Ever pondered the idea of Physical Education as an academic subject? You heard it right, Viscans! so get those muscles and ‘bagtak’ sessions seriously as we make ‘bawi’ for your grades. As they say this time, “Walang tapon sa PE subject.” 


Earlier this Academic Year, the Institute of Human Kinetics (IHK) brought major changes to its subject offerings as the approval of the Physical Activity Towards Health and Fitness (PATHFIT) course officially cruised its platform, implementing a better scope of the draft that was adapted several years before, the Physical Education (PhEd) course.


On a Facebook post on January 15 this year, IHK announced the effectivity of the policy mandated by CHED Memorandum Order No.39 series of 2021 and weaved its second fabric through VSU BOR Resolution No. 70 series of 2023 for its Standards, Guidelines, and Implementation in the university. This has been put into greater improvement as Section 6 stated that “The marks of PE grades shall be included in the computation of the General Weighted Average (GWA) for all students, especially for the scholastic honors.” (Read more: https://ched.gov.ph/cmo-no-39-series-of-2021/)


Freshmen students of the Academic Year 2023-2024 are the first batch to ever banner its effectivity into the academic arena but in the preceding timeline, it will surely take effect on everyone enrolled in the course. 


How is PHED different from PATHFIT?


To answer the possible queries, IHK Director Charis Limbo Rivera gave a few clarifications of the distinct history of the two courses.


“In terms of the course content, it is actually the same since our PhEd 11-14 are [technically] adapted to the CMO draft of the PATHFIT courses,” she stated.


According to her, course descriptions are no different as the latter are adapted even before it implemented the PhEd courses in the new curriculum. 


What are the major changes?


As drawn to the CMO guidelines, three changes occurred from this new setup. The first is with regard to the course title. Course title changes from the implementation; PhEd 11 or the ‘Movement Enhancement’ is now changed into PATHFIT 1, PhEd 12 or ‘Fitness Exercises’ courses is now PATHFIT 2, and the preceding titles are changed into PATHFIT 3 and PATHFIT 4 (PhEd 13 and 14). Pertinent to this, it was PhEd 13 and PhEd 14 that were only labeled PATHFIT courses before. Prerequisites are made stricter mainly due to the different course checklists and changes in degree programs that made other courses unable to adapt actual prerequisites for PE.


To add to the major elevation, the adaptation of the CMO as capsulated in Section 6.4, the relevant provision states that the PE grade should be included on the GWA especially in the computation of the scholarships in the university—putting it as an ‘academic subject’. 


Another pertinent point that the CMO also highlighted is there should be no exemption for physical education classes. Section 6.7 of the article states that “under no circumstances shall PE be substituted for other courses or activities.” This means that any activity like varsity students are no exemption from enrolling in a PE subject in its new CMO adaptation.


Implications as an academic subject; will this bring a positive effect to scholastic honors, Viscans?


IHK Director Limbo-Rivera solely believes, “If you have to improve a student, you should improve their whole being—that includes their physical interest.” CHED pushed these implementations for tertiary education schools to treat these as an equal ground for academe and not as mandated subjects only. In the long run, this does not only ease the underlying problems in the courses but also serves as an avenue to improve the students' physical literacy and give opportunities for the students who can also excel when it comes to physical activities.

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