April 1, 2010

Reflections by Chikako Shimomugi

Posted in Philippine Education at 10:29 am by updced

It was my first time to observe Filipino public elementary school in local. I was very excited and also nervous at the same time. Here, let me write down what I felt there and also compare to Japanese public elementary school especially at my time there.

At first, what I realize about the school is very colorful. Especially, the one Krus Na Ligas elementary school is basically in yellow color and also on the walls, there are many paintings. I saw a big Ariel from Little Manmade in front of the steps. And also, one thing I was surprised is that there are quite many quotation from bible. In Japan, because of ratios of Christianities, we do not have theses sentences on a wall. Also there was a space in the middle and it looked like for having ceremonies and meetings with all students and teacher.  However, there was a one things which is lacked comparing to Japanese school is play ground. Usually, I see it with almost of all schools in Japan. So I was wondering where and how you have PE class and also field days.

Secondly, there are so many desks and chairs in a room because usually 45 to 50 students are in a class. It is much over populated than Japanese class. It was around 35 students at my time, and mow, it is getting smaller because of the requests by parents. Actually the room is quite big so I did not look stiffed though, I could not believe that that view is with shifting schedule already. Even though they were cut out for  their schedule morning class and afternoon class. Also I have never seen that Japanese school practice shifting class and also starting class from 6 o’clock in the morning. I also realize that there is only one recess in half day and I was very worried if they are not tired or stopped their concentrations.

Thirdly, many public elementary schools have uniforms in the Philippines. People say that it is not mandatory and people who cannot afford to buy them, people will borrow from neighbors. Also on Friday, at that school, it is not so strict about uniform and students can wear their own clothes. In Japan, we usually wear uniform from junior high school and elementary school where owns their uniform is mainly in private elementary school.

Also very interesting different points is the class time division. In Japan, it is consistently same at any subject. In elementary school, each class should have 50 minutes except for classes which was shortened because of some occasions. But in the Philippines, 3 components: HEKASHI, MSP, and EPP are only for 40 minutes. However for other subjects, they have class for 60 minutes. I think it is kinds of complicated because each class finishes in different time. So that they did not have any bells to inform their beginning of the classes and ending of the classes.

At the biggest thing I got culture shock is that students do not put many things on their desk, only a small notebook and pens. I knew lacking of textbook is big issue in the Philippines but still I thought this school is in Manila so it is not really worse. However, it is normal that students do not own their own textbook and the textbook which teacher hold is donated by some famous private schools. Teachers say that textbook in private school is very good because usually it is revised in 1 to 2 years and has latest information than textbooks which was published by Filipino national government. Also because of lack of text book, all teachers had Manila paper which was already written the question or equations on that. I guess it is used in repeatedly so the all sides of edge were covered by tape not to get damaged easily.  In Japan, if you do not put anything on the desk, teachers will be angry because it will be evaluated as unmotivated on their studying.

However, because of lack of textbook, teachers are more paid attention toward students. They look at students longer time than Japanese teacher, because usually Japanese teachers are busy to wrote something on a board and looking at text book. Also in the Philippines, they make children to repeat the equations so many times. But because of the natural speaking speed, I think to answer this, children use more their brain. I think it is very effective than just looking at their textbook.

Also before I go to elementary school, I heard there are quite many students who drop out even in elementary school, also there are some students who cannot read by himself. So I interviewed some teachers about the fact at that school. The teacher said it is true that some students cannot come to school because of poverty. First, they go to house and see their parents. They discuss how they can solve the problem and let children to come to school. However, if especially the students are outstanding on their school, teachers can consider and sometimes give them grades even though their attendance is low. Also for the children who are not good at reading by himself and once teacher realize, the teacher give more attention when class read together. Also even outside of class, they have time to help children to practice reading together like tutorial but of course with no charge.

After I went to elementary school, I understand that seriously Filipino education has some issue which only government can fix. However, I also thought Japan and Philippines education which is better. In Japan, we almost never saw children who does not have textbook because they are usually provided by government to all children. However, Japanese schools and teachers use more board and we are quite busy to take notes. Filipino children do not have textbook but they use more brain, eyes, and mouth to understand. I think both of education has advantages and disadvantages. In the future, I hope I can combine both of positive factors for my teaching.

