ENGINEERING courses may soon be trimmed to four years, following the K to 12 curriculum imposed by the government.

This is because general education subjects will be brought down to senior high school (Grades 11 and 12), to give way to professional subjects in the tertiary level, said Julito Vitriolo, executive director of the Commission on Higher Education.

The reformed curriculum is aligned to the international standard of 16 years of education, he added.

Half of general education subjects such as social sciences, English, Science and Mathematics will be removed from the college curriculum.

Other five-year courses such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Accountancy may also be shortened to conform to international standards.

Meanwhile, four-year college courses will be retained, but general education subjects will be replaced by professional courses to enhance the curriculum.

Architecture not affected

Architecture Dean John Joseph Fernandez said the Architecture course will not be reduced to four years because only a minimal number of general education subjects will be removed.

He echoed Vitriolo, saying that the reduction of the general education subjects in the college curriculum will give more focus on professional subjects.

“Sometimes, general education subjects consume a lot of time for college students, so instead of focusing on professional subjects, the students have the general education subjects to worry about,” he said.

According to the government’s Official Gazatte, the core curriculum of senior high school will be composed of six subjects—Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages (English and Filipino), Mathematics, Philosophy, and Science.

Senior high school will provide students pathways to five career tracks: Business and Entrepreneurship; Humanities and Social Sciences; Science, Technology and Engineering; Sports; and Technical-Vocational.

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Freedom from conventions

Vitriolo said the shortening of the college courses can result in better preparation and focus on the major subjects.

Philosophy department chair Paolo Bolaños said there is a module developed by CHEd called “Pagpapakatao” which delves into Philosophy.

“There is a strong philosophical bend to that module because it is actually the philosophy technical committee coordinating with the DepEd,” Bolaños said.

The only Philosophy course offered in UST as general education subject is Logic. Bolaños said if Logic is the only Philosophy course that will be transferred to senior high school, the department would rather focus on research.

“If we’re going to focus on [teaching in high school], we’re going to miss what the K to 12 structure can offer us. We can also develop higher education, not only in teaching but also in research,” Bolaños said. Bernadette D. Nicolas and Nikka Lavinia G. Valenzuela

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