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DepEd: Korean and other foreign language classes elective, not replacement to Filipino

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Amid misguided assertions and the timing of reports about the offering of elective Korean language class in selected public schools, the Department of Education (DepEd) emphasizes that this program is in no way intended to and shall not replace the Filipino subject in the basic education curriculum.
The study of the Korean language is elective and not part of the core subjects of around 700 learners in 10 selected junior high schools (JHS) in the National Capital Region. Aside from offering Korean language class, DepEd currently implements five Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL) classes in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Japanese in all public schools.
Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones has maintained that the subject Filipino remain to be among the core subjects in basic education, while the teaching of Panitikan in the Filipino subject serves as a springboard for discussion of grammar lessons and a way of strengthening the Filipino identity and culture. Additionally, Filipino continues to be the medium of instruction for Araling Panlipunan and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao. Aside from Filipino, the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) is also being implemented in Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2, and 3 in all public schools.
The Education chief consistently underscored the importance of history, culture and the arts in understanding, appreciating, and preserving the soul of Filipinos as a people. Thus, the Department continuously strengthens the teaching and learning of Filipino as part of the K to 12 Program.
Meanwhile, the inclusion of the Korean language in DepEd’s SPFL was formalized back in June 2017 under a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Philippines and South Korea.
As early as school year 2009-2010, the Department has already recognized the need to develop the foreign language skills of learners amid the increasing impact of globalization. SPFL is one of the six special programs being offered by the Department to cater to multiple intelligences of the learners and to help equip them with the necessary skills to meaningfully engage in a linguistically and culturally diverse world.
SPFL is open to Grades 7 to 10 learners who have demonstrated competence in Filipino and English, and are interested in and capable of learning another foreign language.
DepEd has partnered with the Korean Cultural Center, Embassy of Spain, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation Filipinas, Instituto Cervantes, Japan Foundation, the Embassy of France, Goethe-Institut Philippinen, and Confucius Institute-Angeles University Foundation in the conduct of capacity building activities for SPFL teachers.
The Department encourages the contribution of informed and fact-based opinions to the discussion instead of the proliferation of conclusions that sow seeds of confusion and disinformation.
PASIG CITY, November 18, 2018


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