21-unit GE reform to be in full swing next AY
◢ CAMILLE LITA
UP Diliman is set to fully implement the proposed minimum 21 required GE units starting next academic year, according to Student Regent Shari Oliquino. This is less than half of the current 45-unit requirement and is by far the lowest in the GE program’s history.
The rule was decided upon during the September 7 meeting of the Board of Regents (BOR), with Oliquino being the lone opposition to the proposal. As student regent, Oliquino is the sole representative of at least 50,000 UP students to the BOR, the highest policy-making body in the whole UP System.
In the new GE curriculum, a total of 21 core units and up to 24 free elective GE courses will be offered under three domains: arts and humanities; social sciences and philosophy; and mathematics, science, and technology, based on the proposed framework submitted to the UP vice president for academic affairs.
The GE reform proposal was adopted on March 20 this year during the deliberation of the Diliman University Council (UC), composed of all professors and chaired by the chancellor. A total of 302 UC members then voted for the reform, heavily outnumbering 31 who voted against and 44 who abstained.
Meanwhile, several members of the board claimed that not implementing the GE Reform and adjusting to global standards for education will be detrimental for the university, according to Oliquino. But the GE reform is a way to produce cheap laborers for developed nations as this is among the primary goals of the internationalization framework, Oliquino said.
“Ang orientation dapat ng graduates ng UP ay maglingkod sa kapwa Pilipino dahil may kakulangan tayo sa professionals [sa bansa],” she added.
The GE reduction was a result of the K-12 program implementation because some of the core GE subjects will be taken during the two additional years in senior high school.
“UP will eventually lose its value as the university of the people if we continue to put foreign interests above our own nation’s,” said Oliquino in a statement.
Established in 1958, the GE program was launched with a regular 63-core unit load and was later reduced to 42 units in 1988. UP Diliman currently adopts the 2012 Hybrid Revitalized GE Program which obliges students to take some required GE courses like Communication 3, Kasaysayan 1 and Filipino 40. ■
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