By AIDA ALCAZAR-NAZ
LEGAZPI CITY – Some 500 stakeholders from the education sector convened here Thursday, Feb. 24 for a three-day Kabikolan Conference on Language and Education to boost instruction of the young through the use of local language.
Rep. Magtanggol Guinigundo ( 2nd District, Valenzuela City) was the keynote speaker during the event held at La Piazza Hotel and Convention Center, Legazpi City.
During the conference, teachers and non-teacher participants were divided into clusters as parallel sessions were held on topics such as orthography development, writing Bicol songs, family literacy, teaching math in the mother tongue, cultural math, retrieving folklores, the art of storytelling, production of materials among others.
The participants also joined in the discussion on K+12 curriculum and the early childhood care development.
Speakers from the University of the Philippines, Diliman and Los Baños campuses along with those from the Department of Education and the non-profit private organization Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) facilitated the sessions.
SIL has set up activities in the country since 1953. Its services include linguistic research, documentation of Philippine indigenous languages, and translation.
A cultural night was held during the first day with the Bangladeshi Ambassador H.E. Munir-Uz-Zaman as guest of honor.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) considers languages as a factor in development, ensures cultural diversity, and an important part in attaining quality education for all.
It also believes that mother language like Bicol is an important toll for identify, communication and social integration.