PASIG CITY, June 22, 2017 – The Department of Education (DepEd) formalized the inclusion of the Korean language in the Special Program in Foreign Languages (SPFL) as Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones and the Republic of Korea Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae Shin signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on June 21 at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH), Diliman, Quezon City.
“We are very happy that finally we are having this signing of the MOA. This is not a beginning. This is a continuation of very long years of fruitful relationship, including the field of education, between Korea and the Republic of the Philippines… Korea and the Philippines play important roles in each other’s life, it would be good for our children also to continue the tradition of knowing about each other…” Briones said.
The Korean language in SPFL will serve as an elective offering to ten (10) selected secondary schools in the National Capital Region (NCR). SPFL is designed to prepare graduates for meaningful interactions in a linguistically and culturally diverse global workplace.
In preparation for the program, DepEd will strengthen the capacity of teachers to provide quality instruction in Korean through the Korean Cultural Center, which organizes cultural activities, courses in Korean language, and Korean teacher training. DepEd also aims to sustain the professional development of teachers who shall, in the long term, serve as trainers of other teachers.
The MOA signing was also attended by DepEd’s Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Dina Ocampo and Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) Director Jocelyn Andaya, as well as the Korean Cultural Center’s First Secretary Lee Jin Cheol and Vice Director Lee Du Kyung.
Ambassador Kim recognized the importance of language in strengthening bilateral relationships and expressed continued support to ensure the success of the program, “I’m very happy that Korean language is added as one of the second foreign languages. Language is very important so teaching and studying [foreign languages] in schools is very helpful to deepen the bilateral understanding between two nations or cultures.”
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines also set the goal to fortify the implementation of the Korean language program to better respond to opportunities for local and international employment, to train Korean students who will be able to continue their education with the Philippine partner universities, and eventually facilitate studies in Korea for selected Filipino students.
DepEd is mandated to offer a responsive and relevant foreign language program to make junior high school students more globally competitive in the perspective of linguistic diversity. Through SPFL, public high school students all over the country are also learning Spanish, Japanese, French, German, and Chinese-Mandarin.