An informal 'Keep Filipino in HSC' advocacy group called in at the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney and met with Consul General Ezzedin Tago and Consul Melanie Diano on Thursday, October 8, 2020.
The small group comprised of Linda Gillies (one of the teachers from a Philippine background involved in the development of the Filipino in subject syllabus and in writing the HSC examination papers), Bing Battung (teacher of Filipino in the Saturday School of Community Languages since 2000) and Violi Calvert (producer and co-presenter of Radio Tagumpay, Triple H 100.1FM).
Firstly, it was an opportunity for Linda Gillies and Bing Battung to meet Consul General Ezzedin Tago and Consul Melanie Diano.
Secondly, the visit to the Consulate was to seek further support to promote Filipino as a subject being taught in the Saturday School of Community Languages. The Consulate included in its program of activities celebrating Education Week, a video produced and filmed by the students of SSCL live streamed on October 11, 2020 through the Sentro Rizal Sydney and the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney Facebook pages.
Linda Gillies shared the background of how Filipino became approved as one of the HSC Community Languages. She presented a folder containing examples of the Syllabus and past Filipino HSC exam papers and ideas for promoting to the community the learning of Filipino and undertaking as part of HSC examination. Bing Battung also shared examples of work done by the students. A number of ideas on the location of the classes, pathways to undertaking the subject, the shortage of teachers accredited to teach Filipino and the dwindling number of students were discussed.
Consul General Tago agreed to include information on Filipino on the Consulate's website and social media page. He highlighted, however, that the community eg the parents of the students, need to support and realise the importance of their children undertaking the subject rather than just think of the travel to the school which is at Bankstown Girls HS "ang layo" (it is far). He also agreed for Consul Diano to look at the possibility of having Filipino in the NSW School of Languages, doing studies online or distant learning.
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