Mother tongue education finds methods in teaching indigenous language-A A +A
Thursday, September 13, 2012
NAGTIPUNAN, QUIRINO -- Minda Bayangan who hails from Ifugao and Mountain Province uses Ilocano and Tagalog in teaching Agta kinder with the aid of her pupils. Half of the 20 Kinder 1 Agta pupils enrolled in Djoryong Elementary School who speak Ilocano and Tagalog translate words in the Agta language to their classmates who only speak their native Agta dialect. The newly opened Grade 6 level for school year 2012 adds up to 82 pupils from Kinder 1 to Grade 6 since the school was established 10 years ago.
Asking the help of pupils who know the native dialect is one among the techniques of implementing the mother tongue approach of the Department of Education under its K to 12 program, was identified in a multilingual education training held recently at the Lyceum of the Philippines University.
Another method identified is with the aid of community teachers who help Dep-Ed teachers in isolated IP areas where there lacks education services. With the aid of the regular teacher, they do translations from Ilocano and Tagalog and English to the native dialect to make learning better understood by the children.
Fielding community teachers is especially supported by the Community Outreach and Service Learning (COSEL) of the Lyceum of the Philippines in 15 elementary schools in indigenous peoples places located in isolated areas of the country aided by the program Philippine’s Response to Indigenous and Muslim Education (PRIME). The PRIME program is funded by Australian Aid and implemented with the cooperation of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Dep-Ed.
Dr. Marilyn Ngales, Director of LPU’s COSEL program said the mother tongue shall be taught as a separate subject for Grades 1, 11 and 111. Aside from making learning easier to IP children through the use of their mother tongue, the vernacular is taught to IP children who don’t speak their native language anymore.
Community teachers bring about local application in COSEL’s Pamana’y Ugatin, Hasain at Arugain (PUGAHAN) project, a village-based learning program with a three year learning and four-tiered geared to comprehensive functional indigenous peoples education.
Djoryong Elementary School is one among identified PRIME-PUGAHAN’s school- partners where children of indigenous communities attend kindergarten and Grade 1 classes in primary schools of Quirino, Aurora, Quezon, Rizal and Palawan. Bayangan is supported by the provincial government of Quirino through the Local School Board.
Other K1 pupils supported by PRIME-PUGAHAN are in San Martin of Quirino; Matuwe, Umiray, Singawan Caragsakan, Dikapanikian of Dingalan, Aurora; Militunglan, Uma, Bumbanan, and Madaraki of General Nakar, Quezon; Paglitao of Antipolo, Rizal beginning this school year June 2012.
For this school year, some 80 school children from five sitios shall receive primary education in General Nakar, Quezon Province and Paglitao, Calawis, Rizal. Indigenous Batak shall also be reached in remote Tinitian Roxas, Kalakwasa, Tanabag, and Puerto Prinsesa in Palawan.
Appreciating one’s culture among indigenous children who don’t know how to speak their native dialect and those fluent with their native language is equally a major intent of the mother tongue approach of Dep-Ed.
There are only 12 identified lingua franca to be used this school year in the Dep-Ed’s mother tongue medium of instruction namely Tagalog, Kapampangangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, Chabakano.
The rest of indigenous languages not identified is now up to the teacher to innovate.
They shall enrich curriculum development “built around the venue and timeliness of learning. The foundations of learning are generated from the familiar to the strange in the same way that the tool for communication emanates from the comprehensive to the more complex. Curriculum thus provides the core of learning evolving from what the children can grasp and gradually expanding to what they can comprehend as they learn more,” Ngales said.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 13, 2012.