Bongbong Marcos told: Replace English with Filipino as language of instruction
MANILA, Philippines — A progressive teacher’s group on Friday urged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to make Filipino the language of instruction instead of English.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) chairperson Vladimer Quetua made the call after Marcos said in his inaugural address that English should be the medium of instruction in schools.
“Language barrier is a basic reason why the Philippines lag behind and our students are at a disadvantage in these tests,” Quetua said, referring to international assessments like the Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
The Philippines ranked last in Pisa’s 2018 assessment and the TIMSS study conducted in 2020.
Quetua noted that the countries that usually lead on these assessments use their native language as a medium of instruction.
“That is why learning is well facilitated, and they perform better in the tests which were conducted in their own languages,” Quetua noted.
The Philippines, on the other hand, the assessment is usually done in English, which Quetua called an “impediment.”
“This is a big impediment to student learning because they have to master the English language first before they can learn science and math concepts,” he said.
“In the classroom, they also cannot freely express themselves because English is not their vernacular,” he continued. “This dilemma also clips their ability for critical thinking and in formulating arguments.”
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