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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.


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Saturday, December 03, 2005

entry arrow2:29 PM | A Subject That Has No Place in the Academe Daw, According to an Opus Dei Member

This is a letter published in the 30 November 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, damning the teaching of a subject on sexuality and gender being taught by Dr. Marjorie Go Sinco-Holmes, Dr. Michael Tan, among others, in the University of the Philippines:
It is sad to recount how the norms of ethics and morality have slowly declined in our society; and sadder still that the academe is where this downturn has become most prevalent, undermining the culture of academic excellence.

The University of the Philippines is the premiere state university, the bastion of academic excellence in the country. Yet what goes on in the academe betrays its very reputation.

More than fraternity rumbles and radical student activism, the university's greatest threat is perhaps the lack of moral mooring and ethical standards in the subjects it offers. This is worse as it directly undermines academic tradition by allowing vulgarity and frivolity to interfere with high-standard learning.

For instance, what could one learn from a subject on gender and sexuality (which is under the course title Social Science 3), where a certain sexy star is a guest lecturer, or where sensitive issues on sex and human sexuality are discussed without the least consideration on human refinement, sensitivity and respect?

More than being a great insult to the "iskolar ng bayan" [nation's scholars], who are the country's cream of the crop, this mirrors the urgency to reevaluate the curriculum of the university lest it loses grip on its responsibility in molding the country's future leaders.

The academe should clearly examine what it teaches its students and make sure it imparts quality education that feeds the intellect of the country's best minds, not matters that are boorish and trivial or that do not deserve a single corner in a respectable institution of higher learning.

ANDREW P. AGUNOD JR.
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
College of Science
University of the Philippines,
Diliman, Quezon City

Naturally, this caused a furor, especially among U.P. students. Because, really, taga-U.P. ba 'tong si Andrew? I have a feeling he will be more at home at, say, St. Paul University Dumaguete. Or a seminary. But while I subscribe to the idea that opinions like these are part-and-parcel of academic life, where ideas should collide and ferment, I still will not hesitate to say, "What a crock, Mr. Agunod."

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