Posted in Philippine Education at 12:49 am by milet2003

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action”. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

Education for many may mean going through the different levels of schooling, eventually earning a degree and working for a living. Once we leave the portals of school, we tend to forget how we can do our share in really applying what we have learned from our teachers.

One sector which needs urgent attention from us is our educational system. It needs concerned men and women to help in its reformation, primarily in the bureaucracy. Sad to say, the educational system in the Philippines needs focus  and resuscitation much like a sick person. This is everybody’s chance to apply the knowledge gained in school by putting these into action for initiatives to save our educational system. Actually, there are numerous initiatives by different sectors already – the Millennium Development Goals  of the United Nations, Education for All of the UNESCO, EDCOMM of the Philippine Senate, Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda, to name a few. Each program has the best interest to help each one have access to quality education, regardless of creed or race. But all of these good intentions just remain on paper; genuine action from the bureaucracy and the people are yet to be seen.

We may have all the tools needed towards reformation but as long as there is no will to change, everything will go for naught. If truly, we have educated people to start the reformation, and yet there is no action being done, the system will remain the same as it used to when our forefathers were the ones in school.

Education seems to be working as a tranquilizer. It chooses what should be taught in the classroom such that the students will see that everything is fine around them. That there is no problem. Tranquilizer is synonyms to the words anesthetic, sleeping pill, calmative, and drug. Who needs a tranquilizer? Sick people. A person who is tranquilized cannot be put into action. He just lays there while the world spins. Who is administering the drug?  They give press releases that “everything is under control”, “everything is on schedule vis- a-vis our goals”. But like sick people, one cannot keep them on medications for so long. There will come a time when they will ask questions as to why they are being given this drug and yet they are not getting better. If only that time will come soon for us. That we may arise from our deep sleep and wake up to the reality that our system is really sick. That it needs to undergo treatment if we wish our children not to have the same affliction. As future teachers, let us be aware of this sickness so as to avoid it from spreading. We should not only impart knowledge but also teach the value of taking action when we see the need for it.  Education is not only confined in the four walls of the classroom but also out there where we are most needed by other people. We hold the future. We owe it to the future.

Carmela Gomez

March 31, 2010

Comments on the lecture on MLE

Posted in Philippine Education at 11:13 pm by updced

Taking Educ 100 led me to discovering the term Multilingual Education (MLE) and how it works. When I heard the first lecture about it, done by Sir Agcaoili, I saw a big future and hope for our educational system. I was able to connect Educ 100 and my other class which is Intercultural Communication; and started to understand what is missing with the country’s system such as the education.  We lack cultural awareness and we are afraid or we don’t know how to embrace our own culture. The colonial mentality is still embedded within us; and we are afraid that digging and making our ancestral identity part of us would only make us less than the western countries. I believe that MLE would serve as the guiding light that would give us a hint of hope… of something to look forward to. The idea was so inviting and it made me excited when I first heard it; this is the same feeling felt by the audience of every lecture I attended regarding the use of mother tongue as MOI. The founder must continue this crusade for better system and education and must make sure that this light won’t die. Push this because there are lots of people who would believe in this; who would support this. Just believe and keep fighting.

By Way of Ningas Cogon

Posted in education reform, Philippine Education, teacher factor at 6:52 am by Cush Evangelista

Note:  This is a cautionary reflective post purposefully posted last.

I think you will agree with me when I surmise that as soon as each one of us enters a mandatory class with more than 20 students at Diliman, expectations are drastically lowered, if any are present to begin with. The course title ”Philippine Educational Systems” proved to be caveat enough and for many of us may have intimated at a dry lecture class mired in fact and statistic.

That being said, I’m sure many of you then were just as surprised or engrossed as I was, as the topics unfolded and we began to delve into the reality that is Philippine Education.  For many of us educators in training, the topic of Philippine Educational Systems is a nagging itch waiting to be scratched.  So scratch we did.

The throughputs are impressive: investigation into history and development, the discussion and dissection of laws and issues, visits and investigations into institutions and agencies of education, the development and implementation of projects aimed towards benefiting and contributing towards targeted public schools…add to this if found wanting.

My question then is by which way do we go now? What will we do with the insights and empowerment afforded to us by what we’ve learned and shared?  The culminating fieldwork presentations swelled my heart with pride at what each project pointed at and promised. In fact Sandhurst’s motto comes to mind, ”serve to lead” and so does its converse, ”lead to serve.”

