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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

DepEd considers Mother Tongue, WPS in K-12 plan

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The Department of Education is considering teaching Grade 10 students about the West Philippine Sea and the ruling that invalidated China’s historical claims to the resource-rich waterway.

Earlier this week, the DepEd also proposed the early teaching of English and the removal of the separate Mother Tongue subject in the primary level.

Under the plan, Mother Tongue will no longer be offered as a separate subject in Grades 1 to 3 and instead will be used to teach other subjects, primarily English and Filipino.

In February, the House of Representatives cleared a bill suspending the use of mother tongue as the medium of instruction from kindergarten to Grade 3 on third and final reading.

A draft guide of the revised K-12 curriculum, meanwhile, includes “MgaIsla ng West Philippine Sea” under a lesson on territorial issues and border conflicts in the Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) subject for Grade 10.

The “Hague Arbitral Ruling” is included under another lesson on responding to economic challenges.

The DepEd is calling on the public to review the revised curriculum guides for Kindergarten to Grade 10 until May 3.

Meanwhile, DepEd’s draft-shaping paper for the revised English curriculum read: “Anchored on the language framework of the K-12 curriculum, the enhanced English curriculum reflects the dynamic nature of the language and to distinguish Philippine English from the English of, not one of and not for, the native speakers.”

“Philippine English is a variety of English used in various discourse forms (oral, written, visual, digital) influenced by the country’s unique historical, multicultural and diverse linguistic backgrounds and used widely in literary, academic, journalistic and business correspondence,” it added.

Based on the draft of the revised basic education curriculum released by the DepEd last week, English will be taught as early as the first quarter for Grade 1 students, earlier than the current third quarter.

“The Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) is a salient part of the implementation of the K-12 Basic Education Program,” the DepEd’s draft general-shaping paper for the revised curriculum read.

“It underscores the importance of learning using the language and literacy resource that the child knows best and can use most effectively in order to establish a strong foundation for further education and literacy development,” it added.

In teaching literacy, the DepEd proposed a language framework that identifies Mother Tongue as a “base subject and literary resource.”

“Filipino and English are offered simultaneously starting in Grade 1 to primarily develop learners’ literacy. The curricula for both languages are MT-based as oracy and literacy skills in the first language serve as the foundation in transitioning learners’ oracy for literacy to Filipino and English,” the draft released for public feedback read.

“Knowledge in and of the first language serves as a resource for learning Filipino and English in order to learn through those languages,” it added.

Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 that institutionalized the K-12 system, mandated that “kindergarten and the first three years of elementary education, instruction, teaching materials and assessment shall be in the regional or native language of the learners” or mother tongue.

A separate Mother Tongue subject was later included in the K-12 curriculum, with the DepEd at the time saying that the “goal of the subject is to develop learners who are able to use the mother tongue appropriately and effectively in oral, visual, and written communication.”

Beijing claims almost all the South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually. Other claimants include the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

China has ignored a July 2016 ruling from The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration that its historical claim is without basis.

The Citizens Alliance for Life and the Law (CALL) of the Sea has petitioned the DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education to include in the high school and college curriculum the arbitral award, Greg Atienza, executive director of Soul Philippines, said in June 2021.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has insisted he will not let China trample on the Philippines’ maritime rights.

The Philippines recently named four additional facilities that US troops can use on top of the five sites agreed on under the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

China warned the expanded US-Philippines military deal could endanger regional peace and accused Washington of a “zero-sum mentality.” With Maricel V. Cruz

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