August 26, 2009
Richie – The Tail Side
Midterm exam: opinion on the state of philippine education. Once I’ve read that instruction from myteacher, my mind was instantly filled with all our class discussions, which are, most of the time,an eye opener for me–the state of our whole educational system is actually worse than I’ve originally imagined.
Let’s see…where do I begin?
According to RA 9155, ” The State to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality basiceducation and to make such education accessible to all by providing all Filipino children a free andcompulsory education in the elementary level and free education in the high school level. Sucheducation shall also include alternative learning systems for out-of-school youth and adultlearners. It shall be the goal of basic education to provide them with the skills, knowledge andvalues they need to become caring, seIf-reliant, productive and patriotic citizens.”
Mighty declaration, don’t you think? Now, now, what is wrong with those statements?
Many, I tell you.
We have the right to quality basic (elementary and high school) education?! How many of us knew that? How can we possibly attain quality education when when many of our teachers lack competence and passion to teach? when many of our teaching materials are not culturally appropriate? when many of our textbooks have grammatical mistakes and are factually outdated? when our classrooms flood everytime it rains? when there are two to three of us sitting in one chair because there is simply not enough room for all 60 students? when the school is three to four hours away from home?
Is quality basic education accessible to all Filipinos? Aren’t the streetchildren, orphans, indigenous people not included in the category “Filipino children?” As a song puts it, whatever happened to equality?
For the many of us who had undergone basic eduation, do you now consider yourselves caring, self-reliant, productive and patriotic citizens? For the very few who can say yes to that, I applaud you. Then maybe, you didn’t learn that from school at all. Some teachers in various positions areactually corrupt. Can you fathom the vile implications of that statement?! These guys are teachers! In their hands rest a big part of our children’s lives. And now we wonder why we have corrupt officials in different sectors of the society!
Jose Rizal once said that the youth is the hope of the nation. Yes, we realize the truthness of that statement. It can be found in almost every public school in the country. So why aren’t we investing in education? Why are we not empowering our youth? How can they expect the youth to be the hope of this nation when they have already deprived us of the very foundation of that hope?
These problems can go on and on, but I possibly won’t have enough time to write them all (yes, there are still more deficiencies!). So now, we go to the other side of the coin. Ehem, there actually is a good side.
Known to us is the fact that a big part of our population did not finish formal education. For me, one of the best ventures in our educational system today is the growing emphasis and recognition of nonformal and informal education. We have : Alternative Learning System (ALS) and the Accreditation and Equivalency System (A&E), which are viable alternatives to the existing formal education instruction. They encompass both the nonformal and informal sources of knowledge and skills;
and the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) where a panel of assesors determine a candidates’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes relevant to a particular discipline, and consequently equivalent credits and appropriate certificates and degrees are awarded by administering higher education institutions. This simply means you can still get that diploma even if you didn’t finish college! Provided you passed the requirements, of course.
Now, these improvements are not without a problem. There is still the issue of awareness–too few people know of these programs . And the fact that we, as discussed in our class, live in a very credentialized society where formal schooling is still considered higher than informal and nonformal learning, which is not really true.
The state of philippine education is in a mess; that can’t be denied. The tail side of the coin overrides the head. There are still so many aspects that has to be improved, some has to be replaced, and more programs are yet to be developed and implemented. But slowly, ever so slowly, it is actually moving forward. I do hope it will be stirred and moved in the right direction.
Richie Carla Vesagas