Cordilleran languages in K-12 urged

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Monday, May 26, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Department of Education (DepEd) officials here are asking to include Cordilleran languages in the K-12 program.

Teachers nationwide have struggled with the policy of using mother tongue in their lessons.

However, educators have been using the native languages in their areas of responsibility to make learning easier for students.

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DepEd already began using 12 languages last school year: Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao and Chabacano.

Recently, six languages were added in a bid to improve the program: Ybanag - Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, and Isabela; Ivatan - Batanes Group; Aklanon - Aklan, Capiz; Kinaray-a - Capiz, Aklan; Yakan - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); and Surigaonon - Surigao City and provinces.

DepEd chief administrative officer Delfin Sallidao said teachers are constantly being trained to conform to new standards which include mother tongue instruction.

There are 35 languages in the region representing Benguet which has Ibaloi and Kankana-ey; the Mountain Province with Kankana-ey; Apayao with Isnag, Abra with Tinggian; Baguio with Ilokano; Ifugao with Tuwali; and Kalinga with Kalinga. Within the provinces there are 35 orthographies or languages.

DepEd studies show students who are taught in the native language are more responsive to classroom environment as well as academic tasks.

Classes in all public schools are set to open June 2 with the projected enrollment for the region at 26,633 students from public and private schools.

With the projection, the region needs an additional 532 new classrooms, with an approximated cost of P521,360,000. There are also 886 new teachers.

The procurement of 26,633 armchairs, with an approximated cost of P23,969,700, are also needed.

DepEd recommends a class size of 45.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 27, 2014.

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