BY EDEN R. PALISPIS
Elementary School Principal
DepEd Camarines Sur
TEACHING children in a language they understand was one challenging decision our government had to make in order to address the demands of reforms in Philippine educational system.
Apparently, the reforms are primarily designed to increase the quality of our education by introducing as one of its program, the mother tongue as mediums of instruction during the early years of education of children.
Mother tongue in plain and simple definition is the “first-language-first” education. That is, the first language that a child learned.
Most countries in the world have already embarked on new education policies and curriculum by adopting the recommendation of UNESCO, after painstaking studies, that children learn best when instruction at their first wave of elementary education, is in their mother tongue.
These studies were bolstered by our very own research and studies made at the children of the Lubuagan, Mountain Province where the children from Grade 1 to Grade 3 were taught using their Libuagan dialect as mediums of instruction.
Result was highly commendable such that they out-performed all other schools in the province and in the entire country during some achievement tests conducted.
What is the rationale in adopting the program?
Everyone was aware that language was the prime factor for effective communication in the classroom. By using their original language or their mother tongue, children are likely to participate in classroom discussion and find it easy to understand what is being taught.
By these, children were able to express themselves well and thus, building also self-confidence that leads to motivation, initiative and creativity.
Having this in themselves, the level or rates of drop-outs and repetition is low.
With the mastery already of the basics, some other language foreign to them but are important mediums of instruction may now be progressively and/or gradually introduced as they crossed the threshold towards a more advance level of education.
However, the goals and objectives of the program cannot be realized without the teachers, school heads, and other concerned sectors having provided the inventiveness and/or creativity and dedication in the pursuit of this endeavor.
We, the schools, parents and the community as well will play a very important role in our drive to give our offspring the best education that will prepare them to hurdle the future. – Bicol Mail