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K+12 - To use the mother tongue as medium of instruction

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 08:44
This school year marks a new era in the Philippine educational system with basic education  extended by two years and the use of the mother tongue medium of instruction.
In the Davao region, teachers are ready to implement the enhanced basic education curriculum or K+12 which mandates that in Kindergarten, Grade 1, 2 and 3, they will use the Cebuano Visayan dialect or Sinibuanong Binisaya.
This, according to Davao City Schools Division Superintendent Helen D. Paguican in a press conference at the Department of Education (DepEd) 11 office last Monday.
She said teachers will use the mother tongue or the first language of the child at home, and the region’s DepEd adopted the Sinibuanong Binisaya as it is the dominant first language here.
Students will only learn 20 alphabets in the dialect; five vowels and 15 consonants.
“They will be taught how to read and write in the dialect so that they can understand what the teacher is saying and can answer questions critically,” she continued, adding that this teaching approach will develop their oral language competence, cognitive and reasoning skills.
Further, Susana Teresa B. Estigoy, DepEd 11 regional director, said the use of the mother tongue in educational instruction is a result of many years of research.
With the new curriculum of K+12, Grade 1 students will read and write Cebuano in the first grading; start oral Filipino in the second grading; can already read Filipino in the third and fourth grading. Students will start literacy in English in Grade 2.
A total of 3,754 Grade 1 teachers, and 2,766 Grade 7 teachers have been trained and are ready to start the implementation of K+12 come June 4.
There are no textbooks published for the new curriculum yet, however, the DepEd has developed materials as learning guides.
“This is the start of K+12 implementation, so the glitches will be ironed out. We just have to start somewhere. If not now, then when?” Paguican said. [Lorie A. Cascaro]