For it to be useful to as many countries as possible, the guide is based on a general conceptual design. However, since the concern is to show that the introduction of African languages and cultures in education is feasible in Africa today, the guide draws inspiration from concrete cases of the African reality and, more specifically, from success stories in the area under consideration. To that end, the guide is based on a set of assumptions.
A “fictitious” country: This guide does not explicitly mention any country. However, it refers to the experiment of a multilingual basic education continuum in a country of Francophone West Africa. This continuum comprises three elements: A nursery (3 years), en elementary school (5 years), post?primary education (4 years).
The use of African languages as media of instruction?learning is a decision obtained in the framework law on education and its implementing orders now need to be issued.
The use of African languages as a media of instruction – learning is a constituent of a more extensive programme, that of the global reform of the education system without which the use of national languages would not have a solid basis.
The model of bilingualism adopted in this guide is additive bilingualism. Contrary to the widespread practice consisting in using African languages during the first two or three years of schooling and abandoning them immediately after to switch to a foreign language, this guide suggests the coexistence of the national African language and French throughout primary school and during the early part of the post?primary cycle, in proportions that are well defined in the contribution of each medium to learning.
The experiment envisaged here covers a 10 year period: a primary education cycle of 6 years and 4 years of post-primary education which generally corresponds to the junior secondary level.
Another 10 year period is spent expanding the innovation with a view to its progressive generalization.
Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido, Christopher C. Bernido Ramon Magsaysay Foundation Awardees for 2010
Carolina C. Porio FAPE Executive Director
Learning Physics as One Nation (LPON) is an initiative of the Fund for Assistance to Private Education, funded by the Department of Education of the Philippines, and designed to bypass the nation’s severe STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teacher shortage. Project components include a specially designed Physics Essentials Portfolio of 239 learning activities to be independently accomplished by students during one school year, and associated 18 DVD volumes of video lectures by national educators. The materials are designed such that a command team can monitor student progress, and address questions from the field through e-mail, mobile phone text messages, Skype, and fast courier services. Initial assessment of student performance shows a positive trend. Thus, after field studies in over 200 schools, plans are to produce Learning as One Nation materials for all other STEM subjects following the LPON model.
UNESCO’s “World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education“, just published this year, responds to the need for a “policy that targets specific problems and bottlenecks” on one of the most important issues — gender equality — for human rights and sustainable development today.
What’s “gender equality”? The report defines it as “more broadly… the right to gain access and participate in education, as well as to benefit from gender-sensitive and gender-responsive educational environments and to obtain meaningful education outcomes that ensure that education benefits translate into greater participation in social, economic and political development of their societies.”
The report observes: “Girls and women remain deprived of full and equal opportunities for education. There has been progress towards parity at the primary level, but this tapers off at the secondary level in developing regions. The global economic crisis is deepening inequalities, made worse by cuts in education budgets and stagnating development support.”
AFTER YOU’RE DONE READING ABOUT “EDUCATION FOR ALL”, PLEASE REPLAY THE VIDEO ABOVE UNTIL THE IDEA SINKS IN. IT PACKS A WALLOP, DOESN’T IT? WELL NOW, I ASK YOU TO INVEST A BIT OF IMAGINATION RE WHAT WE NOW HAVE: SOPHISTICATED WIRELESS DEVICES AND MOBILE TABLETS, LIKE APPLE’S iPOD TOUCH AND iPAD 2 WITH THEIR FACETIME FEATURE ALLOWING FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION AND THEIR RICH AND EVER GROWING COMPLEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL APPLICATIONS — APPS THAT THE USER CAN “REWIND” AND ACCESS 24/7 AS NEEDED AND TO SUIT ONE’S LEARNING PACE — AND THE IDEA JUST EXPLODES SEVERAL TIMES LARGER AND LOUDER. ADD TO THAT THE GROWING SOPHISTICATION OF LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (LMS), WHOA, IT JUST TAKES THE IMAGINATION TO TAME THESE TECHNOLOGIES TO MELT AWAY MOST OF THE LOGISTICAL ISSUES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, BEHIND “EDUCATION FOR ALL” AND “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND”.
In 1990, an international initiative known as EDUCATION FOR ALL (EFA) was launched. The Philippines is a part of it. Here’s a FAQ on EFA:
Q: What is Education for All (EFA)?
A: Education for All (EFA) is an international initiative first launched in Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990 to bring the benefits of education to “every citizen in every society.” In order to realize this aim, a broad coalition of national governments, civil society groups, and development agencies such as UNESCO and the World Bank committed to achieving six specific education goals:
Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
Ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, those in difficult circumstances, and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete, free, and compulsory primary education of good quality.
Ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programs.
Achieve a 50 % improvement in adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.
Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.
Improve all aspects of the quality of education and ensure the excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.
After a decade of slow progress, the international community reaffirmed its commitment to EFA in Dakar, Senegal, in April 2000 and again in September of that year. At the latter meeting, 189 countries and their partners adopted the two EFA goals that are also Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Although MDGs 2 and 3 refer only to issues of universal primary education and gender parity, respectively, the World Bank recognizes that achieving these goals requires supporting the full EFA commitment. Continue reading →
Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB MLE) – Philippines
(13 Feb 2010)
The Benefits of MTB MLE
The preponderance of local and international research consistent with the Basic Education Reform Agenda (BESRA) recommendations affirms the benefits of Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB MLE).
MTB MLE Institutionalized in DepEd
Convinced of this overwhelming evidence showing the advantage of learners who undergo learning in their first language, the DepEd issued DO 74 on July 14, 2009, and thus institutionalized MTB MLE “as a fundamental educational policy and program” within the DepEd “in the whole stretch of formal education including pre-school and in the Alternative Learning System (ALS).”1 To this end, the DepEd, along with partners both in government and in non-government organizations, have joined together to support DO 74 by strategically planning for the implementation of MTB MLE country-wide. This is a summary of that Strategic Plan. Continue reading →
NAPOLEON B. IMPERIAL received on Dec. 17, 2010 his secondment to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as its Deputy Executive Director effective Jan. 2011. Nap, as he is well known to most of us, is Chief Economic Development Specialist, Education and Manpower Development Division Social Development Staff of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Just this week, Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education asked Nap to accept an additional assignment to be officer in charge (OIC) of the Office of Programs and Standards (OPS). “I’m humbled,” Nap confides, “and also flattered by the kind of trust she has in me.”
In 2009, Nap, in collaboration with a number of multilingual education (MLE) advocates, helped shepherd DepEd Order #74 which institutionalizes mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE).
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. Continue reading →