THE Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday clarified that the study of Korean and other foreign languages is an elective class and will not replace the Filipino subject in the basic education curriculum.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the Korean language class is an elective and not part of the core subjects of at least 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.
Briones stressed that the Filipino subject will remain to be among the core subjects in the basic education, while Panitikan in the Filipino subject serves as a springboard for discussion of grammar lessons and a way of strengthening the Filipino identity and culture.
Briones added that 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.
Briones underscored the importance of history, culture and the arts in understanding, appreciating, and preserving the soul of Filipinos as a people and the DepEd 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 in June 2017 under a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Philippines and South Korea.
As early as school year 2009-2010, the DepEd 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.
The DepEd also 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.