Secretary Armin Luistro’s Department of Education, through his directives and the RA 10533 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) issued on September 4, 2013, are bent on subverting the intent of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.
Sec. 4 of RA 10533, otherwise known as “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“, provides that:
“Basic education shall be delivered in languages understood by the learners as the language plays a strategic role in shaping the formative years of learners.
“For kindergarten and the first three (3) years of elementary education, instruction, teaching materials and assessment shall be in the regional or native language of the learners. The Department of Education (DepED) shall formulate a mother language transition program from Grade 4 to Grade 6 so that Filipino and English shall be gradually introduced as languages of instruction until such time when these two (2) languages can become the primary languages of instruction at the secondary level.”
|Subject:||Your comment re DepEd and RA 10533 IRRs|
|From:||Joe Padre (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Cc:||email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;|
|Date:||Wednesday, September 4, 2013 5:59 PM|
Your comments re DepEd and the new IRRs for RA 10533 reinforced my suspicion about what DepEd is about to do:
“Ricardo Ma Nolasco: You may want to know what DepEd is really up to, when they approved the IRR yesterday. Focus your attention on Rule II, 10.2, 10.3 and 10.4. (1) The first sentence in Rule II, 10.4 circumscribes all the other provisions. Ibig sabihin, balik na naman tayo sa discredited bilingual policy. This to me is not MTB-MLE:
“The curriculum shall develop proficiency in Filipino and English, provided that, the learners’ first and dominant language shall serve as the fundamental language of education.
Comment: MTB-MLE under our country’s concrete conditions should promote the development of proficiency in the first language AND the two official languages, as well as other languages of wider communication. It appears that the formulation here in the IRR views the first language merely as bridge to learning the two official languages.
For Kindergarten and the first three years of elementary education, instruction, teaching materials, and assessment shall be in the regional or native language of the learners.
IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS
OF THE ENHANCED BASIC EDUCATION ACT OF 2013
Pursuant to Section 16 of Republic Act No. 10533, entitled “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,” otherwise known as the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013,” approved on May 15, 2013, and which took effect on June 8, 2013, the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), hereby issue the following rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the Act.
The UNESCO’s Millennium Goal Education for All which seeks to eradicate illiteracy, if viewed in the context of today’s Globalization and Information Communication Technology (ICT) age, point to the need for one to be multi-lingual – literate in at least three languages: his own tribal language for a sense of identity as a member of his tribe, his country’s national language for unity with his countrymen, and English, today’s global language for modernity. Moreover in the ICT age, literacy is now expanded to encompass digital literacy which calls for the use of technological tools to send and search for information in the internet and communicate with others online in cyberspace.
The 21st Century skills that schools are tasked to develop include among other things creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, decision making and learning in order to develop learner autonomy; collaboration and communication to enable one to work harmoniously with others; Information and Communication Technology to develop ICT literacy; and citizenship, life and career, personal and social responsibility to enable one to live in the present technological age.
Re your proposed extended use of the mother tongue (MT) as medium of instruction (MOI) beyond third grade, you shouldn’t be surprised that I am all for the late MT-exit which most parents are understandably against on account of their mistaken belief that the earlier their children are taught anything with English as the MOI, the better. These parents, especially those who do not foresee their children going to college or whose children may be forced to drop out of high school for financial reasons are thinking that the English skills of their children will help them qualify for jobs, any job, and it’s difficult to argue against that given that most domestic and global employers require some level of skill in English. And the Philippine educational system is remarkably slow to realize that the solution to this particular issue is to strengthen English language courses with teachers who are adequately trained to handle teaching English language courses.
Here is a copy of a PowerPoint Presentation about late-exit or extended Mother Tongue (MT) education, which you may find useful.
It includes extensive research about the role of MT in upper primary grades, possibilities for extended MT in the Philippines, and constraints.
I presented it as a plenary session at the K-12 International Research Conference in Bicol last week. My goal was to make a comprehensive summary of extended MT education and related issues.
Click on the title, Use of Mother Tongue Beyond Grade 3, to view the PowerPoint Presentation. When PowerPoint opens, choose “Slide Show” on the menu bar and click on the green arrow to have the presentation on full screen. Tap on the space bar to advance to the next page, or if you’re using a tablet or smartphone, you may have to scroll from page to page.
By Firth McEachern
Consultant on Language and Education