MANILA - The Department of Education assured the public studying of Korean and other foreign languages is only an option given to students and is not intended to replace Filipino subject in the basic education curriculum.
This, amid "misguided assertions and the timing of reports" about the offering of Korean language elective classes in selected reports.
In a statement released Sunday, DepEd said the study of Korean and other foreign languages is elective and is not part of the core subjects of 700 students in 10 selected junior high schools in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Aside from Korean, DepEd also implements Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL) classes in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Japanese in all public schools.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones maintained the subject Filipino remains as one of the core subjects in basic education. Filipino will continue as the medium of instruction for Araling Panlipunan and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao.
Aside from Filipino, the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) is also being implemented in Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2, and 3 in all public schools.
"The Education chief consistently underscored the importance of history, culture and the arts in understanding, appreciating, and preserving the soul of Filipinos as a people. Thus, the Department continuously strengthens the teaching and learning of Filipino as part of the K to 12 Program," DepEd said in its statement.
The inclusion of the Korean language in the SPFL was formalized in June 2017 under a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Philippines and South Korea.
As early as school year 2009-2010, DepEd has seen the need to develop the foreign language skills of students. SPFL is one of the six special programs being offered by the department to cater to multiple intelligences of the students, as well as to help equip them with the necessary skills.
SPFL is open to students in Grades 7 to 10 who have demonstrated competence in English and Filipino, and are interested in learning another foreign language.
DepEd has partnered with the Korean Cultural Center, Embassy of Spain, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation Filipinas, Instituto Cervantes, Japan Foundation, the Embassy of France, Goethe-Institut Philippinen, and Confucius Institute-Angeles University Foundation in training SPFL teachers.