Thursday, September 1, 2011

Clarifying the 'obssession' about language @cocoy

I just wanted to clarify my personal position on the matter of the national "debate" about language in light of Cocoy's recent headscratching about what all the fuss is about.

I think the following snippet from his recent post captures the essence of the point he makes:
The constitution says we have two languages anyway. There shouldn’t be a debate whether Filipino should primary, or English secondary. Both are equally important.

But the point I make (and have made for the last nine years) is that it does matter when we consider the finite (and scarcely so) public education resources at stake. Given only so much tax-funded classroom time, textbooks, and classrooms that are accessible to the wretched masses of Filipinos who are starved for a means to extricate themselves from chronic impoverishment, the answer to the question of which language to prioritise in the delivery of public education to Filipinos becomes crystal clear.

Between the English language and the Tagalog dialect, which of the two promises to deliver results to the average Filipino in the form of marketability, access to useful knowledge, and intellectual breadth required to compete in the modern world?

In a perfect world where we can afford to indulge our cultural insecurities, then by all means, let's divide delivery of our tax-funded education between English and Tagalog. But in the wretched world where Philippine budgetary constraints and desperation for economic relief is very real, we should give pre-eminence to the language that delivers results when deciding how we want our school kids to spend their time learning how to make a living.

Tagalog -- a no-results dialect -- has no placed in a SEVERELY cash-strapped public education system.

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