10 public high schools in Metro Manila to offer Korean language this year

MANILA, Philippines – Here's some good news for public high school students who want to learn more Korean phrases other than "annyeonghaseyo."

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday, June 21, formalized the inclusion of the Korean language in the Special Program in Foreign Languages (SPFL) of public high schools in the Philippines.

For school year 2017-2018, the Korean language will be piloted as an elective in 10 public high schools in Metro Manila. The department has yet to identify the pilot schools.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones, who signed a memorandum of agreement on Wednesday with Korean Ambassador Kim Jae Shin, said it would be good for Filipino students to "continue the tradition" of knowing about Korea.

"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," she added.

Kim, meanwhile, said teaching and studying foreign languages in schools is "very helpful to deepen the bilateral understanding between two nations or cultures."

The Korean Cultural Center will help equip public school teachers with the skills they will need to provide quality instruction in Korean. The center organizes cultural activities, courses in Korean language, and Korean teacher training.

The aim of the DepEd is to "sustain the professional development of teachers" who will eventually train other teachers in Korean language.

The South Korean embassy in the Philippines also hopes to strengthen the implementation of the Korean language "in order to better respond to opportunities for local and international employment and to facilitate studies in Korea for select Filipino students."

The DepEd's SPFL is designed to help high school students in public schools become more globally competitive in terms of linguistic diversity.

The program also includes other languages such as Spanish, Japanese, French, German, and Chinese-Mandarin. – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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