Schools, universities may offer ASEAN languages — Duterte

Published August 8, 2022, 2:13 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

To help strengthen the relationship of member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte pushed for the offering of ASEAN languages in schools and universities in the region.

Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte during the celebration of the 55th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the DepEd Central Office on August 8, 2022. (Photo courtesy of DepEd)

“ASEAN languages may be offered in our schools and universities,” Duterte said in her speech during the celebration of the 55th Founding Anniversary of the ASEAN held at the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City on Monday, Aug. 8.

“While the Philippines has been sending English-language teachers to our Southeast Asian neighbors for years, I believe it is high time we encourage our youth to learn each other’s national languages,” Duterte said.

Focus on education, ASEAN youth

In her speech, Duterte also underscored the crucial role of education — especially among the youth. “We all know that if we are successful in providing our children with access to quality education, coupled with a deep sense of love of country and fellowmen, our future is secured,” Duterte said.

Duterte noted that one of the ways to involve the ASEAN youth is to “ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and skill set needed in a highly competitive environment.” “By strengthening intraregional scholarships and cultural exchanges between our countries, we will be able to increase the free flow of ideas, innovations, and skills,” she added.

Duterte also stressed that while the 10-member ASEAN “may be different in more ways than one,” diversity remains the region’s strength. “To help each other, we must develop our human capital and workforce by jointly developing the skills that our youth may capitalize on in the future,” she said.

“As we endeavor to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, our challenge is to figure out how to ensure that all of ASEAN will reach its potential by 2030,” she said. “Your excellencies, I believe that we should focus on the ASEAN youth,” she added.

For ASEAN to successfully pursue its regional agenda, Duterte also underscored the need for ASEAN to be able to maintain its “strong presence in the world” by seriously investing in its youth.

“With a collaborative and nurturing environment within our region, we allow our youth to grow and mature as ASEAN citizens while forging meaningful friendships and relationships with their ASEAN neighbors,” she said.

Duterte also noted that the young people of ASEAN deserve a future characterized by stability, prosperity, increased mobility, and competitiveness. “…With intraregional scholarships and cultural exchanges, we will be able to shape the future of ASEAN,” she added.