Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Current Problems in Philippine Education

I was watching a commercial in Knowledge Channel in SkyCable long time ago regarding the state of Philippine education. According to the commercial, the country is 2nd to the last in the South-East Asian region in terms of the quality of education. This is well shocking and embarrassing to think that some of the best educational institutions in the region are in the Philippines. But despite these, why is it that the Philippines is lagging behind its neighbors? Is their something wrong with our state of education?

I also remember a survey made by the University of the Philippines (UP) way back the early 1990s. The survey ask the students why is the UP education is deteriorating. The proponents of the survey expected the quality of education and professors are to blame while others are the dilapidated and outdated facilities of the university. When the result came out, the majority said it was the lack of parking space is to blame for the deteriorating cause of UP education! But the lack of parking space is not even at the tip of the iceberg when the question of the problems of Philippine education. There are more things to be considered the other possibilities of the questions of the problems of Philippine education.

Probably many will agree that it is really the quality of education is to blame. Many felt that the curriculum set by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is not enough for a more competitive in the modern world. Some said that some subjects are lacking in substance like Mathematics and Science, both are the bulk of most of the educational institution in different countries. Here in the Philippines, many said that these subjects should be taught comprehensively and intensively because is will be the backbone of the country’s development in the near future. This is why Thailand, Malaysia and China outpaced the Philippines in terms of economical and industrial growth because these countries invested in the fields of Mathematics and Sciences. In fact, the best institution in the South-East Asian region is the National University of Singapore (NUS) and their course offerings are in these fields that the Philippines should need to develop.

Another problem pestering the quality of Philippine education is the quality and proficiency of the teachers. According to a recent news article, Filipino teachers lack proficiency in English, Science and Mathematics. Many said that these areas should have been trained comprehensively since as teachers, they should be able to teach the students with a more quality for future growth. But with what I see, the teachers have problems of their own. One example, and the most obvious, is the low salary and terrible working condition. Many public school teachers opt to have “sidelines” during class that sometimes the teacher simply forgets to teach. But who can blame them if their salaries of around 6000-8000 pesos, plus deductible, who can a teacher provide for his/her family? And with the rising cost of living, these figures are not enough. Others cannot teach well in class because of the ratio of students to a teacher. In a typical public school, in every one teacher there are 50-60 students in a class! If I were the teacher working in these conditions, how can I teach properly taking in to consideration of ordering more than 50-60 students per class?

The school facilities can also be a factor of the problem. The Philippines, both in private and public, lacks sophisticated laboratories and facilities to cater the needs of the students. For example, many public schools are still lacking the basic computer laboratories and it is so ironic that computer nowadays, computer education is crucial for future Computer Studies student. Without proper training in computer, how can a student be competitive and computer literate? Jose Rizal reminds us how modern and latest technologies are important in a student’s development in his novel El Filibusterismo. Like in the novel, the laboratory equipments are stored shut in a cabinet and never to be used in class because of the insufficient number of equipments. And when it is shown in class, it is presented like a monstrance of a priest! And prophetic as it seems, Rizal’s time is happening all over again in our contemporary times.

Lastly, a common problem of our Philippine education is the rising cost of sending a child to school. Private schools charges skyrocketing tuition and miscellaneous fees to a student that parents are having a hard time to cope with the rising cost of education. Even sending a child in a public school doesn’t fare better since even the poorest of the poor cannot afford to send a child in school. I remember vividly a story of a public school teacher with a pupil of him. He said that this student was so poor that teachers pay for everything so she can go to school. The teachers don’t mind this sacrifice because the student is so bright and intelligent. She never went to college after high school since she cannot really afford it anymore. What saddened the teachers is that this student passed UP but with no scholarship. Right now, many see education not as necessity but a luxury they cannot afford.

The state of Philippine education is indeed sad and disheartening. We probably all asking who’s to blame for all this mess. But we cannot simply point finger since we all have responsibilities to solve these problem. The government tries its best to give the country and it seemed not enough. But we should not blame the government entirely since it is just not the government’s problems. It is the problem of each and every one of us. If we want the highest quality of education in the country, we should work together to solve this problem.

