Lawmaker wants Mandarin taught in schools | Inquirer News
To capture labor market in Taiwan, Singapore, China

Lawmaker wants Mandarin taught in schools

/ 05:30 AM February 13, 2023

Practice sheets for writing Chinese characters. STORY: Lawmaker wants Mandarin taught in schools

MANILA, Philippines — House Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan wants the Chinese language of Mandarin taught in the schools nationwide.

“If we are going to continue to rely on the export of labor to help drive our economic growth, we might as well equip our future workers with Mandarin and other foreign language skills to further build up their competitiveness,” Libanan said on Sunday.


Libanan, the representative of Pagtibayin at Palaguin ang Pangkabuhayang Pilipino (4Ps) party list, noted: “In foreign labor markets, we already have the edge because our workers can speak English. We should now aspire to double that advantage by encouraging more Filipinos to learn Mandarin at an early age.”


Speaking clubs

He said learning Mandarin would enable the country’s future workers to capture new lucrative labor markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and China.

Libanan said elementary and high school students may form Mandarin-speaking clubs, together with English-speaking clubs.

“We already have many young learners from [Chinese-Filipino] families that speak Mandarin. They can help put up Mandarin clubs in their schools,” he suggested further.

He also urged state universities and colleges to introduce Mandarin courses as part of their foreign language programs.

“We would urge the [Chinese-Filipino]… commerce and industry [group] in every city or province to do their share by offering Mandarin scholarships to students,” Libanan went on.

Last week the House of Representatives approved on second reading a bill suspending the use of the primary language in any given locality as a medium of instruction in Kindergarten to Grade 3.

The measure cited the lack of learning materials in those languages.


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