Legislators want mother tongue-based teaching in Grades 1 to 3 abolished
MANILA, Philippines — Two lawmakers have expressed their desire to abolish the mother tongue-based teaching on Grade levels 1 to 3 that is being implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd).
During a House panel on basic education and culture hearing, Baguio City Rep. Mark Go raised the Philippines’ dismal performance in reading, math, and science in an assessment by an international agency.
He was referring to the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which showed that Filipino students fared worst among 79 countries in reading comprehension and second-lowest in both mathematical and scientific literacy.
He said he wants the mother tongue-based teaching to be abolished in Grades 1 to 3, especially when there are areas in the country that use multiple languages.
“Ang dami nating tinuturo sa ating mga anak pero ito ba ay nakakatulong para iangat natin ang performance ng ating bansa sa reading, math at science?” he said.
(We teach a lot to our children but are these helpful in raising the country’s performance in reading, math, and science?)
“In urbanized cities, when it’s multi-cultural, how do you determine the mother tongue? It’s going to be difficult, we will just be creating certain confusion among children,” Go added.
Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero agreed with Go’s remarks, adding that the mother tongue-based teaching is where the country “get stunted” in terms of learning.
She said the country should just go back to the way it was where the medium for teaching is Filipino or English.
“We should just go back to where we had before kasi hindi naman tayo ganito dati,” Escudero said.
“Since we started the mother tongue-based teaching in the elementary grades 1, 2, and 3, that is where it all started,” she added.
For the education agency’s part, DepEd Director III Joyce Andaya said the government has already conducted consultations on the matter and will recommend to Congress whether it should be abolished or be implemented in certain areas only.
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