The Department of Education has released guidelines on the use of funds to develop learning materials for schools offering mother-tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE).
Mother tongue-based education prescribes the use of the language learners speak at home in delivering lessons and in classroom discussions. MTB-MLE is implemented from pre-school up to Grade 3 and in the alternative learning system.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said “producing educational materials that suit the specific needs of learners will result to better learning outcomes.”
Luistro explained that DepEd came up with the guideline to synchronize and decentralize the production of indigenized teaching and learning materials as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of the MTB-MLE.
Local and international studies show that the use of the learner’s mother tongue or the language used at home is the most effective medium of learning. “It is the easiest way for children to access the unfamiliar world of school learning,” Luistro explained.
Educators say that when the use of mother tongue is discarded in favor of an unfamiliar language upon the children’s entry into grade school, the learners lose interest in their studies because there is a disconnect in the language used at home and in school.
Based on DepEd Order 90, the types of learning materials to be developed are story books in big and small book formats; flash/activity cards using letters and numbers; basic sight words (grade level words and picture dictionary; and thematic picture chart for oral literacy.
The guidelines also specified that 50% of the allocated funds should go to the development and reproduction of the teaching and learning materials; 20% for monitoring and evaluation; 15% for research and 15% for transportation.
DepEd piloted the implementation of MTB-MLE in school year 2010-2011 in 879 public elementary schools nationwide. As of November 2011 some 2,288 field officials, non-government organizations, local government units, parent-teacher-community associations and teachers have been trained to ensure the effective integration of this initiative into the curriculum.
The languages used for instruction and learning under the MTB-MLE include Iloko, Pangasinense, Kalangoyan, Kapampangan, Sambal, Tagalog, Minangyan, Bikol, Hiligaynon, Aklanon, Cebuano, Waray-Waray, Chavacano, Yakan, T’Boli, Surigaonon, Adasen, Bunungan, In Laud, Maranao and Maguindanaon.