Tanggol Wika slams ‘English-only’ proposal

Published January 30, 2021, 12:17 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Tanggol Wika slammed the statement of a lawmaker who urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to reinforce English as the medium of instruction on all school levels.


Citing the dismal performance of Filipino students in global reading, math and science assessment, Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas called on DepEd to map out plans to boost the teaching of English in schools.

“DepEd should devote more funds to improve the English language skills of all classroom teachers,” Gullas said, adding that poor English reading and comprehension skills have “handicapped the Filipino students in math and science.”

In a statement, Tanggol Wika deplored Gullas’ suggestion for DepEd to reinforce English as the sole medium of instruction at all levels of education.

It instead urged DepEd to strengthen Filipino as the primary medium of instruction.

“[We] can learn good English even without using English as [the] sole medium of instruction,” Tanggol Wika said.

“DepEd should instead work towards strengthening Filipino as [the] primary medium of instruction and other Philippine languages as auxiliary medium of instruction — as per the 1987 Constitution’s language provisions. We have had enough of an English-only system. Let us do away with the neocolonial mindset and steer our education system towards local need,” it underscored.

Tanggol Wika is an alliance of Filipino language advocates. It is composed of professors, students, writers, and cultural activists.

The group was founded in 2014 as a response to the abolition of formerly mandatory Filipino language subjects in Philippine colleges and universities because of the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 20 which implements a new General Education Curriculum (GEC) as part of the Philippine government’s adoption of the Kindergarten to 12 years of basic education.