The concern I raise here is that of the pervasive issue of apathy which is a growing sore that UP students have yet to fully cure.  For all our vaunted entitlement towards being labelled Iskolar ng Bayan, what happens after?  What do we do with the implicit responsibilities that this title comes with? Let me invoke the biblical phrase ‘seven times seven’ at this point and go sotto voce to emphasize: Iskolar ng Bayan ka nga, taga Eduk ka pa. Dobol ded. Oh, ano na?

Rizal High School’s guidance counselor, Mrs. Perlita Ignacio, pulled me aside after our activity and wanted assurances of a permanent working relationship with our college. Will the succeeding programs and activities be geared towards fulfilling class requirements or be honest steps towards a shared goal? Here’s her office number: +63.2.641.0049 local 807. What will you do with it now?

I will reference the impending elections to close this off because I can and will.  Several years ago the late senator Raul Roco ran for presidency and lost despite an overwhelming grassroots opinion of his being the right choice.  In hindsight the prevalent comment appeared to be: ”Gusto ko si ano, kaso hindi mananalo eh. Sayang lang kung iboboto ko siya.” I hear this comment making the rounds yet again. My unvoiced reply to this is: ”eh talagang hindi mananalo yun.” The relevance towards the challenge being posed to us as educators is clear.  By which way now?

I shun the path of ningas cogon. I commit to learning as much as I can during my stay at the college to lead to serve and to serve to lead. I am.


March 30, 2010

Hope in the Majority

Posted in Philippine Education at 9:35 pm by markleyvillarin

The Filipinos have always been craving for knowledge and wisdom. We are a nation of tribes who have been proving our intelligence and creativity for many years. The world has seen it and so did we. And we continually innovate and give our best in everything that we deal with. Are these words applicable to all Filipinos? I could say yes, I could say no.

It does not apply to all, but thankfully, it applies to the majority. Not the majority that others see as those who are in the center or those who are in the position. No, they’re just few. By looking around the people who sell on the streets, the people who ride the jeepneys and sing for money, the people who we usually ignore in the society, they are the majority. And they have acquired and shown creativity and wisdom. Yet, they are poor and marginalized. Something has been missing. Yes, they study. But, the ways of our education is not enough.

For many years, we have been seeking. We are seeking for solutions to address the problem on education. We have found those solutions, yet not completely implemented. There will always be people who would use their own interest and hinder us to progress and show our real potentials. To think that these people are few and they could stop us? That’s what they made us think. That is why our potentials are being limited.

Improvise and innovate. These are some solutions that the people who cared for their people were doing. And these are the educators. Sadly, there are still a lot of those educators who have stopped innovating and caring. They have been going with the flow of the system. But I believe that this had been in the past. More people are going out of their boxes and wanted to make a big difference. They bear in their minds that their people do not deserve to have limited talents, knowledge, wisdom and skills. We deserve the freedom of developing our body, heart and minds in limitless ways. Since we all know that learning should be continuous, creative and critical.

Through studying the Philippine educational system, my thoughts have been proven that we have found the solutions, the only problem is, their only on papers. On the other hand, there have been a lot of torches that have been lit for the country. Why did I say these? Simply because I have seen that the number of people who wanted to apply those solutions is growing. They may not be on the higher ups but since we are all part of the education and we are all part of this country, we really count.

The people I have met and seen who wanted change could really make it happen, because we are the majority. I have found out that a lot of positive things were starting. May it be in the early childhood education, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education, and even alternative education, the projects have been moving. Though it may be late, at least we are seeing hope. All of these have been clear to me because of the course. Not only the things that should be done for the students but also for the educators to develop more effective learning environment in this country.

There is still hope. There may be hindrances but we are greater than those things. There are millions of potentials to be unleashed not only individually moreover as a whole. The majority will be cared for. Soon, the majority will be working all of the solutions for the education and their future generations.

-Markley Villarin

Bukambibig

Posted in Philippine Education at 9:32 pm by Arlaj Turingan

Sinimulan ko ang kolehiyo sa kursong Sikolohiya. Mula pa noong nasa ikatlong taon ako ng hayskul, iyon na ang sadyang ninanais kong kunin. Tanging iyon lang ang nakita kong daan para sa akin. Palagi kong iniisip noon na magtratrabaho ako sa isang kumpanya at kikita nang malaki. Kailanman ay hindi sumagi sa aking isipan ang maging isang guro. Pero ika nga ng iba, sadyang mapaglaro ang tadhana. Dumating ang araw na napagtanto kong, mali ang landas na aking tinatahak. Kaya bago pumasok ang aking ikatlong taon, pormal  akong lumipat sa Kolehiyo ng Edukasyon.

