2010 MLE Initiatives: A Review

It’s always heartwarming to learn about the initiatives of our fellow educators and MLE advocates to promote the use of the local language in education. For example during the MLE Conference in CDO last February, I was so amazed to see how DepEd Region 4-A and Region 5 filled up the whole room assigned to them with books and instructional materials they made in the local languages. The Lubuagan and the Valenzuela City teachers also displayed a lot of their own original works.

DepEd Region 5 acquired a loan from the Spanish government for the production of thousands of materials using the Bicol language. They have field tested them and found positive results. Next year, MLE is to be piloted in all their divisions. They are also planning for an MLE conference for Bicol in February 2011 (call for papers will come out soon).

DepEd NCR has also sponsored a teachers orientation. Paranaque City Division organized an MLE orientation for all their grade 1 teachers. They are now developing materials.

We heard that there are still schools under the Lingua Franca Project (like that one at Tagum) that continue to use the local language. Though the project ended in 2000, the schools kept doing it because they saw some positive results. After the passing of DO 74 in 2009, some divisions started their own pilot schools. I met a supervisor from the Benguet Division who told me that their pupils in their MLE pilot school in Buguias are more active and articulate during class discussion. They are asking for an MLE forum to be held at BSU next year. Bukidnon has also started a number of pilot schools.

At the national level, DepEd has come up with its schedule for conducting an intensive 4-phase training for MLE trainors, 6-7 per region (starting in September until Feb 2011). The BESRA’s National Learning Strategy TWG has already approved the MLE Strategic Plan. DepEd has appointed an MLE Operations Manager and has engaged the services of an MLE consultant.

NAKEM thru Dr. Alegria Tan Visaya was able to institute a three unit MLE course as part of the BSE/Ed program in Mariano Marcos State U. This is supplemented with some 1-unit special topic courses. Earlier this month, they had their 5th NAKEM conference at Caoayan, Ilocos Sur with MLE as one of the major strands for paper presentations. They will have another conference in May 2011 with MLE as the major theme. This will be held at Banaue and will be hosted by the Ifugao State University (call for papers will be posted).

Leyte Normal U and West Visayas State U formed their own MLE task force and sponsored their own MLE lecture forum. PNU conducted an MLE orientation for their faculty last summer. UP College of Education convened an MLE adhoc committee to explore possibilities for training. We are also preparing a report (to be submitted to the K+12 DepEd TWG) about lessons learned in the use of Tagalog in K-12 at the UP Integ School.

We have been hearing from Atty. Faelnar about the activities of Academyang Bisaya Inc – the Bisaya-English Dictionary, the launching of the MLE program for Cebu.

Translators Association of the Philippines (TAP) received a grant for pre-school and grade one MLE program in three communities in Mindanao (Bukidnon and Zamboanga). They have been training teachers and have produced all the big books they needed. They have also done some advocacy work in the community (like contests for story writing, story-telling, song writing).

For Talaytayan, we have recently published a book entitled “Starting Where the Children Are: A Collection of Essays on MTBMLE in the Philippines.” We have also an ongoing Tayatayan radio program every Friday 5pm at DZUP 1602kHz of the AM band. Along with SIL, we have been assisting DepEd in conducting MLE trainors training.

Congressman Magtanggol Gunigundo refiled the MLE Bill. His other bill HB 166 – Amending RA 7610, otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, penalizing any act that prevents the child from learning and using the language of his family in his basic education was recently approved by the Committee on Welfare of Children.

For Pangasinan, Ulupan na Pansiansia’y Salitan Pangasinan (Association for the Preservation of the Pangasinan Language) recently released a book entitled “An Anthology of Pangasinan Literature.” Urdaneta University is also sponsoring an International MLE Conference this January.

We have a strong online presence through Joe Padre’s MLE blog sites. Dr. Abraham Felipe collaborated with the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) to put up The Philippine Education Research Journal (PERJ), an online journal that features education studies, including MLE.

To the groups/individuals that I mentioned above, if I missed other accomplishments/initiatives you had for 2010, please post them here. I just wrote down what came to mind.

I am very sure there are other new MLE initiatives this year that have been accomplished by APC, Save the Children, SEAMEO, La Union LGU, Kapampangan group etc. If you know the details, please describe them here. Share about any project you have on MLE, no matter how small you think it is. All the big ones started with something small. Share also about other initiatives being done by other groups not included in our list.

What is great about MLE is that it has morphed into a movement for education reform and cultural/linguistic revitalization. There is no control emanating from the center but actions are initiated everywhere by anyone who believes in the merit of its cause. This year-end sharing exercise is meant to inform us about what has been done so that we will be encouraged to carry on,  innovate perhaps, especially as we face another challenging year ahead of us. So we hope to always hear from you.

Dios iti agngina. Naragsak a baro a tawen kadatayo amin!

Ched Arzadon

for 170+ Talayatayan MLE

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