Dialects least preferred medium of instruction – poll

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Dialects least preferred medium of instruction � poll
Students filled the grounds of the Concepcion Elementary School in Marikina City during the first day of in-person classes on August 22, 2022.
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — A dialect or language spoken in a particular region is the least preferred medium of instruction for Grades 1 to 3, according to the results of a Pulse Asia survey commissioned by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.

The survey, which was conducted on Sept. 17-21 last year, asked 1,200 respondents about their opinion on which language or languages should be used as the primary language of instruction for students in the primary level or Grades 1 to 3.

Only 38 percent of the respondents preferred the local language spoken by the people in a particular region, while Filipino is the most preferred with 88 percent, followed by English with 71 percent.

At least half of the respondents in the Visayas (50 percent) and Mindanao (53 percent) preferred the local language as the medium of instruction while only 18 percent of the respondents in the National Capital Region (NCR) and 33 percent in Luzon have the same preference.

The survey also said less than half of the respondents across classes ABC (41 percent), D (36 percent) and E (48 percent) prefer the local language as a medium of instruction for Grades 1 to 3 learners.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, said he would pursue a thorough and rigorous review of the implementation of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education, which was mandated by Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or the K-12 law.

Last year, the senator filed Proposed Senate Resolution 5 to review the implementation of the K-12 Law.

Under the law, the education, instruction, teaching materials and assessment from Kindergarten up to Grade 3 shall be delivered in the regional or native language of the learners.

The Department of Education (DepEd) is further mandated to formulate a mother language transition program from Grades 4 to 6 so that Filipino and English shall be gradually introduced as languages of instruction.

At the secondary level, these two languages will become the primary language of instruction.

“Based on what we’ve seen on the capacity of our schools and sentiments of our people, we must study the next steps we should take on the use of our mother tongue. If we are to continue this policy, we must address its attendant challenges,” Gatchalian said in Filipino.

At a public hearing last year, it was revealed that only 72,872 out of the targeted 305,099 educators underwent training on the implementation of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education. They include supervisors, school heads and teachers teaching Kindergarten to Grade 3.

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