Philippines: Deped urged to use Jose Rizal to inspire school kids to master English

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Mon Jul 9 13:40:29 UTC 2007

Deped urged to use Jose Rizal to inspire school kids ....

Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 11:39 AM BST

08 - Deped urged to use Jose Rizal to inspire school kids to master
English The author of a bill seeking to reinstate English as the
medium of instruction has urged the Department of Education (Deped) to
use no less than the national hero, Jose Rizal, to motivate elementary
and high school students to master the language. "While Rizal did not
speak English, to which he then had absolutely no exposure, he did
master at least four other foreign languages," House Deputy Majority
Leader Eduardo Gullas said.

"In this sense, Rizal can definitely serve as a model who can inspire
school children to learn English, the global lingua franca, or other
foreign languages that will be useful to them once they join the labor
force," said Gullas, who represents Cebu province's first
congressional district. Rizal, who studied in Europe, was fluent in
Spanish, French, German and Latin, even as one of the popular proverbs
attributed to him is: "Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay
mas masahol pa sa mabahong isda." (People who do not love their own
language smell fouler than rotten fish).

"In an increasingly borderless 'global village', characterized by the
freer world trade in human resources and services, English mastery or
a working knowledge of the language is certainly a huge competitive
advantage," Gullas stressed. "This applies to all Filipinos -- to
nurses, engineers, sailors, hotel staff, construction workers,
caregivers and domestic helpers overseas, as well as to the Filipino
personnel here of multinational firms and business processing
outsourcing (BPO) providers," Gullas pointed out.

Gullas, meanwhile, lauded the Supreme Court decision throwing out a
lawsuit that had sought to stop the Deped from enforcing a new
language policy reviving English in schools. Gullas was referring to
the petition filed by a group of Filipino writers, academicians and
linguists, asking the tribunal to restrain the implementation of
Executive Order 210 and Deped Order 36, both of which seek to bolster
English in schools. A large labor group earlier bared that BPO
providers here have stepped up hiring of Filipinos who can speak at
least one foreign language besides English.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) pushed for the
"foreign language skills retooling" of secondary and vocational school
graduates, college undergraduates and jobless professionals, to build
up their chances of securing gainful employment.
"Workers who are able to speak a second foreign language can surely
look forward to even more lucrative jobs, here or overseas, in global
corporations, non-government organizations and multilateral
institutions," TUCP spokesperson Alex Aguilar said.

"So this is definitely not just about well-paying jobs in call centers
here that are now offering a substantial premium for extra foreign
language proficiency," Aguilar stressed. (PNA)
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