After the first batch of high school students graduate from the Department of Education’s new Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) program, some college programs will be shortened and first among these are engineering courses, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson Patricia Licuanan said Friday.

Licuanan said the CHED engineering technical panel "has decided" to cut short the five-year engineering programs to four years, but "some of the science technical committees, however, have categorically said their programs cannot be shortened."

According to CHED estimates, some 322,000 students will enroll in engineering and technology programs for school year 2012-2013.

The country's colleges and universities produce about 48,000 to 49,000 engineering graduates yearly, CHED data show.

Last month, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro revealed in a meeting of the Philippine Business for Education that college courses will become shorter because of the curricular changes in basic education under the K-12 program.

Licuanan clarified though that the proposal to shorten college courses did not come from CHED, but from its technical panels of experts who come from stakeholder sectors.

She said the changes in college degree courses "will be the product of long and intense discussions and that comments made or ideas floated during the discussions must not be interpreted as definite plans."

She confirmed previous reports that the technical panel on general education (GE) "has initially proposed a shorter GE curriculum as some GE courses will now be part of Grades 11 and 12." —VS, GMA News

hmmmp... I don't quite agree that Engineering should be shortened to 4 years. Most especially my field of Engineering of Chemical Engineering. I understand that some of the General Education subjects are to be taught in the latter parts of the K-12 classes, but I think that dropping a year should not be done. I think it would be better to make the 5th year as an expertise year. There are numerous sub fields of chemical engineering that students can venture to. This can provide more edge to the Chemical Engineering Students since they specialize in a particular sub-field they can venture directly to the companies of the industry in their employment. Also, this can easily be a filter for those who wants to teach Chemical Engineering. They should be have an expertise of a particular field before venturing into the academe. Hence, increasing the competencies of the Faculty and the graduates alike.