Gatchalian laments poor execution of mother tongue-based learning | Inquirer News

Gatchalian laments poor execution of mother tongue-based learning

'It became an experiment,' senator says
/ 12:23 PM July 08, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Win Gatchalian on Saturday noted the poor implementation of mother tongue-based education in the Philippines, blaming it on the lack of studies conducted on the policy before it was implemented.

“After conducting four hearings, my short summary of this exercise is that the Philippines has become an experiment in terms of implementing mother tongue in a multilingual setting,” said Gatchalian in a statement.

The Philippines began implementing Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE) in the School Year 2012-2013. Pursuant to this measure, learners under Kindergarten and those in the first three years of elementary education must study using regional or native languages.


But Gatchalian, who also sits as the chairperson of the Senate committee on education, admitted that there are still gaps between the policy as well as its implementation, making it far from being “fully implemented” in schools nationwide.


Among the gaps in implementing MTBMLE is choosing which language to utilize. Only 19 are being used in the country’s MTBMLE but the Philippine Statistics Authority’s 2020 Census of Population and Housing listed 245 languages utilized across the archipelago.

According to the senator, he asked the Department of Education (DepEd) if a study on mother tongue-based education was conducted before it was institutionalized, but the department stated that the studies done “were mostly in homogenous or monolinguistic settings.”

“When I asked about the implementation strategy on a multilingual setting, we do not have that also. So, we became the de facto experiment for mother tongue in a multilingual setting. And that experiment is now creating a lot of confusion and negative feedback from our teachers,” Gatchalian added.

To determine whether the implementation of this policy should continue, the lawmaker instructed DepEd to come up with a “strategic plan” to properly establish MTBMLE.


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TAGS: Education, Gatchalian, Learning, mother tongue

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