught in Filipino and English.
“The KWF is providing retooling courses to SUCs to encourage the use of Filipino in teaching GECs. We hope that if more SUCs use Filipino as a medium of instruction, even private education institutions will follow,” Almario said in a press conference on Monday at the NCCA office in Intramuros, Manila.
Almario also bared that more than 10 universities and colleges have dismantled their Filipino departments.
“Some administrators of colleges and universities betrayed their preference for English and dismantled their Filipino departments. Clearly these actions were not in the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) memorandum and more importantly, against the spirit of the language provision in the 1987 Constitution,” he said.
The national artist said they approached the Senate last year to push for new legislation which will execute the Constitutional provision for the creation of laws promoting the use of Filipino.
On the other hand, he said that some colleges and universities deliberately “misread” the recent SC ruling to favor the use of English over Filipino in teaching GECs.
Using Filipino in higher education is important for its cultivation and intellectualization, he added.
Almario also appealed to writers, publishers, and teachers of technical scientific subjects such as mathematics to explore their linguistic capabilities and to embark on writing projects for books and textbooks in Filipino.
In a resolution dated on March 5, the SC has affirmed its decision that upheld the CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 20 which excluded Filipino, Panitikan and the Constitution as part of core subjects of college courses.