PACE OF PEACE: One More Look at Education in the Philippines

By Lourdes G. dela Torre

MARAMAG, Bukidnon (BukidnonNews.Net/05 August 2018) Education is a very important part of the people’s life.  It determines the person’s status in society.  It can also be considered as an important vehicle for social mobility.  Education has been allotted a large amount of money by the government who considers it as a basic need of the citizens.  It further enables the Filipino people to become the global citizens who are able to communicate well in a cordial and harmonious relation with them.

Recently, there has been criticism that education in the Philippines has deteriorated in quality.  It has a decreasing performance in international standardized examination in the field of Science and Mathematics.  In the national scene, there is an increasing number of students who cannot communicate well in English.  Consequently, they get low in subjects that use English as the medium of instruction.

What went wrong? Where did we fail?
Looking at the pool of human resources in most Schools Divisions of the Department of Education, particularly in Bukidnon, it shows that its major departments are headed by personnel with the highest educational attainment, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD ) or  Doctor of Education (EdD).  This means that the divisions are headed by highly qualified academic people who have the great capability to elevate the children’s academic achievement.

Where are the Ph.D and EdD holders?  Do they have direct contact with the students?  I do not think so.  They have been pulled out from their teaching engagement with the students.  They become education program specialists in their own area of specialization.  They lost direct contact with the learners.  Having been pulled out from the classroom as teachers, they are now in their own cubicles, separated from the real world of teaching, of interacting with the students who are hungry of good teaching.

They gave up their own expertise to teach and gave this duty to the newly hired teachers who are still groping for what to teach, how to teach and what values to model with their students.

What is the cause of the deterioration in the quality of education?

There is the presence of competitiveness.  We want to let the world know that we have met the international standard in education.  Claiming that we met the standards, we expect our students to reach our goal of making the students become ICT literate by letting them use the technology as application of their knowledge and skills in ICT.   However, the students’ over exposure to the use of technology made them isolated in classroom interactions as they spend most time with their gadgets.  They get more updated information from the gadgets than from their teachers who still use the time-tested teaching methodologies.  As the new ICTs are introduced as teaching – learning devices, the more the students are drawn away from the actual classroom instruction that are perceived to be traditional and obsolete.

Is education making the Philippine education move forward to development?  Check the Philippines’ educational innovations brought about by the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum.   Let us take a closer look.

(Dr. Lourdes G. dela Torre is an educator and researcher whose works have been presented in various national and international conferences. She is presently with the Department of Education District 1 in Maramag, Bukidnon.. She has published books on Peace Education and Field Study. She is a consultant on community organizing, social, and peace studies. Pace of Peace is her column for Bukidnon Views, the opinion section of BukidnonNews.Net. She can be reached at editor@bukidnonnews.net)