Ikinagulat ng aking pamilya at mga kaibigan ang aking ginawang paglipat. Biglaan nga naman kasi ang mga pangyayari. Isa pa ay hindi nila ako kailanman naisip na magiging isang guro.

Sa mga pagkakataong sinasabi ko kung saang kurso ako nagsimula, parating pagtataka ang itinutugon sa akin. “Bakit ka lumipat?” ang malimit nilang tanong. Ramdam ko sa kanila ang panghihinayang sa pag-iwan ko sa isang kursong marami ang nagnanais kumuha. Idagdag pa ang mababang pagtingin ng karamihan sa kursong Edukasyon.

Hanggang ngayon ay hindi ko mapagwari kung bakit minamaliit ng ating lipunan ang trabaho ng isang guro. Sa tingin ba nila ay madali itong gawin? Ayon kasi sa aking mga naging karanasan bilang mag-aaral ng Kolehiyo, napatunayan kong hindi ito madaling trabaho. Mahirap ang maging isang titser.

Mabigat ang tangang responsibilidad ng mga guro. Sila ay malaking impluwensya sa paghubog ng kaisipan at katauhan ng isang mag-aaral. Ang mga mag-aaral – ang kabataan – ang siyang magmamana ng ating bansa kung kaya’t nararapat lamang na pagtuunan ng pansin at dedikasyon ang pagtuturo sa kanila.

Sa pagbibigay ng sapat na edukasyon, hindi maaaring guro lamang ang kikilos. Kailangan ang pakikiisa at suporta ng lahat – pangulo man ng bansa o ordinaryong mamamayan. Kailangang mapagtanto, lalo na ng mga nasa puwesto, na dapat una sa mga prayoridad ng bansa ang edukasyon. Hindi biro ang usapin ng edukasyon kung kaya nama’y dapat ding hindi biro ang inilalaan na pondo para rito. Alam naman nating kulang na kulang ang ibinibigay ng pamahalaan sa kasalukuyan. Ang nakalulungkot pa, kulang na nga’y binabawasan pa ng mga tiwaling opisyal.

Ang pagtaas sa pondo ng edukasyon ay magdudulot ng pagbabago sa atin. Naniniwala akong malaki ang posibilidad na gumanda ang lagay ng edukasyon sa bansa kapag ito ay natupad at nailaan nang tama ang pera. Mabibigyan tayo nito ng mas maraming silid-aralan, mga upuan, mesa, libro, notebook, lapis, at kung anu-ano pang gamit pang-eskwela na makatutulong sa pag-aaral ng mga estudyante. Bukod pa rito ay mapapataas din ang sweldo ng mga guro. Kapag ito ay nangyari, hindi na kailangan pang umalis ng bansa ng ating mga titser. Mas marami rin ang maeenganyong pasukin ang larangan ng Edukasyon.

Kasama ng malaking pondo ay kailangan din ng mga batas o patakaran sa edukasyon na angkop sa ating lipunan. Nararapat na pag-aralang mabuti ang sitwasyon sa kasalukuyan upang mabigyan ng karampatang lunas bago pa ito lumala. Maraming problema sa ating sistema ng edukasyon, pero hindi pa naman huli ang lahat para tugunan ang mga suliraning ito.

Sa pagtaas ng kalidad ng ating edukasyon, tiyak kong tataas din ang pagtingin sa mga guro. Nais ko lang namang mabigyan ng nararapat na respeto at paghanga ang mga titser, na patuloy sa pagtupad ng kanilang gawain sa kabila ng mga paghihirap na kaakibat nito. Saludo ako sa bawat guro sa ating bansa at sa lahat na nagnanais maging “sugo ng ABaKaDa”! Katulad ng lahat ng titser, nawa’y maging instrumento rin ako sa pag-unlad ng ating bansa.

