Thursday, July 20, 2006

English to be fully restored as medium of instruction

Yehey! Mag-iinglesan na uli, kahit mali-mali naman, may penalty pa ang mahuhuling nagsasalita sa dialect..

Bakit kaya hindi gumaya ang mga Koreans, Taiwanese, Hapones, Chinese, German, Franses, etc at imbes na mga lengwahe nila ang medium of instruction ay English na rin? Batay sa sinasabi sa balita (appended), mas matututo sila at siempre lalong uunlad ang kanilang ekonomiya, laluna ang S&T.

English to be fully restored as medium of instruction
By Ding Cervantes
The Philippine Star 07/18/2006

CLARK FIELD, Pampanga — Incoming Education Secretary Tarlac Rep. Jesli Lapus said here yesterday he will fully restore English as the medium of instruction in the country to upgrade the quality of education and make it "market-driven. "We have to put English back on the frontline," he said, adding that laws have been passed in Japan requiring that English be taught at the grade school level.

Lapus, who is set to assume his new post at the helm of the Department of Education (DepEd) next month, lamented the deterioration of the quality of education in the country.

He also cited findings that Filipino students rate among the lowest 10 percent in mathematics and science proficiency in Asia and below the passing 75 percent in mastery achievement tests. He said books in math and science are written in English and are difficult to translate into Filipino.

Lapus also cited the need to strengthen the "technical orientation" of high school students to make the system more "market-driven." He said high school students' "infatuation" with white-collar jobs cause many students to take white-collar courses, though many of them end up jobless. Meanwhile, there is a growing demand for skilled technicians who can command salaries even higher than that of a vice president in a corporation.

"We will fully support the ladderized curriculum of the TESDA (Technology and Science Development Authority) that offers short-term technical courses — especially for high school dropouts," he said.

Lapus also said his priority as education secretary is to improve the quality of education by providing more training for teachers. "Most math and science teachers have masteral degrees in other fields," he said, adding that the help of the private sector will be tapped for these teacher-training programs.

With a reenacted 2005 budget of only about P102 billion budget, the DepEd is short by some P7.5 billion for programs meant to be implemented this year, Lapus said.

"I plan to ask the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for some flexibility in this by allocating some savings for education needs," he said.

"Our student population grows at an average rate of 2.7 percent, while the education budget grows only at about two percent," Lapus said. "We can't catch up with backlogs with inflation rates also rising. Even if education gets an increase of 7.5 percent in its yearly budget, it would be able to catch up only with the (student) population increase."

He said that, in 2000, the national budget's allocation for education was set at 14 percent, but this year's allocation is only 11 percent of the total budget appropriation.

Lapus also said that with the huge problems confronting the education sector, the DepEd should be "spared from the political crossfire."

He said the DepEd covers about 30 percent of the government bureaucracy, with 92 percent of its budget allocated for payroll.

He said that while "I will be the first to advocate fair compensation" for teachers, any pay increase for mentors depends on the availability of funds.

Adequate salaries, he said, would boost the morale of teachers and lead to upgrades in the quality of public education.

Lapus said he will try to work out "new standards" for teachers' salaries — similar to the standards applied for members of the police and military services.

In Congress, Lapus authored bills that sought to improve the welfare of public school teachers, including one that established ceilings on how much could be deducted from their salaries to pay for loans and another imposing a maximum of 18 percent interest, instead of the then prevailing 70 to even 100 percent interest on loans they obtained from various sources, including loan sharks.

No comments: