“Education is the Key…”

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang Bubay

Sunday, July 6, 2014

IN A very recent Parents-Teacher meeting that I was fortunate enough to have attended, some unsettling but age-old problems were presented to the parents as rationale to the continuing K to 12 Integrated Basic Education currently implemented by educational institutions in our country.

Some of these include the following:

* Insufficient mastery of basic competencies due to congested curriculum
* Locally, only 6 of every 1,000 Grade 6 elementary students are prepared to enter high school. Only two (2) of every 100 4th year high school graduates are fit for college.
Internationally, Filipino youths rank 41st in Science and 42nd in Math among 45 countries.


* Our graduates are not automatically recognized as professionals abroad. The Washington Accord and the Bologna Accord prescribe 12 years of basic education for university admission.

While some parents are still trying to understand the government’s position in this shift in education approaches, a seeming inevitability of acceptance is upon them. The question was seemingly “do we have any choice but go with the tide?” But then, if teachers and school administrators are having difficulties in the implementation of this particular mandated law, it is doubly hard for parents to comprehend something that is seemingly rammed down our throats.

Even then, some parents are learning some positive facts about K to 12; that it will actually:

* Decongest and enhance the basic education curriculum

* The curriculum will allow in-depth specialization for students depending on the occupation/career track they wish to pursue.

But while all these remain to be seen in the years to come, some real time problems in Education are left untouched by authorities in the Department of Education. This was shared by a student in one of the public schools in the city who said that in his section, there are 70 students crammed in a room that is meant to contain only 45 students. On top of that, classes are unbearably noisy and hot, because of the absence of even a single electric fun.

To resolve this problem, the class has decided to contribute Php 70.00 each to enable them to buy an electric fun the soonest possible time, so that they could at least survive the whole day’s class.

Is this not a scenario too telling to deny?

While it is good that our country wants to be at par with other Asian countries that have already implemented K to 12 in their educational system, is it not wise to address the problems that have been there for years such as lack of classrooms, teachers, books and many others, to enable majority of Filipino children to have access to education for all?

But then, this is just the “tip of the iceberg…” so to say, in the problems that must be addressed before education can truly be “the key to the long-term problems of the country…” Our dear President believes that “If we fix basic education, we fix the long-term problems of the country. And if we fix the country’s problems, we will build a truly strong society. . .”

I really don’t see how, Mr.President…

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 07, 2014.


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