Following the enactment of the K-12 Basic Education Program, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) released Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 20 last June 2013. It proposed a new General Education Curriculum (GEC) that will adjust the general education courses being taught in the tertiary level and the K-12 program’s Senior High School.
Recently, there have been various consultations with key stakeholders regarding the final set of general education courses that will be taught in the college level.
Consultations on the GEC
The DLSU Filipino Department, in particular, has been active in scrutinizing the proposed GEC. According to the memorandum, the teaching of Filipino in the college level will be discontinued and related subjects will only be available to those majoring in Filipino. CHED justified its removal of Filipino subjects in the tertiary curriculum by pointing out the necessary units will be taught during Grades 11 and 12, as per the GEC. The exclusion of Filipino subjects in the collegiate level led to consultations calling for further amendments to the GEC.
Various groups such as Tanggol Wika have been holding consultations with CHED asking for the retention of Filipino subjects in the college level. Last July 31, members of the group submitted position papers directly to CHED, which contained their individual arguments and propositions as to why Filipino subjects must still be taught in college.
The Pambansang Samahan sa Linggwistika at Literaturang Filipino, Ink. (PSLLF), an organization promoting the Filipino language and its use, also released a petition on the website change.org, which asked CHED and the Congress to include nine general education (GE) units of Filipino subjects in the GEC.
In addition to the courses on the life of Rizal, the Filipino units mandated by the current law to be taught in colleges, the consultations also called for at least 12 units of any GE courses to be taught in the Filipino language. The decision to teach these subjects in English or Filipino is still up to the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) affected by the GEC.
At present, the consultations are still ongoing with different universities and colleges, including DLSU, pushing for the retention of Filipino subjects in the college level.
On the NLCC
In line with the proposed changes in the GEC, DLSU has been rendering changes to the New Lasallian Core Curriculum (NLCC). Last July 25, the Academics Council held an open forum on the NLCC’s framework, design, implementation, and syllabi formation. Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Raymund Sison led the presentation on the NLCC. As of press time, only the framework of the NLCC has been approved by the Academics Council and the President’s Council.
Included in the NLCC are government-mandated courses like Understanding the Self, Purposive Communication, and Readings in Philippine History. According to Sison, the courses will be taught in a manner that will achieve the goals and objectives both of the GEC and NLCC.
Under the new curriculum, any course may be taught in Filipino and based on the NLCC’s design, almost every course examines an aspect of Filipino culture, identity or society, as seen from the learning outcomes and assessment.
There will also be new academic courses added to the NLCC, namely: A Faith Worth Believing, Following Jesus in the Gospels, and ASEAN Opportunities and Challenges. On the other hand, non-academic courses that will be added include The Life and Thought of St. John Baptist De La Salle and four other zero-unit courses.
In response to the consultations with CHED, the NLCC also takes into consideration Filipino both as a GE course and a medium of instruction in the University. It allows any course to be taught in Filipino, but it doesn’t require Filipino subjects on the proposed lineup of GE courses.
The Academy for Lasallian Formation
The Academy for Lasallian Formation will serve as the implementing body of the NLCC. In terms of its structure, it will be headed by a dean, who is required to report regularly to the Vice Chancellor for Academics. In turn, the dean will have faculty members from the Professional Learning Community (PLC) who will assist him or her.
Before the NLCC will be implemented, the PLC will be trained on the following aspects: interdisciplinary teaching and assessment, scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and Lasallian formation.
The framework for the SoTL was conceptualized by Ernest Boyer in 1990, however, it is only recently that different universities are beginning to consider the SoTL. For the NLCC, various dimensions of the SoTL will be included such as its scope, time frame, method, and rubrics for assessment.
PLC faculty members can be appointed in two ways. Joint appointed members will be professors who will engage in commitments both in the Academy and in his or her home unit. They will be in charge of tasks such as faculty promotions and other appointments.
Single appointees, on the other hand, will engage themselves in SoTL work, which is the sole research requirement of the NLCC, unlike joint appointees who will continue to follow the research material of their home units. Moreover, teaching requirements will be interdisciplinary in the Academy.
SoTL work will primarily involve sharing and publishing results of teaching and learning in higher education. Hence, the research works will contribute to the development of ways to improve student learning, as well as the quality of teaching in the University.
Between the years 2016 and 2018, the University is set to fully shift to the NLCC.