DAGUPAN CITY—How could parents and teachers effectively teach children spiritual values, good manners and right conduct?
By using the mother tongue, according to school officials in Pangasinan.
Reynardo Barrozo, Dagupan City West Central Elementary School principal, said the school has been using Pangasinan as the language of instruction after the Department of Education directed school officials to implement the mother tongue-based-multilingual education (MTB-MLE) program in all public schools as part of the K to 12 basic education program.
Although teachers are enthusiastic to promote the local language, Barrozo said there is a dearth of reading materials for students in Pangasinan.
The gap could have been partly filled by the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs).
In 2011, Jehovah’s Witnesses organized a team to translate a popular children’s book in the mother tongue. The translators, who are native Pangasinan speakers and have been involved in translating several literature in Pangasinan, volunteered their time, skill and energy to produce the Pangasinan language version of the “My Book of Bible Stories.”
The book contains 116 stories of Bible characters such as Cain and Abel, Moses, Joseph, the Good Samaritan, David, Ruth, Esther, and Jesus Christ, among others.
It was originally published in 1978 in English in the United States and made available in more than 100 languages “to get the Bible’s message into the hands and hearts of as many people as possible,” said Dean Jacek, spokesperson of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the legal and corporate arm of JWs.
For five months, volunteers translated the 144-page book, rendering it in a way that is natural and easy for children to understand.
At the annual Bible conventions of JWs in Lingayen town and San Carlos City in November, “Saray Istorya Ed Biblia” was released and 10,000 copies were distributed for free as part of the organization’s Bible educational program.
The JWs also produced an animated video for kids in Pangasinan entitled “Ondengel, Ontulok Tan Nabendisyonan (Listen, Obey and Be Blessed)” which teaches children the value of obeying their parents.
Last month, 300 books were distributed to teachers and pupils at Dagupan City West Central Elementary School here, the first school in Pangasinan to use the book in its classes. Gobleth Moulic, with a report from Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon