What has become of education in the Philippines?

The state of the educational system in the Philippines is a great cause for worry. We used to produce students who were well-rounded and ready for the challenges of the real world. Today, for every 10 children who start their primary education, only 6 go on to continue with their secondary education, and 4 will manage to enter college. What happened? Other countries used to send their students to the Philippines to learn, now they've overtaken us and are the experts. Isn't that frustrating? I hope to be able to make some sense about the decline in the quality of education, and with the help of people as concerned as I, do something to change for the better.

Key Issues in Philippine Education
Literacy rate in the Philippines has improved a lot over the last few years- from 72 percent in 1960 to 94 percent in 1990. This is attributed to the increase in both the number of schools built and the level of enrollment in these schools. The number of schools grew rapidly in all three levels - elementary, secondary, and tertiary. From the mid-1960s up to the early 1990, there was an increase of 58 percent in the elementary schools and 362 percent in the tertiary schools. For the same period, enrollment in all three levels also rose by 120 percent. More than 90 percent of the elementary schools and 60 percent of the secondary schools are publicly owned. However, only 28 percent of the tertiary schools are publicly owned. A big percentage of tertiary-level students enroll in and finish commerce and business management courses. Table 1 shows the distribution of courses taken, based on School Year 1990-1991. Note that the difference between the number of enrollees in the commerce and business courses and in the engineering and technology courses may be small - 29.2 percent for commerce and business and 20.3 percent for engineering and technology. However, the gap widens in terms of the number of graduates for the said courses. On gender distribution, female students have very high representation in all three levels. At the elementary level, male and female students are almost equally represented. But female enrollment exceeds that of the male at the secondary and tertiary levels . Also, boys have higher rates of failures, dropouts, and repetition in both elementary and secondary levels. Aside from the numbers presented above, which are impressive, there is also a need to look closely and resolve the following important issues: 1) quality of education 2) affordability of education 3) goverment budget for education; and 4) education mismatch. 1. Quality - There was a decline in the quality of the Philippine education, especially at the elementary and secondary levels. For example, the results of standard tests conducted among elementary and high school students, as well as in the National College of Entrance Examination for college students, were way below the target mean score. 2. Affordability - There is also a big disparity in educational achievements across social groups. For example, the socioeconomically disadvantaged students have higher dropout rates, especially in the elementary level. And most of the freshmen students at the tertiary level come from relatively well-off families. 3. Budget - The Philippine Constitution has mandated the goverment to allocate the highest proportion of its budget to education. However, the Philippines still has one of the lowest budget allocations to education among the ASEAN countries. 4. Mismatch - There is a large proportion of "mismatch" between training and actual jobs. This is the major problem at the tertiary level and it is also the cause of the existence of a large group of educated unemployed or underemployed. The following are some of the reforms proposed:

