Pandemic delays Cebu's plans to replace Cebuano with English in teaching
CEBU, Philippines – Governor Gwendolyn Garcia's plans of replacing Cebuano with English as medium of instruction in the province's schools may be delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, June 2, Garcia said she and Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu Province Superintendent Dr Marilyn Andales had started curating the things needed to produce English-based learning materials before the pandemic began.
Now, instead of looking for book publishers, local executives shifted their attention towards coronavirus disease mitigation.
Garcia said printing shops were just about to open, so the printing of school materials would expectedly be delayed.
The governor on Tuesday reiterated her belief that using English as language of learning during formative school years would make Cebu's students more globally competitive.
"I am still very much of the position that we should stick to English as the medium of instruction insofar as the province of Cebu is concerned," Garcia said.
What prompted the policy
Garcia's plans were prompted by the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey released in 2019. Filipino students ranked last in reading comprehension, sciences, and math.
In a bid to address this, DepEd Cebu and the Cebu provincial government worked on a compromise on March 2 to reinstate English as the medium for instruction in all public schools under the province of Cebu.
The stipulation was that learners here could still learn the mother tongue as a separate subject. The agreement was for the provincial government, and not DepEd, to spend on the publication of learning materials.
The governor also said she was against online classes when schools reopen, as not all learners have personal computers and internet access. She supports take-home work when classes resume.
Garcia added she plans on meeting with Andales and the DepEd's district supervisors to fine-tune the changes in the teaching program. – Rappler.com