March 27, 2010

So the system sucks…

Posted in Philippine Education at 5:29 pm by jonibee

Everyone knows education is serious business. We talk about it, argue about its dismal state, get depressed over it, wonder why we even bother, and then we forget.  June is a good time to be depressed.  We read “hopeless school system” in the papers and see it on TV.  Every year it’s the same thing.  No research or new clips needed.  And everybody has his or her own take on what should be done.  Everybody- even public school kids as young as seven. And let’s give it to the teachers who look sorriest when they narrate what’s been going on their side of the fence.  Of course the DepEd gets top honors for claiming they are too broke ALWAYS to do anything.  So do we feel sorry about ourselves already?  Yes?  Then could we now move on to the next stage please?

I have this personal philosophy that I think applies to just about anything in life- that if you want to get things done-and done well- do it yourself.  Now if we have to complain about the state of our education, maybe we should get off our bums and start doing something.  This is why I am exhilarated by the few who brave the pool of who’s who and dolts in the industry only to make a difference.  Advocates of MLE leave me longing constantly for more research-based theories and methods that could maximize the learning potential of every kid.  A big hurrah to the advocates for not forcing the idea down everybody’s throat, too – a very good strategy looking for those who believe in the same philosophies and goals instead of convincing skeptics.  Now  THAT is how you get things done.  And even this, as I’ve seen first hand, has its horde of nemeses.  Unbelievable how people could be so immutable when it is the future of young minds at stake!  But so what, nobody really said it was going to be easy anyway. So we bring MLE forward. And we future educators should take cues from this.

It is not going to be easy.  We are going to get paid less than most of our professional friends.  We are going to always need more resources and get little to none.  We are going to have difficult students, classes, bosses.  Institutions will suck. Philosophies will clash.  Principles tested.  BUT we must always remember that teaching is not about us. It IS about the learner- ALWAYS.  So what do we do?  Whine?  No. We empower ourselves. We get creative –  because if we really think about it, there are many things that can be done with so little.  Edward de Bono once said, “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” (self-proclaimed poverty-stricken DepEd, hello?!)  So much like our MLE mentors, let us not forever complain, feel sorry for ourselves then just succumb to “the system”.  WE Filipinos CAN do better. WE teachers CAN be better. And the sooner we realize these things and move toward change, the more chances our children get the quality education they so deserve.

– j_arellano



  1. maraquino said,

    nice one, joni! i totally agree with you…so the system sucks, but we don’t have to be sucked by it 🙂

  2. nicc12 said,

    I totally agree with your point that the learners are the main focus of teaching. We should do our best for them because Education is a profession which may be tiring, but still rewarding in the end. When we see we have taught well and have made a difference, it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world. 🙂

  3. JM said,

    good point 🙂 explaining rather than convincing is a better strategy since it involves humility knowing that no one method is perfect.

    However, I think at some point we have to be more aggressive otherwise our passivity would be taken as a weakness that won’t make our ideas and opinions, no matter how good they, believable.

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