Philippines: The right to learn in one's own language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Mon Sep 8 23:30:37 UTC 2008

Forwarded From: edling at

The right to learn in one's own language

By Magtanggol Gunigundo

"Education is power. And language is the key to accessing that power."

When a child receives an education in a language that he or she does not
understand, this violates the child's right to be literate and be educated.
Articles 28 and 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the
Child provide that all children have the right to an education and to learn
and use the language of his family.

A few months ago, I authored a bill (HB 3719) in the House of
Representatives calling for the use of the first language as the primary
medium of instruction from preschool to Grade 6. I also advocated for the
strong teaching of English and Filipino in the elementary grades, but only
as separate subjects and not as media of instruction.

Full story:

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