Last Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, Ms. Kyungah Kristy Bang, Multilingual Education Secretariat Coordinator, Asia and Pacific Programme of Education for All, UNESCO Bangkok, emailed out the draft of 4th International Language and Education Conference “Multilingual Education for ALL in Asia Pacific- Policies, practices and processes” -concept and the Asia–Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group – draft for comment and feedback. Tucked toward the end of her email was a link to a rather exuberant Philippine Daily Inquirer piece, “DepEd sees noisier, rowdier Grade 1 classes” by Tarra Quismundo published on January 21, 2012. The item is reprinted below:
Coming soon in public schools: Noisier, rowdier and smarter Grade 1 pupils.
Incoming first-graders in June are expected to speak up more in class as the Department of Education (DepEd) switches to the mother tongue as medium of instruction in the early grades.
This means that first-graders in Manila and nearby provinces will be taught in Tagalog, those in Ilocos in Ilocano, those in Cebu Cebuano and those in parts of Leyte and Samar in Waray.
Thus, a “dog” to a Tagalog student will always be “aso,” it will be “ayam” to a Bicolano first-grader, and “iro” to a Cebuano pupil.
“The students will be very participative, the class will be very interactive, it will be a very noisy classroom,” said Rose Villaneza, a DepEd official at the lead of developing new first-grade learning materials in different Philippine languages.