Press Release
October 9, 2023

Gatchalian's proposal: Use mother tongue-based instruction only in monolingual classes

To address challenges surrounding the implementation of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE), Senator Win Gatchalian has filed a bill that seeks to redefine the application of the mother tongue's use as a medium of instruction.

Under Senate Bill No. 2457, Gatchalian proposes that except for monolingual classes from Kindergarten to Grade 3, the delivery of basic education shall continue to use Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English. This is in accordance with the Section VII, Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution. Gatchalian's proposal seeks the use of regional languages as auxiliary media of instruction, which he said is a flexible approach provided under the Constitution itself.

Gatchalian's proposal provides, however, that the principles and framework of the MTB-MLE shall continue in monolingual classes, which refer to groups of learners who speak the same mother tongue and are enrolled in the same grade level. The use of the MTB-MLE was institutionalized under the Enhanced Basic Education of 2013 (Republic Act No. 10533) or the K to 12 Law.

The senator also pointed out that while the 2020 Census of Population and Housing shows that there are about 245 reported languages in the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) officially covers only 19 languages in implementing MTB-MLE. Gatchalian also pointed out that some of the widely spoken languages such as Boholano, Masbateño, and Kankanaey are not covered by the 19 languages used by the DepEd.

The Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education recalled that during the four public hearings held on the implementation of the MTB-MLE, it was revealed that all studies presented on the use of the mother tongue were conducted in monolingual settings, making the Philippines an experiment on the use of mother tongue in a multilingual setting.

A 2019 study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) revealed that only 9% of the surveyed schools complied with the 4-minima requirements for good implementation of the MTB-MLE: writing big books on language, literature and culture, documenting the orthography of the language, documenting the grammar of language; and writing a dictionary of the language.

Gatchalian further recalled how these results reflect the findings of class observations and focus group discussions he conducted in class observations and focus group discussions in Pangasinan, Cebu, Davao, and Muntinlupa City.

Saklaw ng paggamit ng mother tongue sa pagtuturo pinababago ni Gatchalian

Upang tugunan ang mga hamong kinakaharap sa pagpapatupad ng Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE), naghain si Senador Win Gatchalian ng panukalang batas na layong palitan ang saklaw ng paggamit ng mother tongue bilang medium of instruction o wika ng pagtuturo.

Sa ilalim ng Senate Bill No. 2457, iminumungkahi ni Gatchalian na maliban sa mga monolingual classes mula Kindergarten hanggang Grade 3, ang pagtuturo ng basic education ay magpapatuloy gamit ang Filipino at, maliban na lamang kung itakda ng ibang batas, ang Ingles. Ito ay naaayon sa Section VII, Article XIV ng 1987 Constitution. Suhestyon ni Gatchalian ang paggamit ng mga lokal na wika bilang auxiliary media of instruction o pantulong na wika sa pagtuturo, na ayon sa mambabatas ay mas flexible na pamamaraan na nakasaad mismo sa Saligang Batas.

Sa ilalim ng panukala ni Gatchalian, magpapatuloy ang mga prinsipyo at framework ng MTB-MLE sa mga monolingual classes, o sa mga pangkat ng mga mag-aaral na gumagamit ng parehong wika o mother tongue, at naka-enroll sa parehong grade level. Naging institutionalized ang MTB-MLE sa ilalim ng Enhanced Basic Education of 2013 (Republic Act No. 10533) o ang K to 12 Law.

Bagama't may 245 na nakatalang wika sa ilalim ng 2020 Census of Population and Housing, ayon kay Gatchalian, may 19 na wika lamang na ginagamit ang Department of Education (DepEd) sa pagpapatupad ng MTB-MLE. Pinuna rin ng senador na ilan sa mga pinaka ginagamit na wika tulad ng Boholano, Masbateño, at Kankanaey ay hindi kasama sa 19 wika na pinapatupad ng DepEd.

Binalikan din ng chairperson ng Senate Committee on Basic Education na batay sa apat na naging pagdinig na ginawa ng Senado hinggil sa pagpapatupad ng MTB-MLE, napag-alaman na lahat ng mga pag-aaral na ipinakita sa paggamit ng mother tongue ay isinagawa sa mga lugar na gumagamit lamang ng isang wika. Matatandaang tinawag ni Gatchalian ang MTB-MLE sa bansa bilang eksperimento sa pagpapatupad ng mother tongue sa mga lugar na maraming wika.

Lumabas din sa isang pag-aaral ng Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) noong 2019 na 9% lamang sa mga mag-aaral na nakilahok sa isinagawang survey ang nakatupad sa 4-minima requirement para sa maayos na pagpapatupad ng MTB-MLE. Ito ay ang pagsusulat ng mga aklat sa wika, panitikan, at kultura; pag-dokumento sa ortograpiya ng wika; pag-dokumento sa balarila ng wika; at pagsulat ng diksyunaryo ng wika.

Dagdag pa ng senador, sinasalamin ng pag-aaral na ito ang kanyang mga obserbasyon at mga focus group discussion na kanyang isinagawa sa Pangasinan, Cebu, Davao, at Muntinlupa.

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