In his public apology, the Rev. Brian Shah conveys that he had already apologized to the parents of Carl Andrew A. Abadilla, Kleinee Xieriz Bautista, and Samuel G. Respicio, the three students he unjustly and unduly excluded from the Saviour’s Christian Academy (SCA) for violating its English-only policy.
By Napoleon Imperial
Deputy Executive Director
Commission on Higher Education
After the issuance of the DO 74 in 2009, I am not sure if DepEd ever issued any supporting order to forbid the English-only policy and the practice of imposing fines on learners speaking in their mother tongue.
It’s August and the month of celebrating our Inang Wika. So I feel compelled to express my thoughts on the recent controversy of three students “expelled” by a supposed Christian school (Saviour’s Christian Academy) in Ilocos Norte. I feel saddened and regretful that something like this still has to happen among the country’s basic education schools at this stage of our educational history.
I don’t wish to defend that sectarian school and its owner/manager. But I am not surprised at all. I can see that we had it coming and that it is still bound to happen.
I can well recall that even before and after we successfully (at last) worked on the DepEd Order institutionalizing MLE (DO No.74 s.2009), many private schools openly prided themselves of implementing a Speak-English-only policy. This was even supported or re-enforced by some local government chief executives that made them re-electable. After the issuance of the DO in 2009, I am not sure if DepEd ever issued any supporting order to forbid the English-only policy and the practice of imposing fines on learners speaking in their mother tongue.
After learning through the Senate of the Philippines website that Senate Bill No. 3286, otherwise known as the “ENHANCED BASIC EDUCATION ACT OF 2012″, was passed by both houses of Congress and that on April 4, 2013, enrolled copies of the consolidated version of SBN-3286 and HBN-6643, were sent to the House of Representatives for the signature of the Speaker and the Secretary General, I decided to watch the above video posted at the bottom of all the K to 12 guides published in the NCR website. As happens, I found some pronouncements by Dr. Marilyn D. Dimaano OIC, DepEd’s Bureau of Elementary Education, to wit: “We are introducing mother tongue as the medium of instruction in most of the subjects except English, of course, and Filipino, and we are having mother tongue as a subject…” Now, now, where did Dr. Dimaano learn that? Didn’t she read DepEd Order No. 74, otherwise known as “INSTITUTIONALIZING MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION (MLE)” and its Enclosure 1 which directs those concerned re “The use of the learner’s First Language (L1) as the primary medium of instruction (MOI) from pre-school until, at least, grade three. During such period, L1 shall be the main vehicle to teach understanding and mastery of all subject areas like Math, Science, Makabayan, and language subjects like Filipino and English.” Assuming the kindergarten child is raised in a home where neither Filipino nor English was spoken, how in Lubuagan is the teacher going to teach the poor kid English or Filipino without using the child’s L1? Wasn’t that the reason we ditched the old bilingual system of using only English or Filipino as MOI (even levying fines in some instances on those students who spoke anything but English or Filipino in the classroom) because it definitely made life miserable for those starting without any English or Filipino background?
The following, reprinted from the Senate of the Philippines website, details the legislative history of Senate Bill No. 3286, otherwise known as the “ENHANCED BASIC EDUCATION ACT OF 2012”, filed on September 24, 2012 by Senators Ralph G. Recto, Loren B. Legarda, Edgardo J. Angara, and Franklin M. Drilon:
AN ACT ENHANCING THE PHILIPPINE BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM BY STRENGTHENING ITS CURRICULUM AND INCREASING THE NUMBER OF YEARS FOR BASIC EDUCATION, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
[ THIRD REGULAR SESSION, 15TH CONGRESS ]
[ 2012 ]
Dr. Vilma L. Labrador, DepEd Undersecretary, as announced by Napoleon B. Imperial, Deputy Executive Director of the Commission on Higher Education, died at about 10 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2013 (The Feast Day of the Sacred Heart). The cause of death has not as yet been announced.
A brief glimpse into Dr. Labrador’s life can be found in her own Wiki page entitled simply “Vilma L. Labrador.”
“Dr. Vilma Logronio-Labrador – An Educator for Life“, a true inspirational success story which encapsulates Labrador’s life, travails and many accomplishments, was featured in the Feb. 7, 2009 issue of Asian Journal published in Los Angeles, CA.
April 9, 2013 @ 5:30 p.m. — Necrological services at the Loyola Memorial Chapel Commonwealth, Quezon City, attended by current and previous DepEd officials
April 11, 2013 — Internment at Heritage Memorial Park (Taguig) to follow 8:00 a.m. Mass at Loyola Memorial Chapel Commonwealth (Quezon City).
NOTE: Those who wish to send their messages, please email them to CHED Deputy Executive Director Napoleon B. Imperial at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them as COMMENTS to this Multilingual Philippines post
If number of speakers is not an issue, I wonder why the Ivatan language has not been included among DepEd’s selection of languages used as medium of instruction in Ivatan schools being that Ivatans have a unique orthography [a, b, k, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, l, m, n, ny, ng, o, p, r, s, t, ch, v, w, y, and ′ (stress)] and they already have a beginning learning material (click here to see the original document, “Maylir Ta So Ivatan“) published in cooperation with the Bureau of Public Schools and Institute of National Language of the then Ministry of Education and Culture, Manila, Philippines” with the following foreword by no less than the then Minister of Education and Culture:
By Laura Garbes
Cultural Survival, July 13, 2012
The Philippines is an archipelago in the Pacific with rich linguistic and cultural diversity. According to the Ethnologue, there are 171 living languages spoken in the Philippines today. For the most part, this linguistic variety has not been accurately reflected in governmental and educational policies. The current constitution declares both English and Filipino (Tagalog) to be the official languages of the country, as both are spoken in metro Manila, the nation’s capital.
Making English and Tagalog the official languages of the Philippines is a practical move, seeing as there needs to be language that can be used to do business and trade as well as to communicate on both national and international levels. Still, the constitutional declaration of these two languages as official and the other languages as auxiliary takes a discriminatory tone when looking at how it resonates in other policies and in the public sphere.