Gwen to impose English as instruction medium in Cebu public schools

/ 05:15 PM December 18, 2019

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia (INQUIRER PHOTO/DALE ISRAEL)

CEBU CITY –– With poor ratings in reading comprehension and other subjects among school children in the country, Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia will implement an “English Only” medium of instruction in all 44 public schools in the province in the next school year.

Garcia said she wants to go back to the time when English and not Tagalog or Filipino nor the native tongue was being used in the schools, citing the “embarrassing” rating achieved by Filipino school children in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa).


Pisa is a worldwide study intended to evaluate educational systems by measuring 15-year-old school students’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science, and reading.

Another policy by the Cebu local school board is to allow students to focus on academics and not travel nor regional sports meets and other extracurricular activities.


“It’s obvious that we have a very confused studentry who is not learning anything. Why did we reinvent the wheel? There was nothing wrong with it. We were able to produce brilliant graduates when the medium of instruction was English. It did not make us any less Filipinos. It did not make us any less nationalistic,” Garcia said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Garcia said the students could learn and use the native tongue, Cebuano, at home while schools use English as its primary language.

It was agreed during a Provincial School Board Meeting last Friday, December 13, that the new policy would be implemented at the start of the next school year.

The governor said the use of English as the primary language of instruction has worked before and should not have been changed in the first place.

She cited that other countries are trying to learn English, while in our country, “we are trying to forget English.”

Garcia said the Philippines’ medium of instruction is very confusing when students learn the mother tongue until Grade 3, Filipino at Grade 4 to Grade 6, and English at Grade 7 onwards.

The governor said she would ask the school board to implement the “English Only” policy in Cebu until someone files a case to stop her from doing so./lzb


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TAGS: Cebu, English, Governor Gwen Garcia, Medium of Instruction, public schools
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