H.B. No. 162: Gunigundo Multilingual Education Bill

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Quezon City, Metro Manila

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

HOUSE BILL NO. 162

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Introduced by ATTY. MAGTANGGOL T. GUNIGUNDO I

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

Gunigundo

It is an honor to re-file the Multi-Lingual Education (MLE) bill that was originally known as HB 3719 that we filed on March 4, 2008 in the 14th Congress which was the subject of much discussion in so many fora except in the Committee on Basic Education and Culture to which it was referred for action.

With Department Order No. 74 promulgated by the Department of Education last July 14, 2009 that institutionalizes mother tongue-based multi-lingual education for the critical years of basic education, Congress must give permanency to this emancipatory policy that is central to reforming Philippine education system in order for it to provide quality education that produces graduates with good thinking and reading skills that enhances Filipino competitiveness in the labor market.

The main thrust of this bill is the establishment of a multi-lingual education program that aims to upgrade the literacy program of the government by making the native tongue as the medium of instruction (MOI) for the formative years of basic education.

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Click Matrix of Bills – Medium of Instruction
for a comparison of the Gunigundo MLE Bill
and similar Bills by Gullas et al.

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This bill institutionalizes the use of the child’s first language as the primary MOI in all subjects from pre-school up to the end of the child’s elementary education.  This abides by and is a logical follow through of Sec. 5 of RA 8980 (Early Childhood Care and Development Act) that authorizes the use of the child’s first language as MOI.  It is consistent and gives flesh to the 1987 Constitution, particularly Sections 13, 17 and 22, Article II, Section 4, Article III, and Sections 1, 2 (pars. 1 and 4), 6 and 7 of Article XIV.

It is also in accord with 199o UN Convention on the Rights of the Child particularly Articles 28 and 30 that recognizes the right of the child to an education and to learn and use the language of his family.

It heeds the UNESCO (2003) Education in a Multilingual World position paper that supports the value of mother tongue instruction as a means of improving educational quality, promoting both social and gender equality and as a key element of linguistically diverse societies.

This measure is included as one of the “10 things I will fix in Philippine Basic Education” delivered by then Sen. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III at the Third COCOPEA National Congress in February 11, 2010 which lays down the Education Policy of the new Aquino Administration.

Our position is anchored and supported by empirical data culled by education language experts worldwide that finds the multi-lingual approach to be a very effective tool for literacy.  Using the language the child understands not only affirms the value of the child and his cultural heritage but also enables the child to immediately master the lessons in the school curriculum and at the same time facilitates the acquisition of Filipino and English that will also be taught in the first language of the child.  As the mother tongue is utilized in the classroom, the critical thinking and reading skills that are developed transfer to other languages when those languages become functional.

Language scholars around the world unanimously say that children learn best in their own languages, not in a foreign language.  Students taught in the mother tongue are more active in class and are able to learn more, achieve more and be more productive members of society

In this regard, the multi-lingual education approach is the best direction to take in order to improve the quality of education for all Filipinos, including members of both ethnic and linguistic minorities and pave their escape from poverty.

Consequently, the language of testing shall also match the language of instruction.

Immediate approval of this bill is earnestly sought.

ATTY. MAGTANGGOL T. GUNIGUNDO I

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Quezon City, Metro Manila

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

HOUSE BILL NO. 162

—————————————————————————————————————-

Introduced by ATTY. MAGTANGGOL T. GUNIGUNDO I

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AN ACT
ESTABLISHING A MULTI-LINGUAL EDUCATION
AND LITERACY PROGRAM, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress assembled:

Section 1.  Short Title. – This Act shall be known as “The Multi-Lingual Education and Literacy Act of 2010.”

Section 2.  Declaration of Policy. – It is the declared policy of the State to provide quality education for all its citizens.

Pursuant to Sections 6 and 7, Article XIV, the national language of the Philippines is Filipino.  As it evolves, it shall further be developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.

Subject to provisions of law and as Congress may deem appropriate, the Government shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in the educational system.

For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English.

The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.

Section 2, paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article XIV likewise provide that “the State shall establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society” and “encourage non-formal, informal, and indigenous learning systems, as well as self-learning, independent, and out-of-school study programs particularly those that respond to community needs.”

Article II, sections 17 and 22 of the 1987 Constitution also provide that “the State shall give priority to education xxx to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development” and “the State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development.”

Article III, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution also provides the freedom of speech and expression to all individuals, including children.

Language plays a strategic role in shaping the formative years of learners who participate in social and public life and to engage in dialogue, to a great extent of skills.  To be effective and adapted to the culture and need of learners, education and literacy programs must be delivered in languages understood by those learners.

Language constitutes a strategic factor of progress towards sustainable development and a harmonized relationship between the global and the local context.

It has been proven conclusively that mother tongue instructional method is the most effective tool for learning as it affirms the value of the child and his cultural heritage enabling the child to develop critical thinking skills and cognitive development necessary to excel in all academic subjects including the acquisition of Filipino and English as second languages.

Section 3.  Definition of Terms. – For the purpose of this Act, the following terms or acronyms shall refer to and/or mean as hereunder defined:

  1. “Medium of Instruction (MOI)” refers to the language used for teaching and learning the school curriculum;
  2. “School Year (SY)” refers to the part of the year during which school is in session typically from June to March;
  3. “First language (L1)” refers to language or languages first learned by a child which (s)he identifies with or is identified as a native speaker of, by others; or which (s)he knows best and uses most;
  4. “Regional or native language” refers to the speech variety prevailing in a region, area or place;
  5. “Academic subjects” refer to curricular subjects in the areas of general education, science and technology;
  6. “Second Language (L2)” refers to the non-native language, language of wider communication or foreign language learned and introduced after the first language;
  7. “Auxiliary Medium of Instruction” refers to any language other than the prescribed MOI used to facilitate learning and understanding of the content and academic language of the subject areas.

Section 4.  Medium of Instruction (MOI).  – The MOI in the school curriculum shall be as follows:

  1. The child’s first language shall be the primary MOI in all subjects from pre-school up to the end of the child’s elementary education;
  2. The first language, English and Filipino shall be taught as separate subjects at the elementary level;
  3. Starting from Grade IV, English and Filipino shall be gradually introduced as MOI in some parts of the elementary school curriculum subject to Section 4, paragraph (a) hereof;
  4. In the secondary level, English and Filipino shall be the MOI.  The first language (L1) shall be used as auxiliary medium;
  5. In the tertiary level, the current language policy as prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) shall be retained; and
  6. The language of testing shall be in accordance with MOI.

Section 5.  Support Facilities. – All the requirements, devices and support facilities necessary to strengthen, enhance and develop mother tongue instruction such as trainings and orientations for teachers, teachers’ manuals, learning modules, textbooks, audio-visual aides, and other auxiliary teaching and learning materials shall be formulated, developed and provided by the Department of Education (DepEd) and by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF).

The corresponding budgetary requirements shall be released by the Department of Budget and Management with an initial funding of Php 100 Million each for DepEd and KWF and an increase of 5% thereon in the succeeding fiscal year for the next ten years.

Section 6.  Implementing Rules and Regulations.  The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), in consultation with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the University of the Philippines-College of Education and the Linguistic Society of the Philippines shall promulgate within sixty (60) days the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that shall be necessary to implement the provisions of this Act.

Section 7.  Separability Clause. – The provisions of this Act are hereby deemed separable.  If any provision thereof is declared invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the other provisions which shall remain in effect.

Section 8.  Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.

Section 9.  Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect thirty (30) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Approved,
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Click Matrix of Bills – Medium of Instruction – 15th Congress for a comparison of the Gunigundo MLE Bill and similar Bills by Gullas et al.

One thought on “H.B. No. 162: Gunigundo Multilingual Education Bill

  1. Pingback: Reversing Language Shift « Multilingual Education – Philippines

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