Teach Filipino Or Teach In Filipino

I do not remember taking up Filipino as a subject during my general engineering studies at Mapúa Institute of Technology in early 1970s so I cannot relate much to the current ruckus about its getting dropped from the college curriculum by virtue of  Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Memorandum No. 20, Series of 2013. During my student days, I took up Filipino as a subject from Grade I to 4th Year High School or a total of 10 years. After those years of learning Filipino, I feel confident that I had enough training the language to be proud of it. Sad to say that after all the years of learning Filipino, I never got to use it in my written communications because while it is our country’s lingua franca, English is still the language of business and governance in the Philippines.

Personally, I  do not agree with those opposing the CHEd’s memorandum especially after knowing that the removal of college-level Filipino would be covered in Grades 11 and 12 under the new K to 12 Basic Education Program. This means that our students will have thirteen (13) years of mandated learning of our national language, 3 years more than what my generation had. Add the fact that CHed encourages the use of Filipino in teaching the General Education (GE) core courses like Understanding the Self, Readings in Philippine History, The Contemporary World, Mathematics in the Modern World, Purposive Communication, Art Appreciation, Science, Technology and Society and Ethics.

Based on the arguments of CHEd, the current  college professors who teach Filipino have two (2) options if they want to continue their teaching vocation. First, they can continue to teach Filipino as a subject to Grades XI and XII students and become Senior High School Teachers. And second, they will have to train how to teach in Filipino any of the GE core courses and retain College Professors as their title.

By the way, are you not confused having “Filipino” as our nationality and also “Filipino” as our national language? Take note that the people from China has “Chinese” as their nationality and “Mandarin” as their national language. Those from Indonesia are “Indonesians” and their national language is “Bahasa”. I know this is a controversial proposition but why don’t we be called “Filipinos” and call our national language “Tagalog”? After all, Tagalog is really the language understood by majority of us.

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