Filipino or Tagalog now dominant language of teaching for Maguindanaons
SHARIFF AGUAK, Philippines — Filipino (composed mostly of Tagalog) has emerged the dominant language of teaching in Maguindanao with the Maguindanaon dialect becoming the second choice.
This was what a ranking education official said following the series of dry-runs for the K-12 program conducted by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s Department of Education.
Mariam Kawit, Maguindanao schools division head, said over the weekend that this could be because only 30 percent of the teaching personnel were Maguindanaons or those belonging to other tribes but were able to speak the dialect and the rest were Christians and non-Maguindanaon speakers.
Since all of them could speak Filipino, Kawit said the national language emerged as the “dominant dialect” in Maguindanao.
Under the K-12 program of the DepEd, a dominant dialect in the locality is chosen as the “mother tongue” or the common medium of instruction in classrooms.
That Filipino is the dominant language in Maguindanao should not come as a big surprise though.
Maguindanaons have been used to importing Tagalog even in their casual household conversations, since the 1950s, Kawit said.
In Cotabato City, for example, one has to get accustomed to how Maguindanaons use Filipino words today as these might sound weird sometimes.
It is normal to hear “magtawid” (cross) or “magpunta” (to go) from those who converse in Filipino instead of the correct form, “tumawid” and “pupunta.”
Sentences such as “Huwag na pati ka mag-asa (Don’t hope too much),” or “Sabi ko na kasi huwag ka (I told you so or I told you not to do it)” might also cause discomfort to Filipino grammarians.
Unlike in other Muslim-dominated provinces of the ARMM, Maguindanaon officials would deliver their speeches, mainly in Filipino.
But why Filipino instead of English?
Hamid Uka, a renowned Maguindanao educator, once said there have been many factors, including the addiction of Maguindanaons to Filipino movies and comics.
He said political clans could also be instrumental in the propagation of the language in Maguindanao.
For example, members of the well—respected Sinsuat clan, who ruled who ruled Cotabato City and the then Empire Cotabato Province for decades,
were either reared in Manila or studied there and brought in Filipino as language of their inner social circles.
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