STARTING June, children from kindergarten to grade 3 will be taught using their mother tongue as the medium of instruction.
Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Alberto Muyot said the mother tongue-based-multilingual education (MTB-MLE) will be implemented next school year as part of the K + 12 Enhanced Basic Education Program.
In a memorandum, Muyot said the MTB-MLE will help enable every child to write and read by the time they reach grade 1.
The MTB-MLE will be implemented in two modes: as a learning or subject area and as a medium of instruction.
As a subject area, it will focus on developing the children’s reading skills and fluency in their mother tongue.
Except for Filipino and English, the native tongue will be used as the medium of instruction in all learning areas from kindergarten to grade 3.
Filipino will be introduced in the first semester of grade 1, while English will be taught starting in the second semester.
Twelve languages will be used as a medium of instruction. These are Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao and Chabacano.
DepEd has organized a team of trainers for each region. Each team is composed of education supervisors from different divisions.
DepEd has pushed for the implementation of the MTB-MLE since 1999, though the Lingua Franca project and the Lubuagan project.
In 2009, former DepEd secretary Jesli Lapus issued Department Order (DO) 74, which seeks to institutionalize the mother tongue-based multilingual education.
The MTB-MLE aims to enhance language, cognitive and academic development of the child.
It also aims to create socio-cultural awareness among the children by promoting their local heritage, language and culture.
DepEd tasked existing MTB-MLE regional training teams to conduct school-based training for teachers.
The K + 12 Enhanced Basic Education Program comprises mandatory kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school.
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