Friday, June 23, 2017

Online petition asks DepEd to recall all “sick” books in Ilokano MTB-MLE

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—An online petition is currently making waves again over the internet expressing disappointment and disgust on the continuing circulation of some erroneous books intended for use in the Ilokano Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education of the Department of Education’s K-12 program.
Since 2014, there had been talks and numerous criticisms about these error-ridden books which were already out in local and national bookstores including some schools in Ilokano-speaking provinces yet the DepEd apparently failed to catch errors in textbooks and teaching materials used in public schools.
With a bigger alliance called as the Committee for the Protection of the Ilokano Language and the Ilokano MTB-MLE from various communities, organizations and individuals who are stakeholders of the Ilokano language, Joel Manuel, Bangui National High School principal and president of the Gunglo Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano (GUMIL)-Ilocos Norte Chapter led the launching of the online petition addressed to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones on May 20, 2017. 
In its description, the petition says, “The widespread use of sick books, defined in this petition as unsound in substance and erroneous in grammatical quality, in pre-school and Grades 1 to 3, has caused problems in the quality education of these Ilokano educatees.”
It further states, “the sick books, produced both by the government’s arm tasked to prepare these instructional materials and by the private sector, do not conform to the commonly or widely accepted standards of the Ilokano language.”
“These sick books also lack the substance that guarantee the equipping of the Ilokano educatees of the needed skills, values, knowledge, and attitudes they need to transition to the higher grades and to be prepared for life-long learning.”
As an educator and book author, Mr. Manuel said, “we deserve something better than these error-laden books,” citing several examples of Math and basic learning books with wrong translation and illustrations.
“These sick books do not do justice to the need to reflect the ethos, life, and values of the various Ilokano communities in the Philippines and elsewhere as required in a fair and emancipatory culture-based education,” said in the petition.
In view of this, the petition is specifically urging Secretary Briones to recall all these sick books, conduct an inventory of all Ilokano MTB-MLE textbooks and supplementary instructional materials; assess the worthiness of all those in the inventory; and to form a committee of experts on the Ilokano language and culture to assess all textbooks and instructional materials used in Ilokano MTB-MLE, and to advise the DepEd in the establishment of policies and guidelines on the preparation, production, and quality assurance of all books to be used in Ilokano MTB-MLE.
A number of Ilokano language stakeholders have used social media to voice their disgust at the error-ridden books as they signed the online petition.
“The books are harmful for the learners, full of errors and the authors did not even consult Ilocanos who has the command and education of the language,” said Rev. Father Joel Raymundo of Naguilian, Isabela.
For Ej Eereno, an Ilokano teacher and Ilokano language major from University of Hawaii at Manoa believes that “It's important to set a strong foundation for our students and it starts with quality materials that are overseen by the experts who have been studying and using the language for decades if not their whole life.”

“Everybody deserves decent education. Stop bastardizing Ilokano language,” said Rowena Badiang of Bangued, Abra province.