Plano Tungo sa Pagkapanalo

Posted in Philippine Education at 2:32 pm by padabaako

Ang daming katanungan. Ang daming paraan. Pero sa dinami-rami ng mga pwedeng kasagutan at maaring pamamaraan, hindi pa rin mahanap sa mga ito ang nararapat… ang sakto sa ating nais. Parang sa pag-buo ng blog na ito; ang daming naglalaro sa aking isipan. Paano ko ba ito sisimulan? Gagawin ko ba ito, tulad ng pagsusulat sa isang diary; o di kaya, susundan ko ang pamamaraan sa paggawa ng isang talumpati? Ang hirap simulan ng isang bagay na gusto mo mabuo. Nasa isipan mo na kung ano ang nais mo, subalit di mo pa rin maisulat ng tama at ng may saysay. Lumilipad ang bawat titik, at ang bawat salita, dahilan para lumipad rin ang aking isipan. Blanko.

Ganyan din ang Edukasyon sa Pilipinas. Ang daming nakahaing pamamaraan at sistema, pero hanggang ngayon wala sa mga ito ang makapag-hatid sa kabataan ng bansang ito sa rurok ng kaalaman. Ang daming hindi nakababasa, nakabibilang, nakasusulat, nakahahawak ng aklat, nakakaupo sa maayos na upuan, nakakapasok sa maayos na silid-aralan; at iba pang pribilehiyo na dapat sana ay nararanasan ng mga mag-aaral. Ilang beses na rin tayo napabilang sa isa sa pinaka-mahina pagdating sa Agham at Matematika. Hanggang ngayon “bulok” pa rin ang katumbas na salita sa “edukasyon;” parang kahilera ng salitang “pulitika.” Bulok sa kadahilanang walang pagbabago, at kung meron mang inihahain na magandang paraan tungo sa pagbabagong inaasam natin, kadalasan binabaon o binabalewala pa natin ito. Nanlulumo ako sa mga nalaman kong problema sa institusyon na inaasahan ng marami na magiging tulay tungo sa kaunlaran, sa kasarinlan, at sa kamulatan. Kung noon, iniinda ko lamang ang mga silid-aralan na butas ang bubong; ang hindi malinis-linis na palikuran; ang lumang-luma na mga aklat; at kung anu-ano pang kakulangan sa aking paaralan; ngayon parang ang hirap lang iwasan ng isyu na tulad ng ganito. Kailangan natin imulat ang ating mga sarili upang maunawaan natin ang mga tunay na kaganapan, upang sa gayon ay makatulong tayo sa pag-aayos ng dapat maayos.

Naisip ko, ang sistema ng edukasyon sa atin ay tila ba larong Patintero. Ang mga nasa kapangyarihan ang taya, at ang mga sumusulong ng pagbabago ang tatawid at tatayain. Pilit na haharangan ng mga taya ang nais pumasok sa sistema para hindi marating ang dulo at para hindi makita ang kamalian sa sistemang ito. Tulad sa larong ito, matatalo mo lamang ang taya kung gagamitan ng pagpaplano, pagkakaisa, maayos na komunikasyon ng ka-grupo, at liksi sa pagkilos. Hindi maiiwasan na may mataya at mapabagsak pa sa lupa sa mga susubok pero laging tatandaan na laging may pag-asa hanggang may lumalaban… kahit ito man ay kaliitan. Kadalasan, sila pa ang nagpapanalo ng laro. Iyan ang nakita ko sa pag-aaral ng Philippine Education. Tingnan na lamang natin ang “unsung leaders” na mga guro na nagsusumikap isalba ang papalubog na na institusyon. Mga gurong katulad ng mga mobile teachers. Sila ang mga tumatawid sa mga ilog at naglalakad ng milya para lamang maturuan ang mga grupo na hindi nakakaranas ng edukasyong ipinangako ng gobyerno natin. Mga gurong walang humpay sa pag-iisip ng mas makakabuting sistema para umangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa Pilipinas. Mga gurong handang maghatid ng buong pusong serbisyo sa mga gustong matuto at kailangang matuto. Sila ang mga natitirang alas sa larong ito. Kakaunti man sila pero naniniwala ako na balang-araw, makakamit din ang panalo sa larangan ng edukasyon. Kailangan lang magtulungan, gumamit ng maayos na taktika, komunikasyon, pagkakaintindihan, pagtitiwala, pananalig at pagtanaw sa pag-asa. Laging may pag-asa para sa mga nawawalan na ng paga-asa.

-Ayne Garcia

Numbers Speak

Posted in Philippine Education at 12:14 am by updced

“The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.”