the result is children are left to cope on their own. especially if their learning competencies are not equal. either donated or purchased by the school. if there are any at all. Imagine yourself handling a class of 60 to 70 students. 3. Yes. east. save for the excellent ones or unfortunately. This clearly favors the more developed regions. In fairness. Read more: http://www. it is a nightmare.ph. Yes. maybe more equitable.htm Woes of a FIlipino Teacher Imagine yourself a Filipino teacher. i. 2. will admit that public school mentors earn more than they do. Stop the current practice of subsidizing state universities and colleges to enhance access. 4. And how do you tailor lessons with so many competencies to consider? Often. Many public school classrooms are equipped with the most basic of equipment: a blackboard. They hardly know their pupils. Teachers have been underpaid.. patience. With 25 students in a class. the teacher is likely to know each of her students. but will dig into her own pocket to produce the kind of materials she needs and wants to teach class. And with a class so huge. transfer the control of technical training to industry groups which are more attuned to the needs of business and industry. south and west. not only by face but by name and how they are actually performing in class. But with 60 children in a classroom. The ideal ratio of teacher to student is 1:25. well and good. especially if the lessons are long. Get all the leaders in business and industry to become actively involved in higher education. With 60 kids north. But even with the relatively higher wages. If they get the lesson. This may not be the best way to promote equity. they are lucky to pass at the end of the year. it does not seem to compensate for the daily travails of public school teachers. carry out a selective admission policy. resources and dedication to addressing the need of her students. It is a manifestation of the two most prevalent problems in the educational system: lack of classrooms and lack of teachers. it is a miracle how teachers are able to stay sane every single day. Some are fortunate to have visual aids. And yes it happens in real life within the public school system. In addition. Develop a rationalized apprenticeship program with heavy inputs from the private sector. But this can get to be very expensive. this is aimed at addressing the mismatch problem. Upgrade the teachers' salary scale. which is based on participation rates and units costs. especially those in small private schools. it's a wonder teachers can hear themselves over the din. How can she? Classrooms are cramped. Which leaves those who are academically challenged lumped together and their teacher to stretch her skills. most private school teachers. Furthermore. The less number of children handled by one mentor. installing mechanisms to reduce enrollment in oversubscribed courses and promoting enrollment in undersubscribed ones. students are still divided into sections and they are grouped into the level of their academic skills. thus there is very little incentive for most of them to take up advanced trainings. chalk and eraser. giving more focus and priority to the poor. Imagine yourself a teacher in a public school. children are barely able to see small .net/htdocs/education/issue. the more attention can be given to each individual. An expanded scholarship program. 5. Imagine yourself handling two shifts of classes with 60 to 70 students. Otherwise.1. Many classes are held in makeshift rooms meaning a multi-purpose covered court with partitions where 4 or 5 classes are merely separated by thin plywood walls. Amend the current system of budgeting for education across regions. She does not even bother to remember them. It used to be that rolls of Manila paper were adequate to write down the lesson for the day.e. the notorious. Resources are another matter. There is a need to provide more allocation to lagging regions to narrow the disparity across regions. But many times. a teacher will not only have to be creative.

and you'd be a little savvy about simple trade. my aunt and dad never fail to regale us with stories of how it was in public schools during their time. My father's sister was also a teacher. I believe this will only cover those included in a priority list. Children always welcome additional and unique visual aids. The curriculum was the basics or the 3 Rs -. and in fact. But I do recall that things weren't as complicated as they are now -. the bottomline was to inculcate in them the necessary skills to make them competent individuals in the future. the graduates that were produced could go toe-to-toe with children who were products of private schools. except if you choose to shell out on your own. as well as their families. So what went wrong? When had things become different? Why did they suddenly change a system that was working? I'll have to keep looking. But there are many more schools which lack classrooms. you were nowhere near progressing to multiplication. They were the essentials. sew. their pay is simply not enough to cover their needs. so you need to write bigger. which included learning to cook. Sure they had books and notebooks but not enough to break a child's back or dislocate the shoulders. too. worked her way up the ranks to later become a public school principal. public school educated children were often better than their private school counterparts. Unless you've mastered the addition table. wRiting and aRithmetic.handwriting from the back. And often. some writing paper and a notebook or two were all they needed to come to class.ones that really honed a student's skill by familiarizing him with the alphabet.. will there be additional teachers? If new teachers will be hired. In the meantime. and use more paper. Yet.especially in the public school system here in the Philippines. armed with these skills. they would at least know how to read. everything was simplified. Since my grandparents have both passed on. will there be a budget to support their wages? It's a never-ending cycle. Teachers still have to make ends meet. was in school. When additional classrooms are built. If I remember correctly. By the time children completed each year level. you can jot down important things. And even if teachers ended up "terrorizing" their students or resorting to punishment. I say great! To my mind. and woe to the teacher who has to create them if she wants her subject or lesson to be more interesting. they had simple books -.Reading. you can fend for yourself even at a young age because you'd understand simple written instructions. A pencil. and progress a bit more after every grade level. It is non-existent. and keep house. phonetics and simple definitions. The Department of Education just announced that so many millions of pesos have been released for the construction and repair of classrooms around the country. write and do simple math. In fact. Which brings us to the budget for visual aids.. Back then. Blast from the Past My paternal grandparents were teachers. Boys were not exempt from home economics classes. It's been quite some time since I. Neither were girls excluded from practical arts classes which had them gardening. doing basic carpentry or even learning handyman skills. Ma'm or Sir will have to suffer through their public school experience. The only difference is their economic status and the opportunities available to them. and more communities that lack schools. More to Enlighten You . because the government has yet to come up with a plan that will finally address these problems.

