Saturday, September 26, 2009


Exactly ten days in September 19, 2009, after Senator Benigno "Noynoy" C. Aquino, III announced his bid for the presidency as the Liberal Party standard-bearer last Sept. 9 at the Club Filipino Greenhills, San Juan City, the Manila Bulletin, on same date, carried this news, "Noynoy To Overhaul Education". He rationalizes that the education sector is like a worn-out tire on the verge of breakdown. He presumes that to make it probably running fine, there's a need to carry out long-term solutions to the perennial problems in education in order to build new, durable, and lasting tire.

He has a good knowledge of the disparity between the private and the public sector in education. While today, many private schools are observed to have enough school buildings, sufficient
number of classrooms, and with good standard teaching-learning facilities, mostly are in idle due to the thinning enrollment. It's a sad fact that with the economic crisis felt globally, many parents of students who were first enrolled in the paying private schools, had to seek transfer in free public schools. Since according to the good Senator, the private sector holds the key to the solution of the recurrent shortages of school buildings, classrooms, facilities, and most especially lack of teachers in the public sector which, in the the first place, has been caused by the exodus of transfer from the private to the public, he plans an advocacy that was never considered yet. This is to send a good percentage of students from public schools to enroll or probably return to the private schools. This certainly will equalize student population in both, instead of building more classrooms, hiring more teachers in public sector where these are lacking.

His suggestion to prioritize the development of primary education, that is from the kindergarten to grade three, where the teaching of the basic 3R's- reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic, are first taught is not new. The DepEd new project Multi-Lingual Approach is also geared toward this innovation. This plan is to use mother tongue from grades one to three for efficient and effective teaching-learning situations. This is still in the offing. With regards to another pressing problem which is about teachers' low salary rates, he was honest to express observation that indeed the government has scarce funds to give what is due them and while he salutes these mentors for their sacrifices, he could only extend his hands to them as he encourages them to join hands with him in search of solutions to the many problems in education.

As a retired master teacher II from the public elementary school, I have here a rejoinder to the good Senator's pronouncement. Indeed Philippine educational system, in my 40 years of stint, has long been running in a limbo on flat tire, stopping now and then for vulcanizing jobs along the rough roads. I think I never had a smooth travel while riding the system until I retired. The obsession to make education work remains a fantasy.

I just couldn't fathom why in the metropolis like Manila, a supposedly advanced urban part of the country, the education sector has to be subjected to another vulcanizing job of the DepEd- that of applying the three-session a day of holding classes in order to temper the shortage of classrooms and teachers, when their counterparts in the rural provinces like us here in Pangasinan have more than enough classrooms that even the janitors have one for themselves. What a waste, really!

Of course this move to rearrange schedules in three sessions is again met with apprehension not only by the parents but also by the students and teachers who will wake up in the wee hours of the morning to beat the 5:30 am first session and take security risks daily in transit. The third and last session that ends at 8:00 pm or so is even near impossible, if not courting more problems in monitoring the young to and from school. The dark out there is treacherous to them, isnit it ? Just as it seduces the teachers who will have no more rest period, to buckle down to complacency and never-mind-that- come-what may-attitude.

Senator Noynoy has the chance to make a difference in the country's educational system. Given his advocacy to work with people and for the people, the road may be rough and the challenge just as tough but if people are made to see the real situation, are shown honest intentions, can visualize and concretize the dropping rate of graft and corruption, they might as well give it another try. This tremains to be seen, Honorable Senator.

Photo by One Laptop per Child

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails