The Role Of Mother Tongue In The Philippines

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In the Philippines, MTB-MLE is a formal or non-formal education, in which the children’s mother tongue is used in the classroom as a bridge in learning Filipino and English. It has been institutionalized in the Philippines as a fundamental educational policy and program in the whole stretch of formal education including pre-school and Alternative Learning System (ALS) as per DepEd Order No. 74, s. 2009 dated July 14, 2009. McEachern (2014) cited the MTB-MLE as a department-wide policy for all educational establishments under its aegis. The Order could theoretically be the basis of one of the most robust mother tongue education programs worldwide, extending all the way to the end of secondary school. However, the related Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K to 12) reform has tempered the role of mother tongue in the new education system. As one of only three (3) countries in the world to have a basic education system of 10 years or less, the President Benigno Aquino III’s administration has lengthened the basic education cycle to 13 years; this involves adding a mandatory Kindergarten for all children and an extra two (2) years of secondary education. The enabling law for this enormous change was Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013. Due to the President’s support of mother tongue-based education and recent policy releases like Department Order 74, the mother tongue was reiterated as a medium of instruction in RA 10533, but only until Grade 3 as originally
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