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PIA Press Release
2006/09/20

Use whatever tool is handy, Lapus tells teachers

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (20 September) -- Being effective is the primary goal of teaching and they (referring to teachers) must use whatever tool is handy, including local dialects, to communicate their subject matters, said Education Secretary Jesli Lapus.

The comment was made by secretary Lapus following the proposed House Bill No. 4701 which seeks to replace a bilingual teaching policy for elementary and high schools with English as a medium of instruction.

Secretary Lapus assured advocates of bilingual education that the government classifies English as a "second language."

Teachers are not obliged to use English to communicate in the classroom. A teacher is a teacher and her job is to make the pupil understand his lessons, he said after he opened recently this year's national student leadership congress.

Learning two basic languages in school is confusing for pupils, citing studies made by the government. Malacaņang is concerned about the deterioration of English proficiency in the country, in the light of the growth of outsourcing industries like call centers.

We are globalizing, he said, noting that English was a necessity because it had remained the world's business language.

Filipino and several of the country's local languages did not use words necessary in accounting or basic mathematics to transact business.

Filipinos still use their English equivalents, he said, which is an argument against another advocacy for the use of Filipino as a teaching medium.

He said he was running the Department of Education as a corporation and that teachers must now assume the role of administrators. (PIA-XI) [top]

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