On 4/28/2011, Maya P. Nayo (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Save the Children, wrote:
What is the process after we have developed, say an Alphabet Primer? Do we still get a clearance or approval from national office before its actual use in schools? Is there like a clearing house for all these mother tongue-based educational materials that local teachers/organizations have developed, prior to reproduction?
On April 28, 2011, Greg Dekker (Greg_Dekker@sil.org) from SIL responded with the following clarification:
The DepEd Strategic Plan calls for a Certification Process, or an “Endorsement” by the DepEd of all MTB MLE educational materials such as this (as well as MTB MLE trainers and training programs). Rose Villaneza will have instruction for us on this process. However, I suggest something like an “MTBMLE Certification Committee” be established under the USEC Programs and Dr. Rose Villaneza to formally review and certify MTBMLE materials to be used in DepEd educational settings.
On April 28, 2011, Pam Castrillo (email@example.com) commented:
That clearing house, whether real or still imagined, may need to have people with expertise in the languages and cultures in which the materials are being developed. It may be good as well to have not only teachers but also editors and curriculum writers in that clearing house. And maybe shared guidelines against which the materials can be benchmarked?
On April 29, 2011, Angelita Esdicul (firstname.lastname@example.org), head of DepEd’s Bureau of Elementary Education, wrote:
The only office mandated or authorized to review instructional materials for printing is Instructional Materials Corporation(IMCS) headed now by Director Socorro Pillor. Please correct your information.
Thanks, Dr. Esdicul, for your input and your participation in this forum..By the way, Dr. Esdicul (who heads the Bureau of Elementary Education) mentioned that we can use their DepEd-BEE portal to upload digital files that can be used as a reference for MLE in the field –like poems, riddles, songs, short stories written in the mother tongue including illustrations and other materials teachers can use. She gave us the names of the people in their IT group that we can coordinate with. If you have a portal of MLE resources for a particular language group, I suppose you can give the link to be posted at the DepEd’s portal. For printed materials, there is a process of validation, etc., and as Dr. Esdicul mentioned they have an office that oversees such process. For primer lessons, I know that the regional MLE teams have developed a primer for major languages for field testing. I agree with Pam that people who speak the language can serve as the clearing house along with those who know the technicalities of primer writing. The regional MLE team is supposed to form a regional advocacy group which consists of DepEd, LGU and HEI/TEI. They can review, field test materials and when they find them publishable then they can submit them for validation. Incidentally, the Valenzuela City teachers made their own primer last year and they reported yesterday that their pupils’ reading ability has significantly improved as a result. They are in the process of revising the primer to incorporate suggestions for improvement. We are also planning to make a pre-primer (for pre-schoolers) and transitional primer (from Tagalog to English). Anyone who would like to help?
We just concluded the trainors workshop for Valenzuela City yesterday and in the next two weeks these pioneer MLE teachers turned trainors (13 of them) will facilitate workshop for grade 2 and 3 teachers (including some pre-school/grade one teachers who missed the training in the past). I’m excited to see this new batch of MLE committed trainors. Thanks to Cong. Magi Gunigundo for covering the cost for the training of 120 additional teachers. The training will be on May 2-13 at Bgy. Maysan Conference Hall, Valenzuela City
Thank you, Dr. Esdicul for this clarification. What I mean to say is that even under the current IMCS authorization procedures, a Regional, Division, or District Committee(s) may need to be established whole members understand the rigors of MTBMLE, the languages being used in school in various places all across the Philippines, the language materials being considered, the MTBMLE pedagogical considerations involved, and can authorize and review MTBMLE instructional materials appropriately. Dr Pilor and I have talked about this already, and she understands this will be necessary as well. (And, of course, this kind of a model fits well with SBM.) We all agree, I think, that as MTBMLE grows and develops within the Department, new materials, procedures and methods will need to be implemented/adopted to handle this new MTBMLE paradigm. Remember, we’re not talking about a simple project here when it comes to MTBMLE. Rather, we are talking about a fundamental change in the way basic education is delivered in the Philippines. Many changes are imminent. Curriculum and standard assessments are two examples being frequently discussed these days, and even in this forum. We must develop curriculum that is easily adaptable to any language and culture, while maintaining the Philippine Educational Learning Competencies. Additionally, we will need assessment/test models and materials that can also easily be used in any language/culture to replace current NAT, and also Periodic Assessments for lower grades. Language-specific, standard models can likely be established for the former NAT. Division or District prepared language-specific exams can be prepared for the latter (Periodic Assessments).
The curriculum for Kinder — as has been discussed in this forum — is very crucial (especially since we are being told it must be implemented this year). The quality of this new Kinder curriculum is of utmost importance. It may be most helpful in the case of Kinder curriculum to custom-develop a curriculum which takes into consideration the diverse languages and cultures that it will serve. What I mean is, when it comes to Kinder material, we cannot simply deliver an English curriculum in the students’ L1. Rather, we must assist our teachers (and our district, division, and regional offices) in developing L1 pre-reading resources for visual and auditory discrimination in early learners; these resources must be appropriate for each language and culture. Such resources would include, but are not limited to: literature containing familiar local community knowledge such as stories, songs, poems, riddles, etc.
Additionally, it may be most helpful to formally produce a model of Kinder lessons (as well as for other early Grades, as the Strategic Plan calls for) that takes into consideration the adaptation that will need to take place in at least 8 languages the first year (’11-’12), and 10’s of languages for each of the next 4-5 years until every Philippine language is served. This strong, Kinder grounding in L1 curriculum will be extremely important for life-long literacy and therefore the quality and adaptability of this Kinder curriculum is of utmost importance to the Philippines. Existing ECCD legislation on the use of the L1 guides us in this regard. Our task is to produce a language and culture-specific curriculum that enables teachers to develop language specific and culturally appropriate classroom learning and teaching materials that result in mastery by students of the Philippine learning competencies. In summary, that is the task at hand. And it is a tall order!
Thank you for your hard work, Dr. Esdicul, in leading the Bureau. These are important years of reform for our Philippine student clientele.
All the best to you!
On May 4, 2011, Lino Gerona (email@example.com) had this comment:
Are the people in the Corporation competent to review the education materials in the more that 170 languages that will be used under the mother tongue-based multilingual education?
Oh, they can hire interpreters to help them but they cannot be sure of the quality of the interpretation.
Further, the materials will be localized in content, based on local culture which the people in the Corporation will have no idea.
It is time to apply the principles of subsidiartiy. Those in the Regions will be the most competent to handle these matters. A rethink is necessary.
I don’t mean to sound incredulous that we are going to see “170 languages that will be used under the mother tongue-based multilingual education” program, especially as we start implementing DO 74. I think it would be a nice move to start with the major regional languages and work backwards to take care of the less widely used languages. During that time, there has to be some effort to expend some resources to document these less widely used languages to give them a chance to be preserved in some form or another. For lack of adequate resources, it is regrettable to see that harsh economic realities will likely see the demise of some. Is it inevitable? Perhaps. For any language, there has to be a group passionate enough to want to preserve it and actually use it in their daily lives. If no such group exists, the language will just die a natural death.
By the way, DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009 does have a relevant provision that addresses the MLE certification process in Paragraph 8, to wit:
This Department with the help of MLE specialists shall incorporate an MLE certification process and retain the privilege of establishing MLE certification procedures in order to maintain quality MLE programs wherever they may be implemented.
I am thinking that the process is integrated in the review process by the Instructional Materials Corporation(IMCS) , the office mandated or authorized to review instructional materials for printing headed now by Director Socorro Pillor as pointed out by Dr. Esdicul.