/ 5 February 2023

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian disclosed language spoken in a particular region in the Philippines is the least preferred medium of instructions in Grades 1 to 3.

Gatchalian said this was the result of a Pulse Asia survey he commissioned from September 17-21 of last year where 1,200 respondents were sought on which language or languages should be used as primary medium of instruction for students in the primary level.

Only 38 percent of respondents preferred the local language spoken by the people in a particular region, while Filipino is the most preferred by 88 percent of respondents, followed by English at 71 percent.

According to Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, he will pursue a thorough and rigorous review on the implementation of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education, which was mandated by the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or the K to 12 Law.

Under the law, education, instruction, teaching materials, and assessment from Kindergarten up to Grade 3 shall be in the regional or native language of the learners.

The Department of Education is further mandated to 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.

At the secondary level, these two languages will become the primary language of instruction.

“Batay sa nakikita natin sa kakayahan ng ating mga paaralan at sa sentimyento ng ating mga kababayan, kina-kailangang pag-aralan natin kung ano ang mga susunod na hakbang natin sa paggamit ng mother tongue. Kung ipagpa-patuloy man natin ang polisiyang ito, kailangan nating tugunan ang mga hamong kinakaharap nito,” said Gatchalian.

In a public hearing on the implementation of the MTB-MLE last year, it was revealed only 72,872 out of the targeted 305,099 educators underwent training, and these include supervisors, school heads, and teachers in Grade 3.