It of required core subjects and the program’s

It
was in 1986, under the presidency of Edgardo Angara whose term lasted from 1981
to 1987,that the GEP was made uniform across the university’s campuses in the
country. A UP student, no matter where he or she is enrolled in the
university’s constituent units across the country, is required to take twelve
(12) courses. The values which the courses promoted were defined and
multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching the courses were
introduced (Kintanar, 1991).

The
GEP underwent review and assessment processes in 1991, 1992 and 1995. UP
President Francisco Nemenzo Jr., whose term lasted from 1999 to 2005, claimed
these reviews as basis for implementing the Revitalized General Education
Program or RGEP in 2001. It was later subsumed in the GEP. The RGEP introduced
the following shifts in the GEP: (1) From taking prescribed courses, students
were allowed to choose courses within three domains of knowledge – namely, Arts
and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics, (2) The
number of units were increased from 42 to 45, (3) New GE courses were created,
(4) Other departments were involved in the creation and offering of new courses
(Nemenzo, 2001).

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UP
presents the following as the general objectives of the RGEP:  (1) To broaden students’ intellectual and
cultural horizons; (2) To foster students’ commitment to nationalism balanced
by a sense of internationalism; (3) To cultivate in students a capacity for
independent, critical and creative thinking; and (4) To infuse in students a
passion for learning with a high sense of moral and intellectual integrity.

UP
presents the following as RGEP’s particular objectives: (1) To enable students
to acquire basic skills and competencies in mathematics, reasoning and
communication; (2) To develop students’ awareness, understanding and
appreciation of the various disciplines of the natural sciences, social
sciences, humanities and philosophy; and (3) To develop students’ ability to
integrate and/or adapt the knowledge and skills they have acquired from the
various disciplines (UP-Diliman Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic
Affairs, 2012).

Critics
of the RGEP questioned the absence of required core subjects and the program’s
refusal to prescribe an ideal combination of courses to students. They
identified problems depending on students’ response to subjects, with some RGEP
advocates justifying students’ refusal to take professors who are thought to be
boring, tyrannical, or simply not interesting. They believed that the
university’s criteria for relevance may not necessarily match students’
criteria for selecting subjects – which were still evolving. As a result,
relevant subjects would not be taught. With the RGEP, critics stressed that UP
is reneging on its right and duty to “give sufficient emphasis on historically
and societally under-addressed subject matters, issues and themes,” giving way
to “societally inculcated preference of students.” In sum, they charge the RGEP
of failing to provide a balance between “student choice and institutional
guidance” (Guillermo, 2001). 

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