The National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ Sentro Rizal branch in Phnom Penh (SRPP) launched its pilot course on Filipino language last August 15, 2015 at the Philippine Embassy Grounds in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
In line with the celebration of Buwan ng Wika for the month of August, The program is aimed to educate Filipino migrant children in Cambodia of the importance of learning and preserving the use of Filipino language, as well as local or regional languages as it is key in and retracing and appreciating their Filipino heritage. “The need to learn and speak Filipino is more felt for Filipino children abroad in order for them to better understand and appreciate their cultural heritage and identity,” noted Ambassador Christopher B. Montero, Philippines Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia.
NCCA Deputy Executive Director Marlene Ruth Sanchez attended the launching of the language course along with UP College of Education Dean Rosario Alonzo who devised the language module which will guide the program. Dubbed “Masayang Matuto ng Wikang Filipino,” the 12-session module will be used in teaching Filipino language courses to Filipino overseas childrenin the other Sentro Rizal branches abroad.
On August 13 and 14, Dr. Alonzo conducted a two-day training program for volunteer teachers to provide an overview of the module and at the same time conducted a lecture on Filipino language. These were aimed to empower the volunteer teachers and give a more comprehensive background on the language course.
Ruth Peñano, one of the volunteer teachers, expressed her joys in partaking in SRPP’s language course. “Nagagalak po akong maging bahagi ng proyektong ito. As I had a chance to live in different countries, I met a lot of Filipino children who do not know how to speak Filipino. They don’t know about our culture either. This is a beautiful way to impart to them our heritage.” Peñano said.
Inaugurated in 19 June 2015, the Sentro Rizal of Phnom Penh aims to promote Philippine arts, culture and language and serve as a platform from where Filipinos in Cambodia, as well as in other countries with Sentro Rizal branches, can reconnect with their cultural and artistic heritage.
Filipino families in Cambodia are highly encouraged to enrol their children in the said program. 22 Filipino children have already enrolled in the free Filipino language course starting from August until October of 2015 with classes scheduled every Sunday.
For more information on the Filipino language course offered in SRPP as well as other Sentro Rizal activities, you may call the Sentro Rizal office through 527-2192 loc. 605 and look for Ms. Shaina Santiago.