Teaching in English may make PH education deteriorate more – ACT | Inquirer News

Teaching in English may make PH education deteriorate more – ACT

/ 04:03 AM July 27, 2022
High school students in makeshift classrooms. STORY: Teaching in English may make education deteriorate more – ACT

Filipino 15-year-olds fared the worst in reading and landed second to the last in math and science among students from 79 countries in a global assessment of educational achievement in 2018. This prompted then-Education Secretary Leonor Briones to order a review of the country’s basic education and the effectiveness of English as the medium of instruction. (File photo by MICHAEL B. JAUCIAN / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Using English as the main medium of instruction may cause the quality of education in the Philippines to “further deteriorate,” the Alliance of Concerned Teachers said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

That was the reaction of the progressive group to a statement that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. made in his first State of the Nation Address on Monday – that he would want to reexamine the medium of instruction in schools to maintain the advantage of Filipinos as an “English-speaking people.”

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Under the K-12 law, the mother tongue of students should be used as the medium of instruction from kindergarten until grade three, except in teaching Filipino and English subjects.

“The quality of education would further deteriorate and learners would not understand their lessons if the supposed K-to-12 review focuses on the push for English as the main medium of instruction,” Vladimer Quetua, chairperson of ACT, said.

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“It’s an illusion that we would be better in science and math if we use a foreign language as a medium of instruction,” he added in Filipino.

In a previous statement, Quetua blamed the language barrier as a reason why the Philippines had been lagging behind international studies on education, like the Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

The Philippines ranked last in Pisa’s 2018 assessment and the TIMSS study conducted in 2020.

Quetua further noted that countries that usually led on these assessments were using their native language as a medium of instruction.

He also pointed out that the Philippines favored English as a medium of instruction purportedly to gain global competitiveness.

“The deeper problem, the motive behind what they call global competitiveness is so they could sell Filipinos to other countries — not make the country develop,” Quetua said.

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