Today, Lino Gerona emailed something about a brewing issue which is actually a non-issue if only DepEd has the common sense to address it. Well, read about it:
Dr. Esdicul of DepEd has put forward a dangerous, counter-productive and counter-revolutionary proposal:
Mother tongue should be used only as a medium of instruction and should not be taught as a subject. This is contrary to the expressed intention of DO 74 s. 2009 that the mother tongue will also be taught as a subject. Dr. Esdicul’s proposal will prevent the intellectualization of the mother tongues.
Probably Dr. Esdicul has realized that the government corporation in charge of reviewing and approving education materials does not have the people competent in the mother tongues of the country and are in no position to review and approve education materials in the mother tongues.
This is a problem, the centralized approach to reviewing and approving education materials. Those guys are only competent to review materials in Tagalog and English. They would be incompetent in the non-Tagalog Filipino languages. And so, Dr. Esdicul proposes that the mother tongues not be taught as a subject?
The “expressed intention of DO 74 s. 2009 that the mother tongue will also be taught as a subject” is contained in Deped 74’s Enclosure 1: “Mother Tongue as a subject and as a language of teaching and learning will be introduced in grade one for conceptual understanding.” So I don’t understand why DepEd has decided to shirk from its responsibility to ensure compliance with this proviso which is a cornerstone to the concept of learning through one’s mother tongue in the first place. To be able to learn using Filipino or English, we require that the student learns either language via a language course in the first place. Why not do the same with the mother tongue? Just because those charged to review and approve MLE learning materials are INCOMPETENT to do so?
The solution is unbelievably easy, simple and feasible: decentralize the review and approval of multilingual education materials. Empower the mother tongue experts in the regions to do what they are COMPETENT at.