Bulatlat Bulatlat in the Filipino language means to thoroughly look into. If the teacher isn't going to provide exercises. While it is true that a teacher's salary is not commensurate to the workload. Many pupils have to share books. wRiting and aRithmetic) were good enough in the old days to ensure that kids learned in school? An Insider's View The problems according to a public school teacher The problems besetting the Philippine educational system are not lost among those who are in the system themselves. Promotions should be solely based on merit. you are almost assured of getting a promotion. never mind if you are not qualified for it. especially the powers-that-be. how can they be expected to do exercises and hone their skills? 2) The system of promotion within the ranks needs to be overhauled. I don't know the man. but they must also be given financial support to produce these. they opt not to give exercises at all. In Mr. but I think he is truly an educator because he is willing to face the problems.Just so you know. achievement and diagnostic tests viz qualitative one's. Unfortunately. it is high time that the teachers' ranks be professionalized from top-to-bottom akin to the corporate world. More often than not. I'm not ranting alone. what is prevalent is the "Palakasan System. but I do know the difficulties faced by mentors just to prepare lesson plans. standardized validated rating." Generally. he lists the most pressing concerns in the public school system that must be addressed if people are serious about putting things in order: 1)Development of Instructional Materials particularly in core subjects. they are forced to use their own resources (money and otherwise) just to have these available to better teach their classes. this refers to a system where what matters are the people you know. The 3 Rs How come the 3 Rs (Reading. Gilbert M. a real educator will still lead by example . the people who owe you favors. many of those who rise in rank "don't necessarily have the guts to become an educational leader. and the clique you belong to.. and worse. Based from his experience." Many are just after the salary increase and most of all of the prestige that goes with being a school manager! The worst is. Forbes is a Head Teacher in elementary based in the Pitogo District Division of Quezon province. the ratio of books to students remains insufficient to this day. how can students practice what is taught them? The education department continues to receive an increase in the yearly allocation. help find ways to address them. To date. And there are various organizations that do this. these mentors are not really concerned and dedicated enough to initiate reforms to improve the system. Utang na Loob and Pakikisama System.. How can we actually expect them to come up with instructional materials that will truly be of help to students if they are not properly equipped to develop them. especially in areas of public concern like education. not have the necessary resources to create these? The backlog in books has been reduced tremendously but textbooks still don't contain enough exercises and testing materials that teachers can use for their daily instruction. Teachers not only need training in the preparation and development of instructional materials. If you meet any one of these criteria. the teacher is required to write all the exercises on the board that eat up class hours. most of the time. visual aids and examinations for their students. Forbes' opinion. Otherwise. Because with the present system. I'm not a school teacher. As a result. Instructional Materials include modules. Mr. and even better.

For Dr. 3) Teacher Training and Development.) The courage to teach An inspiring story on how to improve the quality of Philippine education By Rachel Barawid Manila Bulletin Students & Campuses Section What does it take to be a good teacher? How much of oneself should be put into this profession to make an impact on the lives of the students? A teacher reveals a formula. observations are that except for education graduates from CHED designated centers of excellence. Dr. Ph. Dr. and it certainly is. Koo. Koo's Inspiration . And this results in overworking some mentors who are well-trained and educated because they are forced to take up the shortcomings of their peers. Koo would be the only teacher to still hold class. But this nobility is lost if there is no commitment and dedication to go with the job. In fact. an associate professor of Educational Psychology at the University of the Philippines Diliman.and exert 101% effort in everything he or she does. It has been said time and again that teaching is a noble profession. many would be teachers are deficient in subject matters.. In spite the number of people pursuing a degree in education. Forbes. had set aside her mourning just to attend her class and give an exam to her students. According to Mr. In the day her father died. very few are actually equipped with the necessary competence in specific learning areas that they are supposed to excel in. Forbes. In her 13 years of teaching. Another article will be devoted to discuss other issues he noted. There is great responsibility in being a teacher because in their hands lie the future of young people. Incredible but true. being a teacher entails more sacrifice than any other noble profession. Grace Shangkuan Koo.D. she was only absent on three occasions.. even when classes are postponed. (These are just some of points raised by Mr.

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