By CRIS EUGENE T. GIANAN
THE Department of Literature decried on Thursday the Supreme Court (SC) ruling allowing the removal of Filipino and Panitikan subjects from the tertiary level, saying the decision will have the “unmeasurable damage” on future generations of Filipinos.
Literature professors lamented that the decision will affect more than just students’ mental faculties.
“Tinatanggal ng Korte Suprema ang isang mabisang lunsaran ng pagkakaroon ng kritikal na pag–iisip, ng maayos na pakikipag-ugnayan sa kapwa, ng marubdob na pag-unawa at pagpapahalaga sa buhay,” the statement read.
“Ang usaping ito ay nangangahulugan na rin ng pagtanggal ng sa kakayahang umunawa at magpakatao dulot ng pag-aaral ng komplikasyon ng ating wika—at kung paano ginagamit at umiiral ito—at pag-aaral sa teksto at konteksto ng panitikan sa mga sasailalim sana sa higit na mataas na pag-aaral,” they added.
On Nov. 10, the SC ruled that Filipino and Panitikan subjects may be excluded as core subjects in college, upholding the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHEd) Memorandum Order No. 20 reducing the general education curriculum to 36 units for all students from 63 for humanities and social sciences majors or 51 for science, engineering, and math majors.
“[I]t is within the authority of the CHEd to determine the [general education] distribution requirements. The Court also reiterates that the study of Filipino and Panitikan can easily be included as courses in the tertiary level if the [Higher Education Institutions] wish to,” the SC said in its 94-page decision.
Literature Department Chairperson Joselito Delos Reyes told the Flame that despite the Court ruling, the University will still retain Filipino and Panitikan subjects in its curriculum.
“Nag–commit ang UST na hindi mawawala ang Literature at Filipino. […] Hindi mawawala ang Literature sa UST. May ilang technicalities, pero hindi mawawala,” he claimed.
Delos Reyes added that the University is among the few that promised to retain these subjects.
“[M]araming natutuwa na UST ay isa sa unang unibersidad na—I believe UP is one—that committed to [retain] Literature, tapos ang explicitly stating na merong [Literature] ay ang UST. So I guess it’s a good proposition. Hinahanap ‘yun. Maraming nakakuha at ang demand ngayon is tularan sana ang UST,” he said.
However, Assistant Dean Nancy Tabirara said the Literature Department’s claim is “unofficial” as the matter is yet to be officially addressed by the Office of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs. F