Gatchalian seeks Senate probe on ‘mother tongue’ policy in K-12 curriculum

  • Senator Sherwin Gatchalian filed a resolution to seek a Senate probe on the mother tongue policy
  • He noted that the implementation of the policy is challenging due to lack of textbooks and inadequate teacher training
  • Gatchalian noted how the Filipino learners ranked lowest in reading comprehension and second lowest in science and mathematics among 79 countries

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian wants to probe the mother tongue policy in the K-12 curriculum.

Image by Sherwin Gatchalian via Facebook

In an effort to address the poor academic performance of Filipino learners, Gatchalian has filed a resolution seeking a Senate inquiry on the implementation of the mother tongue-based multilingual education.

In a statement, Gatchalian noted that there are challenges in the implementation of the mother tongue policy.

“Bagama’t maganda ang layunin ng mother tongue policy sa ilalim ng programang K to 12, nakita natin na may mga hamon sa ating kakayahan at kahandaang ipatupad ito,” said Gatchalian, who also chairs the Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture.

Under the K-12 curriculum, students in the Kindergarten and Grades 1 to 3 are required to learn the local mother tongues and will be used as the medium of instruction.

According to Gatchalian, the implementation of the mother tongue policy is challenging because of the lack of textbooks written in it and inadequate teacher training.

“Children learn better and faster in a language that they can understand. This, in effect, boosts their self-esteem making them enjoy school more,” said Gatchalian.

The senator noted how the Filipino students performed poorly in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment. The Philippines ranked the lowest in reading comprehension and second lowest in science and mathematics among 79 countries.

Image by DepEd

Gatchalian stressed the importance of carefully reviewing the policy to identify how they can address the deficiencies in the program.

“Kaya ang kailangan dito ay isang masusing pag-aaral upang malaman natin kung paano ba natin matutugunan ang mga kakulangan ng naturang programa,” said Gatchalian.