Should public schools teach Chinese, too?

Posted at 05/14/2012 3:34 PM | Updated as of 05/15/2012 10:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Some schools in the country, such as the Immaculate Conception Academy and Xavier School in San Juan, have been teaching the Chinese language on top of English and Filipino.

But should public schools follow suit? Education Secretary Armin Luistro thinks so.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has added Chinese to its 2012 Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL) summer training courses for teachers from selected public schools, which is ongoing until May 22.

The program already includes Spanish, French, Japanese, and German languages.

In a statement, Luistro said the addition of the Chinese language to its SPFL is “in line with the thrust of K to 12 which is to prepare our future workforce for the global arena.”

China is widely seen to eventually replace the United States as the world’s leading superpower.

DepEd said the SPFL aims to develop students’ skills in listening, reading, writing, speaking and viewing in a second language.

The agency has coordinated with the Japan Foundation, Goethe Institute, Alliance Francais Manila in Cebu and, recently, the Confucius Institute of the Angeles University Foundation, for the said program.

But not all public schools are eligible for the program. DepEd said only educational institutions “whose students have demonstrated competence in English and are capable of learning another foreign language” can be part of SPFL.