FILIPINO LANGUAGE ADVOCATES BLAST ‘ENGLISH-ONLY’ PROPOSAL
A GROUP of Filipino language advocates decried the statement of a lawmaker who urged the Department of Education to use English as the medium of instruction in all school levels.
Tanggol Wika said that such a suggestion is unconstitutional and goes against common sense.
“We have had enough of an English-only system. Let us do away with the neocolonial mindset and steer our education system towards local needs,” the group said.
Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas on Sunday said that English was not being taught effectively in elementary and high school, leading to the low performance of Filipino students in global assessments.
Gullas said poor English reading and comprehension skills “handicapped our students in math and science.”
“Clearly, a student who cannot readily understand English will have difficulty solving math or physics problems couched in English,” he said.
Tanggol Wika however said that students can learn good English even without using English as the sole medium of instruction.
“DepEd should not listen to the likes of Gullas. DepEd should instead work towards strengthening Filipino as the primary medium of instruction and other Philippine languages as auxiliary medium of instruction as per the 1987 Constitution’s language provisions,” it said.
University of the Philippines Professor Ramon Guillermo said the low scores of students revealed “the problem of Philippine education.”
“Totoong maraming dahilan ang kabulukan ng sistemang pang-edukasyon. Ngunit kailan kayo/tayo matututo na ang pinaka mahalaga sa lahat ay ang pagkaintindi ng mag-aaral ng leksiyon? Magagawa lamang ito kapag hindi wikang banyaga ang gagamitin sa pagtuturo ng mga bata,” Guillermo said.
He stressed that students will better understand their lessons if educators will use Filipino language during class discussions.
“Labis nating pinahihirapan ang mga batang Filipino samantalang walang ganitong balakid ng banyagang wika ang karamihan ng mga mauunlad na bansa na magagaling magbasa, mahuhusay sa matematika at may binubuga sa siyensiya. Hindi Ingles ang kanilang ginagamit na wikang panturo,” he added.