Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Letters - Gulf News Dt. 24 May 2010 - Write it right, education body alerts Filipinos

My Letters - Gulf News Dt. 24 May 2010 - Write it right, education body alerts Filipinos

Write it right, education body alerts Filipinos

Filipino students told to use proper English even when sending text messages or using social networking sites

By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent Published: 00:00 May 24, 2010

Manila: In a bid to compel young Filipinos to toe the line on correct language and communicate effectively, the education department has ordered teachers to force students to use proper grammar when writing or keying in their messages.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno said the use of mobile phone text messages in daily communication, to a certain extent had been detrimental to Filipinos because text message users were forced to sacrifice message clarity for the sake of keeping up with pop culture.

Owing to the limited lines of text mobiles are capable of handling, some Filipino text message users tend to shorten their messages.

While limiting the amount of text is understandable for short messaging services, such a practice was being used more widely in non-formal avenues such as on social networking sites as Facebook, Multiply and Friendster, among others.

"I understand that shortcut texting helps save on cost of SMS," Valisno said.

"Short messaging service is intended for delivering concise messages and not full conversation.

"This means you can properly compose a 160- character message in full spelling to get your message across."

Another major issue that the education department was trying to address is the increasing number of young Filipinos who tended to veer away from conventional English and Filipino grammar and use typefaces that ordinary people found difficult to read, let alone understand.

But Valisno said Filipinos should stop the practice if they want to remain competitive.

My comments as follows:

This is an excellent move by the education department of Philippines. In reality, it should be followed by all. The Short Message Syndrome (SMS) is cancerous in tempting children to deviate from communicating in full and confine to a world of limited expressions. It is not easy to move away now from the world of Twitters and Facebooks, and however, authorities try to restrict, children and even will find it attractive some way or other suiting their intellectual or other worldly tastes. It is therefore, good to initiate measures to start conversing in full even within the limitation of word count restrictions. Train them young and well for future. Otherwise, it will be another catastrophe that we all will have to look up on in the future - a global tapering of language.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS ONLINE.

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