President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, DepEd, CHR: SCRAP THE ENGLISH-ONLY POLICY IN SCHOOLS (STEPS)
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SCRAP THE ENGLISH-ONLY POLICY IN SCHOOLS (STEPS)
An Urgent Petition to Outlaw the English-Only Rule in Philippine Schools
August 19, 2013
President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
Dear Mr. President:
Almost every Filipino learner of the last five generations has suffered from some form of verbal, monetary, academic and corporal punishment as a result of the English-only policy in schools.
The recent expulsion of three students in a Laoag City school for speaking Ilocano in campus compels a thorough review of the very premises of such a widespread policy.
While we believe that learning a global language such as English is essential at present, the imposition of an English-only rule in schools has failed to achieve its desired end. The policy has only succeeded in curtailing our constitutional rights to speak and to be educated in our own languages, including Filipino Sign Language.
We therefore urge our executive officials to immediately ban the English-only policy in all Philippine schools for being unconstitutional, violative of our human rights and harmful to the education of our youth. We also call on government to adopt a new language-in-education policy that supports the learning of English but not at the expense of our nation’s languages. This policy should agree with the President’s view that we need English to connect to the world, the national language to connect to our country and our native languages to connect to our cultural heritage and identity.
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