Filipino in GE is a bundle of contradictions

The meaning of tertiary education, the Philippine case, and the contradiction in the use of the Filipino dialect in 9 units of general education. 

TERTIARY EDUCATION is meant to open up the minds of students to the liberal arts and to the meaning of education as cultivation of the life of the mind.

It is not meant to instill civics and citizenship--these knowledge, skills, values--should have been addressed in the K-12.

Instead it is meant to make educands realize that tertiary education is:

1. a journey, that continuing act of exploration of the world and life beyond the nation and the state even as it is rooted in the nation and state, and

2. an act of equipping the person on a journey with the tools she needs in that journey.

The insistence, thus, of some groups to make mandatory the use of the Filipino dialect (or schizophrenic language) as the medium of instruction in the teaching of 9 credits of general education in tertiary education is a bundle of contradictions.

General education is simple enough: it should make educands see the issues in a variety of perspectives.

Now, two things are important in this argument:

1. The use of Filipino dialect in the teaching of these 9 units of GE limits that perspective, and thus, is antithetical to the very nature of GE, and

2. Language reveals the world and solves the issues of communities and peoples. The GE taught in the Filipino will only reveal the Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino world and never the rich diversity of the Philippines, the multiplicity in the experiences of the various peoples of this country, and the plurality of the modes of the people self-knowledge, both personal and collective, both private and collective.

In fine, the petition to request the use of Filipino in these 9 credits of GE only perpetuates the same naive nationalism that has not caught our imagination as it continues to perpetuate the same selfish interest of the ruling class, the same selfish interest of the hegemonic center, and the same selfish interest of those people who still believe in the falsities of the myopic view of 'isang bansa, isang diawa,' a view shared by a number of people that do not recognize the limitless possibilities of imagining the country as 'a nation among nations.'

Together with the rest of those who have seen the need to rethink our way of defining the Philippine nation state, to regard the country's languages and cultures as social resources, and to evolve a model of education that is not only emancipatory but also professional and competent, I wish to express here the need to say No! to the making of yet another 'mandatory' teaching of the schizophrenic 'national language' in tertiary education.


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