Quo vadis, DepEd & MLE?

In the days following DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009, otherwise known as “Institutionalizing Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MLE)“, there’s absolutely no pronouncement, memorandum, advisory, or press release by the Department of Education regarding what it plans to do to implement the order.  None, zero, zilch, nada.  That’s odd, considering DepEd 74 is designed to create an ocean change in education policy within the entire educational system.

In an ironic move, DepEd issued a press release dated Sept. 28, 2009 (two and a half months after DepEd 74 was issued) which said, among other things:

“Focused in preparing Filipino students for their role as global citizens, the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to offer French classes in selected public high schools in the country starting next school year.

“On account of globalization, our graduates are competing with people from other countries when they join the workforce. Learning a widely used international language early on will give our graduates that competitive advantage,” said Education Secretary Jesli Lapus…..”

Now, that’s a stretch considering how many select high school students really need to learn French.  Even then, there are various ways for those really motivated to learn French without the DepEd’s involvement in time and valuable resources.  Right now, I can suggest an absolutely FREE resource where one can learn/immerse in any of quite a number of world languages, including French–something that provides a more rounded language learning experience which includes audio lessons from native speakers.  Here’s the link:  MERLOT’s (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) World Languages.  MERLOT boasts of more than 400 French learning materials.  Again, these foreign language lessons are LIBRE, gratis, free and the student learns at his or her own pace or he/she can revisit any lesson desired 24/7.

Anyway, given President Arroyo’s known preference as to the use of English (for math and science) and Filipino (for the social sciences, etc.) as MOI in our schools (Executive Order No. 210 s. 2003), are we to interpret that DepEd considers DepEd 74 as simply a hot potato, something which is not the political thing to touch or even mention in one’s breath?  Where’s the common sense and backbone of our DepEd administrators who are supposed to be better in the know regarding the empirical evidence of the pedagogical superiority of using a community’s mother tongue as its initial medium of instruction at school and as a bridge to learning other languages to learn the more meaty courses–all of which make up what we value as an education?

Where, DepEd & MLE, are we going?

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