Custom Search

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Opinion: Philippine Education

TJ Manotoc (follow him) tweeted a trivia that the Philippines is the only country that has only ten years of primary and secondary education.  For the rest of the world, it's 12 years.  Do you think it is time for us to follow suit? 

For me, I don't think we are ready.  Another 2 years will be 2 extra years for parents' burden to pay for tuition fees, which happen to increase every year.  Some schools even charge more than P50,000 for elementary.  Just imagine adding another 2 years? ;) A few people can afford this and many schools have been adopting this system, but is our public school system ready for this? Two more years would mean more classrooms, more teachers, bigger gyms, more guards, bigger schools, more books, and more of everything. Every year we hear complaints of seeing children studying under trees or classrooms that are so dilapidated even rats won't live there. The student to teacher ratios could even reach up  50 pupils to 1 teacher,  even in some private schools. Who will teach these extra two years? College profs? Non-Let passers? Society is not so keen on teachers nowadays.  It is typically what people take after they fail a more glamorous course. It is a noble profession that only really few noble ones are really willing to endure; 4 years of Education, then take the Licensure exam (LET), and finally, teach.  Most parents encourage kids to be nurses, doctors, accountants, engineers, or even just chat and look for American husbands rather than teach.  Isn't that ironic?  If we add 2 more years, we will see more dropouts, most probably due to poverty, but it could also be due to burn out, pregnancy, work, and many other reasons. I just feel that our country is not ready. We can't even afford to build enough classrooms for the current system.  We don't have enough books for all the kids. We can blame corruption and the past governments; but, it is what it is. Will the new president put this in his priority list? Hopefully, but the budget for other things will suffer, as well. I really do not know how to solve it.  I can give out some ideas, but who am I to speak about it?  I do care and I just pray that parents will also do their part; we can't let go of all the responsibility and just leave the schools to teach the young.  It is a time to be vigilant and do what we can do to make the next generation more globally competitive than us.

How about you? Would 2 more years in school make you a better person? Would you have taken another course? Would you have pursued another girl? It is always funny when we try to look back and think about what could have been. ;)