–          Article XIV, Section 1

1987 Philippine Constitution

More than two decades ago, the so-called constitutionalists crafted a provision, giving ALL Filipino citizens access – oh, THE right – to QUALITY education. Every person might deem the words in Article XIV music to the ears as it gives each and every Juan dela Cruz the birthright to be properly educated.

Yet, 23 years after, our educational system is in disarray. Dropout rates are soaring, the lack of resources continues to hamper the delivery of quality education and the gap between Filipino students and the rest of the world widens by the minute.

Election season

It is election season and again, it is “high time” for politicians, especially presidential candidates, to make promises here and there in improving the quality of education for Filipinos.

One said that he will add another year in college for our students to be able to cope with other countries. The other stated that we should make pre-school compulsory, as it prepares children for life in grade school.

Whatever it is that they want to add or subtract, the first things that the next president of the Philippines should do are to multiply the budget allotted to education and divide the corruption that is the perennial impediment for the proper conduct of education in the country.

Budgetary concerns

While the United States has allotted around Php 2.1 trillion (which is, actually, way bigger than the Philippines’ total budget of Php 1.514 trillion) for its Department of Education alone, our country has reserved merely Php 159.28 billion for all levels of education.

Likewise, the “Pearl of the Orient” has used only 3.1% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for education, mediocre even in Southeast Asian terms, surpassing only the similarly impoverished countries of Indonesia (1.2%), Cambodia (1.8%) and Laos (2.8%). Meanwhile, the small nation of Brunei spends 9.1% of its GDP on the intellectual development of its citizens.

This almost total neglect of Article XIV, Section 1 has led to the Philippines’ poor performance in academics compared to other countries.

In the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), our country ranked 42nd in 45 nations in the Science aptitude test while finishing 41st in Mathematics in the company of African states Botswana, Ghana, South Africa and Morocco. On the other hand, our neighbors Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea topped the study.

Corrupted books, noodles

Actually, more than a hundred billion pesos for our education could somewhat suffice giving every Filipino student a decent education. The sad thing, however, is that the measly budget our government allots for education more often than not goes straight to the pocket of certain officials, who value self-ambition than national interest.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has been beset by corruption issues that have undoubtedly left a negative mark on the once-venerated institution. Yes, the DepEd was chosen the Least Corrupt Government Agency (with its former Secretary Jesli Lapus being selected as the Least Corrupt Cabinet Secretary) in a Pulse Asia survey last year. But until it gets rid of grumblings in topics like tainted text books, overpriced noodles, and red-tape, the department would definitely not be able to get out of the rut where it’s in.

Well, what do you expect from a country wherein government agencies are rated by its level of corruption?

Not too late

As HARD as it may seem right now, I believe that there is still hope for our dysfunctional educational system. Major tweaks in its organization and a leader with a clear vision of the future and an understanding of what is needed to be done would surely help this cause.

What we can do as students is to do our job, to study well and to inspire others to put education as their priority. It is true that education could be this planet’s greatest social equalizer.

As one presidential candidate has envisioned, “a college graduate in a family would be enough to lift one out of poverty.”

-Alyssah Mingo

Posted in Philippine Education at 12:12 am by updced

When we went to Rizal High School, I was astonished to see the enormity and classy structural design of the school. It was far from what I expected when my groupmates told me that we would be doing the project in the world’s biggest High school in terms of student population. Images that entered my mind when I heard them say that were crowded and tight classrooms, inadequate chairs, unmaintained and disordered corridors, unhygienic toilets, outdated and old facilities and materials, and overworked and stressed teachers. Among all of those expectations, I was right about one thing—stressed teachers. Everything else in the school was a wow!

The entrance of the school looked like a government building or like an office with its class doors that looked like mall windows and doors. There are also pillars in front and a curve pathway for cars. It looked very classy for a public school. Entering the building brought us more amazement because we saw a beautiful garden in the center of the surrounding classrooms. The garden looks very much like that in resorts where there are classic garden benches, and wooden canopies entwined with vines and plants. Besides that, I could not actually miss the huge track and field oval, and I also remember seeing gymnastics equipments in the vacant area in the field. Near the field, I saw what I thought of a mansion because of its architectural design. I could not actually believe it when my groupmates told me that the building is just for classrooms. Aside from that, the computer room we used for the program contained about 30 PC’s all of them were in Windows XP. The room was also surrounded by various posters and printouts about educational websites. Each of these computers was accompanied by a comfortable grayish black computer chair.

