Group renews call for mandatory teaching of Filipino, Panitikan in college

Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2021 04:13 PM

MANILA — An advocacy group on Monday renewed its call for Filipino and Panitikan (Filipino literature) to return as required subjects in college.

Tanggol Wika made the call 2 years after the Supreme Court upheld the validity of a memorandum from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), which removed the study of Filipino and Panitikan from the core subjects in colleges.

Tanggol Wika lead convener David Michael San Juan said the importance of the Filipino language was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Naging mahalaga ang papel ng Filipino at Panitikan para sa pagtatala at pagpapaliwanag ng mga usaping pangkalusugan at mga karanasan ng bayan," San Juan said in a virtual briefing.

(Filipino and Filipino literature played an important role in recording and explaining topics of health and the experiences of our people.)

"Kaya marapat na bigyang prayoridad din ang pagsasabatas ng muling pagiging mandatory ng mga kursong ito," he added.

(That's why we should prioritize legislating bills that would make these courses mandatory again.)

House Bill 223 and Senate Bill 1838, currently pending in their respective chambers, seek to make Filipino and Panitikan mandatory again in college.

To amplify its advocacy, Tanggol Wika said it planned to hold a dialogue with CHED, conduct more webinars, and establish regional chapters.

The group said it also wants Philippine Government and Constitution to be a required subject in college, and Philippine History as a required subject in high school.

Youth vote

The academic issues are part of Tanggol Wika's 10-point "Electoral Manifesto for 2022," which they consider key issues for next year's elections.

Preserving Lumad schools, and providing higher salaries for teachers and bigger budget for the education sector, are also part of it, among others.

San Juan said the youth vote has a decisive power on who the country's next leaders would be.

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