By SARAH RAYMUNDO
I am opposed to the reduction of the current General Education courses in the University of the Philippines because the move follows the logic of neoliberal globalization. Neoliberalism doubles up as a form of social discipline and a strategy of accumulation.
As a form of social discipline the crisis of neoliberal globalization requires regional bodies such as the ASEAN to impose yet another set of social discipline in the educational system. The move to enact K-12 is not a product of an internal audit of the Philippine educational system. The latter needs to be modified for the demands of the so-called free market, an entity whose tyranny has only resulted in broken lives and futures of the majority.
The move to reduce GE courses down to 21 units or even just the idea of shaping our GE after the requisites of ASEAN, K-12– entities that facilitate the tyranny of the free market despite its crisis is a challenge to critical thinking and a symptom of its erosion.
Must we always cope? When do we fight back?*
With everything that’s been happening in the world, the mechanisms which ensure the immiseration of too many lives and the exploitation of our labors, how can, for the life of me, let the cream of the crop, the best of our youth, our Iskolar ng Bayan, be allowed to go out into the world with an orientation already skewed to the inhuman desires of this system? The form is the content and these two are dialectically related. Therefore reducing GE courses already says a lot about UP’s position on neoliberal impositions.
Effacing and or reducing GE courses is like granting our teenagers relative autonomy, pushing them to embrace the world like a lover sans a lesson on condom-use negotiation, which only responsible, credible and nurturing figures can provide.
*I owe that formulation to Pierre Bourdieu, GE prepared me to value his work as a scholar and a political activist