Philippines may make teaching in English mandatory

One more country that is not likely to be gained for la Francophonie any time soon.

Philippines may make teaching in English mandatory

A Philippine lawmaker said that he and others in the national legislature intend to make teaching all classes in English mandatory throughout the country’s schools, “not because we particularly like the language, but because it has become a necessary tool for us Filipinos to stay competitive, here and abroad.”

Rep. Eduardo Gullas made the comment after introducing a bill that was quickly endorsed by more than 85 percent of the Philippine House of Representatives. The legislator’s action came in response to a report by U.S. State Department, which warned that the Philippines was in danger of losing the comparative advantage in English it once held over other Asian nations.

Gullas noted that Filipinos without English skills were mired in poverty and being left behind. He pointed to countries like India where those who spoke fluent English were the ones cashing in on the nation’s economic boom. Surveys show that even though 65 percent of the Filipino population can speak and understand English, the number has declined by 10 percent since the mid-1990s.

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