There is already a law and DepEd Department Order requiring that Mother Tongue Based â€“ Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) will be used in teaching Kindergarten up to Grade 3.Â It means that the mother language of the child will be used. Generally in Bohol, the mother language is SugboÃ¡non BinisayÃ¢.
When the Department Order was issued I was requested to deliver a lecture regarding SugboÃ¡non BinisayÃ¢Â to the officials of DepEd Region 7.Â The participants were the Regional Director down to the Supervising Teachers.
After the lecture, there developed a reticence of the DepEd Officials to use standard grammatical BinisayÃ¢.Â The general opinion is to use only the colloquial BinisayÃ¢ in teaching the pupils.
Our colloquial language has no proper grammar.Â It is a mixture of BinisayÃ¢, English, Spanish, and Tagalog grammars.Â In effect it has no hope of becoming intellectualized to develop critical thinking.
Difference In Perspective
If the DepEd 7 will use the colloquial BinisayÃ¢, we in the Akademiyang BinisayÃ¢, LUDABI, Bathalad, etc. will not contest the decision.Â The basic question is whose grammar will be used?
The present school teachers know only the English grammar.Â The children know only the Bisayan grammar used in their homes.
The English language is an inflectional language.Â It relies so much on the verb in a sentence.Â The verb will indicate the tense, number, case, etc. of the meaning in a sentence.
The Sugboanon BinisayÃ¢ is an agglutinative language.Â It relies so much on the affixes.Â The affixes such as â€œgi..â€, â€œna..â€, nag..â€, â€œmo..â€, â€œ..onâ€, etc. will indicate the tense, number, intention, etc. There are more than 4,000 affixes in BinisayÃ¢ (my partial list now is 4,222).Â It means that BinisayÃ¢ has a well developed grammar that is different from English.
If you will use English grammar in teaching BinisayÃ¢, it is like playing basketball using the rules of volleyball.Â The basketball game could not be played.
When I interviewed the school teachers they admitted that they have difficulty in using BinisayÃ¢ as the medium of instruction.Â They could not reconcile the English grammar with the grammar of BinisayÃ¢ because they do not know it.
The textbooks they are using have English grammar using Bisayan words.Â It was developed by teachers who know only the English grammar.Â I know it because at the start I was a consultant.Â When I made corrections the teachers will insist in their English grammar.Â I did not sign the result and so in the succeeding books I was no longer consulted.Â For example, English has only three (3) degrees of comparison like â€œbigâ€, â€œbiggerâ€, and â€œbiggestâ€.Â BinisayÃ¢ has five (5) degrees of comparison like â€œdakÃ´â€, â€œdakÃ´-dakÃ´â€, â€œlabing dakÃ´â€, â€œkinadÃ¡k-anâ€, and â€œkinadÃ¡k-an kaÃ¡yo/jÃ¡mÃ²/uyÃ¡motâ€. (Note: pinaka.., as in pinakadakÃ´ is Tagalog.)
Need of Retooling
When you manufacture wooden items you will use the tools fitted for wood.Â If you will use metallic materials, you will change your tools or retool correspondingly.
It is very clear that the teachers need retooling or retraining.Â The first batch of teachers was sent to Tagaytay City to be trained by Tagalogs how to teach BinisayÃ¢.Â In the succeeding batches, the teachers were trained by teachers who know only the English grammar.
I trained the teachers in Cordova, Cebu for one year (classes every Saturday) before the law was passed.Â I volunteered my services to the Regional Director and so many reasons were given why the teachers could not be trained.
I tried the City of Tagbilaran Division and Negros Oriental Division still no deal.Â I tried the towns, and still no deal.
A Different Tact
The Rotary Club of Upper Tagbilaran (RCUT) knew of my predicament.Â So we tied a different tact.Â We requested the teachers to voluntarily gather themselves in order to be trained.Â The RCUT will shoulder all the expenses.Â When the teachers from the towns gathered and asked permission from their superiors they were given many reasons why they could not be allowed.
Finally the RCUT decided that we will not ask permission from DepEd Officials.Â Rotarian Arnold Corciega volunteered to do it in Jagna, Bohol.
Finally we were able to conduct the training-seminar in the morning and afternoon of August 1, 2015 and on August 8.Â There were sixty (60) participants of the four (4) sessions with three (3) hours per session.
The first 3-hour session was the metalingual aspect of BinisayÃ¢.Â The second was for science, the third was for mathematics, and the fourth session was for orthography, phonics, and grammar.
As a session breaker, I inserted the national anthem in BinisayÃ¢, childrenâ€™s songs in BinisayÃ¢, childrenâ€™s stories, bÃ¡lak, etc.
The Ohâ€™s and the Ahâ€™s
You can really notice how the teachers and prospective teachers were relieved of their difficulties when you can hear the loud Â â€œOhâ€™sâ€ and â€œAhâ€™sâ€.
I asked them which is correct, â€œKinsay imong ngalan?â€ or â€œUnsay imong ngalan?, almost everybody answered â€œUnsay imong ngalan?â€ because in English it is â€œWhat is your nameâ€.Â There is no â€œWho is your name? = Kinsay imong ngalanâ€ in English.
I told them that you are correct in your English, but this is BinisayÃ¢. â€œKinsay imong ngalan?â€ is used when you intend that only the person asked will answer.Â In â€œUnsay imong ngalan?â€ anybody could answer.Â The response was loud â€œAhâ€.
After our breakthrough there are now other requests for training but mostly from private schools.Â Where are the public school teachers? (By Jes B. Tirol)