Mother language education in President Noynoy's 1ST SONA (reposted from DILA Forum, by Sir Manny) The good news from Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo is that he was able to talk to President Noynoy Aquino and President Aquino said he would mention in his SONA his 10 point agenda which includes MLE. President Noynoy Aquino recognizes the importance of mother tongue-based multilingual education in the formative years of children and harmonizes it with recommendations of UNESCO. Point 8 in his 10-point Education agenda states: "8. Medium of Instruction rationalized UNESCO has proven that young children learn best in their mother tongue before moving on to English in higher grades. This is a policy already observed by DepEd since Brother Andrew Gonzalez's time as DepEd Secretary From pre-school to grade 3, we will use the mother tongue as the medium of instruction while teaching English and Filipino subjects. From Grades 4-6 (7). we will increasingly use English as the medium of instruction for science and math and Filipino for Aralang Panlipunan (social studies). For High School, English should be the medium of instruction for science, math & English; Filipino for AP, Filipino and tech-voc education. My view on this is larger than just the classroom. We should become tri-lingual as a country. : * Learn English well and connect to the world. * Learn Filipino well and connect to our country. * Retain your mother tongue and connect to your heritage. " (First delivered at the Third COCOPEA National Congress, 11 February 2010, Manila, Philippines, and published in Commentary, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 2010. ) We worked hard to go this far. As Marietta Primicias Goco of Subsidiarity Movement International put it, "At least you guys have made a beachhead with P-Noy re MLE for the first four years of schooling. That's VERY important and needs only to be put in place everywhere. ASAP! " Yet, we should also heed Dr. Jes Tirol's comments: "Yes we have the beachhead. I hope we will not remain in the beach. Hitler could not have been defeated if the allies stayed at the beaches of Normandy. " President Noynoy cannot escape his background and training, as neither can we. He grew up in the Tagalog culture of his mother. He is a Tagalista and uses Tagalog in all his public appearances. He of course accepts MLE as the most effective way for transference or bridging to Tagalog. A lot of work still needs to be done, especially the need to amend Article XIV, Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution and finally recognize our regional languages as official languages and medium of instruction as they do in Spain, Belgium, UK, South Africa, India, Switzerland and Canada, to name some countries which are good paradigms of multi-culturalism and recognition of, and respect for, linguistic diversity.
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