Use 'Taglish' to teach math and science, Rep. Joey Salceda suggests

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Students attend a class wearing face masks for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as schools in the Philippines' capital reopen since the pandemic, in Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines, December 6, 2021.  Albay Second District Rep. Joey Salceda, meanwhile, wants educators to use Taglish to teach Math and Science. (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Students attend a class wearing face masks for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as schools in the Philippines' capital reopen since the pandemic, in Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines, December 6, 2021. Albay Second District Rep. Joey Salceda, meanwhile, wants educators to use Taglish to teach Math and Science. (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

In order to address the growing learning poverty rate in the country, a lawmaker wants to use “Taglish” (Tagalog and English) as a medium of instruction to teach non-language subjects especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

According to Albay Second District Representative Joey Salceda, most homes and the media that students consume are using Taglish, as well as the digital space.

“I think it’s time to admit that, whether we like it or not, the language of the media, of national conversations and of the digital space in the Philippines, is decisively Taglish,” Salceda said.

“Most homes intersperse English and Filipino words freely. People converse and more importantly, think in Taglish,” he added.

He likewise expressed grave concern over the latest data from the World Bank, and as reported by Singapore-based publication The Straits Times, that over 90% of children in the Philippines are struggling to read simple texts at age 10.

Learning poverty is the “inability to read and understand short, age-appropriate texts by the age of 10,” with the Philippines getting a 91% learning poverty rate and 91% learning deprivation rate, and 5% of children deprived of school.

The World Bank, as reported by the Inquirer, identified two points for the high learning poverty rate in the Philippines, such as the higher percentage of out-of-school children, and with learners failing to achieve minimum proficiency after primary school.

“First, the share of out-of-school children is higher for boys (5.1 percent) than for girls (4.8 percent). Second, boys are less likely to achieve minimum proficiency at the end of primary school (91.7 percent) than girls (89.2 percent) in the Philippines,” said the Washington-based multilateral lender in its “The State of Global Learning Poverty: 2022 Update” report.

“Global learning poverty is at crisis levels and continues to worsen in the wake of the worst shock to education and learning in a century,” the report further pointed out.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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