Eighty Filipino children attended the first session of the Filipino Language and Culture Program at Bialik Rogozin International Campus on January 08. The Philippine Embassy in Israel spearheaded the program.

Two classes of 40 students aged 06-08 years old are conducted every Sunday afternoon. Another two classes of 40 students aged 09-12 years old are conducted every Wednesday afternoon. The program is an after-school class held during the regular school year.

The Embassy, led by Ambassador Neal Imperial, partnered with Bialik Rogozin in organizing the program to teach Filipino language skills and cultural awareness to Filipino children born and raised in Israel. About 700 (60%) of the students in Bialik Rogozin are Filipinos and very few of them can speak in Filipino or English.

“We are faced with the challenge of teaching our Filipino heritage to a growing number of Pinoy kids in Tel Aviv who can only speak in Hebrew. We don’t want them to feel like foreigners when they return to the Philippines,” said Ambassador Imperial.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), with the support of the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, provided training for volunteer teachers from the Filipino community in Israel and select Embassy personnel.

Dr. Rosario Alonzo, former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Education and NCCA’s language expert, conducted the three-day training in November 2016.

“Our volunteer teachers, many of whom are parents themselves, know the importance of keeping our Filipino identity and values alive even as they adapt to the local culture in Israel. We thank them for their dedication and zeal,” said Consul General Pamela Durian-Bailon. Consul Durian-Bailon leads the corps of volunteer teachers. END

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs

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