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Filipino language teaching in NSW: at the crossroad

BY NONOY PERDON – I have talked with Blacktown resident Mr Jade Cadelina who is personally leading a campaign to save the advocacy of teaching the Filipino language in New South Wales, particularly in Western Sydney.
In the throes of reviving Filipino language teaching in the community, Mr Cadelina has been blessed by cooperation and assistance by the Blacktown City Council as well as the Blacktown City Library insofar as multicultural culture and language promotion are concerned.
Mr Cadelina is appreciative of the suggestions and encouragement he received in reviving Filipino language teaching which should be beneficial to the Filipino community which is one of largest migrant communities in the city.

The first batch of students learning Filipino language in a course facilitated by Mr Cadelina and his friends will receive their completion certificates in a ceremony set on Saturday afternoon 14 December 2019 at the Plumpton High School in Plumpton, NSW.

The public is invited.

This will b e the first batch of students learning a short course in learning and speaking Filipino language in Plumpton, a suburb of Blacktown after sometime.
How timely is this project for several reasons. One is the the fact that there apparently is no more community-based Filipino language school in Western Sydney.
Greater Sydney only has two high-school based Filipino language instruction projects accross the city. One in Bankstown and another high school in Mt Druitt,
But the era of community-based Filipino language school could be over.
Apparently the Saturday Filipino language school in St Marys operated by the Penrith-based Philippine Language and Community Association of Australia (PLCAA) have ceased operation some three years ago.
No wonder I noticed the absence of participation by PLCAA in the activities of the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools (NSWFCLS), a strong lobby for multicultural language teaching which in recent years have been getting more and more assistance from the state government.
NSW had established an on-going program of equipping community language school teachers regarding language instructions in partnership with Sydney University.
In several public appearances, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stressed the importance of multicultural language learning, herself a being product of such community language school.
I can see some missed opportunities here.
I am reminded only of the lack of support to such defunct organisations as the Bicol and Friends Association of Blacktown the Samahang Kawayan of St Clair and now PLCAA of Penrith,

They all successfully started a Filipino language school, then after several years, they all closed for some reasons or another. All three were the centres of Filipino language week (then month) celebration in August every year, complete with such highlights as Filipino poetry and Balagtasan (Filipino poetical joust).

Now they are all gone.
Mr Cadelina’s group who already has a few students across Sydney may be encouraged by more parents awakened by the importance of their kids learning the Filipino language.

In a recent statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledged the fact that Australian multilingual children have more economic opportunities later in life.