TACLOBAN CITY – The J.E. Mondejar Computer College (JEMCC) has donated learning materials in the English-Waray language to schools here in support of the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) program of the Department of Education (DepEd).
Lucita Mondejar, JEMCC president and widow of the school founder, Jose Rene Mondejar, said this will help address the lack of books in the Waray dialect that can be used for this program in the region.
The MTB-MLE is a feature of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 which mandates the use of the language that students are familiar with as a medium of instruction to allow them to grasp basic concepts easily.
“We immediately mobilize our resources and talent in producing books in Waray language, that would answer the needs of the DepEd regional office here,” Mondejar said in a press statement on Monday.
Early this month, JEMCC and DepEd Tacloban division signed a memorandum of agreement for the donation of the English-Waray illustrated storybook series, starting with the first book “Maya and Her Loyal Friends”, to 43 public elementary schools here.
Mondejar said her daughter, Bernadette Mondejar-Schlueter, came up with the illustrated storybook that has English texts translated into the Waray language, fitting to what the DepEd needed.
Schlueter’s younger sister, Minerva Mondejar-Steiner, who is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and created the website http://www.thewarayproject.org for the book project, helped her in enhancing and promoting the idea of the Maya storybook series.
Mondejar said Schlueter worked “virtually” with Northern Samar-based poet Ardeen Tuballas Capate in translating the book to Waray language, to comply with the MTB-MLE program.
The one who served as a publishing consultant and book designer was Aaron Almadro, an editor-in-chief of a regional magazine, she added.
On the other hand, renowned Tacloban artist Ed Rompal provided the illustrations, from the cover to every page of the storybook, as well as for the other forthcoming storybooks of the Maya series.
“Our Maya book is in response to DepEd’s need for more books in the target language (Waray),” Schlueter said in a statement.
Besides being colorful and interesting to kindergarten and primary school pupils, Schlueter said the Maya series has unique features depicting Waray culture, arts, games, and tradition that must be preserved and appreciated by the present and future generation.
Among the Waray games featured in the storybook are “moro-moro”, “palpagay”, “latik-latik”, “tamban-tamban”, and “krus ni Magellan”, which is aimed to draw interest from most children who may no longer play or unfamiliar with these, she added.
Schlueter further described the book as a medium to caution children on spending “too much time with technology at the expense of real human relationships; something we can all relate to”.
The international education expert, now based in England, said she is hoping that, with the book, “parents will encourage children to be physically active, enjoy the environment, and preserve these games as part of our cultural identity,” on top of the “cognitive benefits of computer games”.
Schlueter said the book is also made available to other Waray children and parents in other parts of the world, through Kindle and paperback editions on the Amazon and Apple Books websites.
It will also be made available at local bookstores and other outlets in Eastern Visayas in time for Christmas, while the next book titled Adventures of Maya: The Lost Fields of Palale, will be available in early January next year, she said.
Meanwhile, Mondejar said the Maya series published by JEMCC can be used by students in later grades where bilingual teaching is implemented, as these learning materials have built-in English translation unlike with MTB-MLE books in other regions that are only written in the language exclusive to them.
JEMCC, a pioneering private computer school in the region established in 1990, is located in Barangay 71 in this city. (PNA)