After the program, we roamed around the school which, as we were informed, has lost the title of being the biggest high school because their annexes became independent entities. I think that would be better because I can not imagine the load of the principal who is managing 20,000 students. Going to the parking area, there was a wide avenue (wide as the university avenue but shorter) which I thought was an entrance road to a subdivision because at the end of the road there is a marbled wall with a sign on it. I was wrong because what I was seeing was still part of the school; they were the former annexes. They had annexes for the sciences and others. The place was like a compound, big enough to be a subdivision. Our jaws dropped and we felt really tiny amidst that school. Imagining it as a whole, we almost envy the students studying there because they are so fortunate compared to other public high schools. That is another thing that fascinated us—it is all free. Those students are even more fortunate than those in the private schools. I remember that the teacher told us that they even have free pair of school shoes for the students. Imagine that! It is my first time to hear such a great benefit for the students.

Indeed, it was right that we dedicated our program to the teachers instead of the students because they do not need anything. I even think that the teachers are also fortunate, because they look like they are paid well. They are sophisticatedly dressed. Their faculty office is air-conditioned. The classrooms are very tidy and not too compacted. The chairs are arranged in pairs, giving the classroom more available space. That school looks “perfect”, while other public schools look devastating. I almost doubt that perhaps this school is what Deped presents to authorities and proves as the product of their programs and stuff.  But it is only one school. All attention and benefits centralized in one school—I think that is a problem also. It would be better if it’s equalized and even better if all other public schools will be improved like Rizal High School. When that happens, I think children and out of school youth would be very motivated to go to school. However, this end product will need lots of effort, time, and money. The question is if Deped has all of those and if they are willing to use all of those in improving our public schools. Or, perhaps they have other agendas. Nevertheless, this is not merely wishful thinking but a vision of what perhaps should be the case of the country’s pubic schools. If it can happen to one, then it can also happen to many.

-Chastine Moralizon

March 29, 2010

Gamitin ang Sariling Atin

Posted in Philippine Education at 11:45 pm by updced

“Hindi basehan ng talino ang kakayahang magsalita ng Inggles”. Sa totoo lamang, isa ako sa mga tao na nag-iisip na kapag ang isang tao ay magaling mag-Inggles, matalino na siya. Sa katunayan, kapag mayroon akong naririnig na nagkakamali-mali sa pagsasalita ng wikang Inggles, iniisip ko na hindi siya magaling..pero dati iyon. Napagtibay ang aking paniniwala na tayo ay mga Pilipino na may sariling wika. Hindi isang kapintasan kung hindi ka marunong mag-Inggles, ang malaking kahangalan ay kung isa kang Pilipino na hindi ka marunong magFilipino. Hindi naman natin masisisi ang ating mga sarili na maghangad na maging katulad ng mga taga-ibang bansa, lalo pa at nakikita natin ang kanilang pag-unlad habang tayo naman ay unti-unting sumasadsad…ngunit hindi tayo dapat sumuko…alam ko sa sarili ko na darating ang araw at tayo rin naman ay lilipad. Ipinagpapasalamat ko ang desisyon ng Departamento ng Edukasyon na ipatupad ang MLE Policy,sa ganoong paraan, hindi na mamimilipit ang mga guro na magturo gamit ang wikang hindi naman sila komportableng gamitin, mas nagpopokus sila sa pag-iisip kung paanong iingglisin ang kanilang sinasabi kesa sa pagbabahagi ng sapat na kaalaman sa mga estudyante, kung ang guro mismo hindi maintindihan ang kanyang sinasabi, ano pa ang aasahan mo sa mga estudyante?  Kapag ako ay naging guro, hindi ko pahihirapan ang aking sarili at ang aking mga estudyante sa pamamagitan ng pagtuturo gamit ang wikang naiintindihan naming lahat. Sa aking palagay, malaki ang maitutulong nito upang tayo ay magkamit ng kaunlaran at balang araw ay kamanghaan naman ng iba. Matibay ang aking paniniwala na ang edukasyon ng mga kabataan ang sagot sa ating kawalan ng pag-asa, oras na maging tunay na atin ang ating edukasyon, tayo ay susulong.”

-Angela Go

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