Itwas in 1986, under the presidency of Edgardo Angara whose term lasted from 1981to 1987,that the GEP was made uniform across the university’s campuses in thecountry. A UP student, no matter where he or she is enrolled in theuniversity’s constituent units across the country, is required to take twelve(12) courses. The values which the courses promoted were defined andmultidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching the courses wereintroduced (Kintanar, 1991).TheGEP underwent review and assessment processes in 1991, 1992 and 1995. UPPresident Francisco Nemenzo Jr., whose term lasted from 1999 to 2005, claimedthese reviews as basis for implementing the Revitalized General EducationProgram or RGEP in 2001. It was later subsumed in the GEP.
The RGEP introducedthe following shifts in the GEP: (1) From taking prescribed courses, studentswere allowed to choose courses within three domains of knowledge – namely, Artsand Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics, (2) Thenumber 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).UPpresents the following as the general objectives of the RGEP: (1) To broaden students’ intellectual andcultural horizons; (2) To foster students’ commitment to nationalism balancedby a sense of internationalism; (3) To cultivate in students a capacity forindependent, critical and creative thinking; and (4) To infuse in students apassion for learning with a high sense of moral and intellectual integrity. UPpresents the following as RGEP’s particular objectives: (1) To enable studentsto acquire basic skills and competencies in mathematics, reasoning andcommunication; (2) To develop students’ awareness, understanding andappreciation of the various disciplines of the natural sciences, socialsciences, humanities and philosophy; and (3) To develop students’ ability tointegrate and/or adapt the knowledge and skills they have acquired from thevarious disciplines (UP-Diliman Office of the Vice-Chancellor for AcademicAffairs, 2012). Criticsof the RGEP questioned the absence of required core subjects and the program’srefusal to prescribe an ideal combination of courses to students. Theyidentified problems depending on students’ response to subjects, with some RGEPadvocates justifying students’ refusal to take professors who are thought to beboring, tyrannical, or simply not interesting. They believed that theuniversity’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 UPis reneging on its right and duty to “give sufficient emphasis on historicallyand societally under-addressed subject matters, issues and themes,” giving wayto “societally inculcated preference of students.
” In sum, they charge the RGEPof failing to provide a balance between “student choice and institutionalguidance” (Guillermo, 2001).