By Charissa M. Luci
Former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wants to strengthen and enhance the use of the English language as the medium of instruction (MOI) in the educational system, from the preschool to the tertiary level.
She laments that the learning of the English language suffered a setback as a result of the bilingual policy of the Department of Education (DepEd), which was introduced in 1974.
“Targeting the learning of two languages (English and Pilipino) is too much for the Filipino learners, especially in the lower grades. And if the child happens to be a non-Tagalog speaker, this task actually means learning two foreign languages at the same time, an almost impossible task,” she said.
Under House Bill 5091, English shall be taught as second language, starting with the First Grade and shall be used as the MOI for English, Mathematics, and Science from at least the Third Grade level.
The bill also provides that the English language shall be used as the primary MOI in all public and private institutions of learning in the secondary level, including those established as laboratory and/or experimental schools, and non-formal and vocational or technical educational institutions.
But, the Filipino language shall continue to be the medium of instruction in the learning areas of Filipino and Araling Panlipunan, according to the bill.
“This bill aims to develop the aptitude, competence and proficiency of our students in the English language to maintain and improve their competitive edge in emerging and fast-growing local and international industries, particularly in the area of information and communications technology (ICT),” Mrs. Arroyo said.
HB 5091 mandates the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to adopt measures to promote and encourage the use of the English language as the primary medium of instruction in the tertiary or higher education level.