Baguio Congressman Mark Go who is also the Chairperson of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, has filed House Bill 6405, retracting the Implementation of Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education.
During Cong. Go’s remarks in the just concluded National Forum on the Language of Teaching and Learning in the Philippines, organized by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the United States Agency International Development (USAID), he highlighted major concerns such as the following:
1. Administrative feasibility and readiness. The education system is seemingly not yet fully equipped with sufficient teacher training, textbooks, and other instructional materials. Teachers also lack relevant teaching materials.
2. Varying use and proficiency in the regional mother tongue among households. Due to the increased mobility of Filipinos, local populations are now composed of people from different ethno-linguistic backgrounds.
3. Impact on English proficiency and reading comprehension.
He also cited some studies and recognition that the country has received for the last three years.
1. Since the implementation of the program, the Philippines ranked lowest out of 79 countries in Reading Comprehension based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rating. Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics found that 27% of the Filipino Grade 5 pupils who participated in the program were located in “Band 2 and below” (they are still at the stage of “matching single words to an image of a familiar object or concept).
2. In the National Achievement Test of then Grade 6 students, the pioneer products of the mother tongue policy, had dropped by 5.71 or 14.14% compared with the previous year’s score.
3. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS), would show that learners under the Policy on Bilingual Education or PBE outperformed the learners under the MTB-MLE.
4. In 2020, the Philippines fell seven spots to 27th place in the most recent English Proficiency Index by the international education company Education First.
The bill, if approved, would lead to reverting back to original method of instruction, English or Filipino for learners from Kinder to Grade 3.