The current general education (GE) subjects taken up in the first two years of college should be taken up at the Grades 11 and 12 of senior high school, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

“GE subjects are very important in developing a mindset of critical thinking. And mindset is primary over skills and knowledge. Mindset involves a set of beliefs provided by GE subjects that orient us in the way we handle problems and situations,” Pascual said.

“GE should be taken up in Grades 11 and 12 as senior high school students number at least three times that of college students. We will develop more critical thinking in more Filipinos if GE subjects are taken up in senior high school than in college,” he added.

GE subjects include Arts and Humanities, English Language and Literature, History, Mathematics and Science, and Social Sciences.

The former president of the University of the Philippines said this proposal would make college years shorter, an earlier recommendation he made.

“I am not for abolishing the GE subjects in college. I am for moving them to senior high school,” he clarified.

Pascual said removing GE subjects from the college curricula would also allow for the introduction of specific GE subjects in specific courses.

“For example, engineering students need a set of social science subjects specific to engineers. Future engineers would benefit to subjects such as the philosophy behind buildings and bridges,” he said.

The former president of the Management Association of the Philippines said this would not be too different from the college curriculum before K-12 was adopted.

“The ages of those who are taking Grades 11 and 12 are the same as the college freshmen and sophomores before the K-12 system was introduced,” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry leads the 10-agency group called the Philippine Skills Framework (PSF) Council that facilitates human capital development and equips workers with new digital skills for the future of production.

The nine other national government agencies are the: Technical Education Skills Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment, Professional Regulation Commission, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Agriculture, Department of Information and Communication Technology, Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Tourism.

In cooperation with concerned industry associations and other partners from the private sector, the PSF Council assists higher education and training institutions in revising existing curricula or designing new courses that are more relevant and responsive to current industry needs and emerging market demands.

Among its many mandates, the PSF Council guides policymakers to create policies that aims to empower and develop workers and industries.


Date of Release: 16 September 2022