DepEd to abandon mother tongue as a subject but not as a medium of instruction – The Mother Tongue Based – Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) subject may soon be abandoned according to the Department of Education (DepEd). However, it will still remain as a medium of instruction from Kindergarten to Grade 3.
DepEd Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III stated this plan as a result of their recently concluded review of the K-12 Basic Education Program during the senate hearing.
“We intend to abandon mother tongue as a subject, which is a separate learning area in the curriculum. And we will simply use the mother tongue, which is already the vernacular of the community, neighbors, and family, as part of the medium of instruction. No longer as a subject to be offered from Grade 1 to Grade 3,” he said.
According to the Usec., this development would free up 50 minutes of teaching the MTB-MLE to learners. The time will instead be “reallocated” to the national reading and math programs.
He also reiterated that schools will still continue the use of the mother tongue as a medium of instruction as mandated by the Enhanced Philippine Basic Education Act of 2013 or Republic Act 10533, except when teaching Filipino and English subjects.
But Usec. Densing said DepEd is “already readying to make the major pivot to a full bilingual program if a law will be passed amending or repealing Section 4 of R.A. 10533, suspending the use of mother tongue as a medium of instruction for K to 3.”
According to the Philippine Institute of Development Studies, only nine percent of the sample size of 16,287 schools have complied with the four main conditions of DepEd in rolling out mother tongue-based multilingual education, namely orthography, grammar, learning resources, and dictionary.
Moreover, DepEd said only 78,872 of its targeted 305,099 educators have been trained for the use of the mother tongue as a medium of instruction.
These figures alarmed Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Pia Cayetano, arguing that it has been 10 years since the passage of the law yet its implementation remains unimpressive.
DepEd to abandon mother tongue as a subject – Updated: October 17, 2022
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