As a future teacher, these problems will be a big cross to bear. But if I can help solve this problem in my own little way, the cross can be lighter and easier to bear. This is the bitter cup of a teacher to bear. But we must remember that the teacher and every one of us will determine the course of our country’s development through education. Even Rizal said that for a country to progress, education is the key to that success. Solving the problems of Philippine education is a long way to go but if we work for the better, we can attain that quality education we all hope for the best.

29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These problems that you mention are brought over to the US in the Filipino Teacher Abroad program. The teachers cannot properly transition and therefore cannot properly teach. The students lose out on a much needed education and administrators are so happy to fill that teaching position that they forget about quality.

2/25/2008 03:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think, one of the solutions for the deterioration of quality education in the philippines, is that we have to prepare properly our student teacxhers in terms of their teaching performance so we can help even just for a little. quality pre- service is the key factor in quality philippine eduacation, thus, the most effective training ground.

2/19/2010 05:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These problem takes a long journey to solve......future teachers today shall go hand in hand to solve this problem!

3/02/2010 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous cagayan de oro schools said...

Well if we keep on blaming about this,nothing will happen. the government as for now is doing something about this issue, and to that, we need to participate.

8/10/2010 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger mptaloza said...

We really are back in the era of the so-called mediocrity; but what hinders us to learning is not already foreigners- it's us. I think our problems anent education roots from the biggest to the smallest issues including our being environmentalists and the obedience of the parents today who happened to be students. Some of us are afraid that technology might bring more disastrous effects to our environment. As a result during surveys, we are at the lowest. In addition, parents today who happened to be students then are obedient to what was taught to them. They love much their offspring that they do all the work which would supposedly provide learning to their children.

10/15/2010 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger mptaloza said...

We really are back in the era of the so-called mediocrity; but what hinders us to learning is not already foreigners- it's us. I think our problems anent education roots from the biggest to the smallest issues including our being environmentalists and the obedience of the parents today who happened to be students. Some of us are afraid that technology might bring more disastrous effects to our environment. As a result during surveys, we are at the lowest. In addition, parents today who happened to be students then are obedient to what was taught to them. They love much their offspring that they do all the work which would supposedly provide learning to their children.

10/15/2010 02:40:00 PM  
Anonymous jay rupert yasis said...

those problem that you mentioned was often familiar to everyone but even years past, it doesn't resolved. we don't need to blame anybody for this problem cause we are the reason behind this problem.be responsible; it's all we can did!

1/10/2011 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these problems mentioned are very dangerous if we will not move and do something. these problems can become worsts if they will not be solve immediately.

5/04/2011 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree to the problems that you stated. Each Filipino should be participate in solving these problems. Let us not blame teachers, the curriculum, the system, the method of teaching, the government officials and so on and so forth. If we will remain in the "realm of blaming", we will not progress. Then, you forgot to mention the problem with the students. The students play important role. How matter we have a such quality education if the students does not learn, its useless.Don't blame. If you have something to contribute to solve these problems, do it!!!!

8/09/2011 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the change in education system is needed. The government will play the most important role and make the first move. The main target of our education should be to teach students be prepared in the future, meaning becoming productive and disciplined citizen of our country as early as possible.

8/25/2011 02:50:00 AM  
Blogger snowangel.lyd said...

This is so true and even worse, the efforts of those who do something about it are ignored.

9/04/2011 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so true and even worse the one who do something about it are either mocked or ignored

9/04/2011 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The solution is to upgrade the pay scale of teachers and lure the best and brightest among the minds. Teaching is the last priority among the cream of the crop of university produce year after year. If the government could reverse this, quality of education would increase. Then powerful human resources would emerge translating into powerful economy which bring about a powerful nation.
Singapore leads in math because the have a narrow topics in each grade level but very deep in studying each topic. Unlike in the Philippines where all the topics from primary grades up to college is being taught in grade 1.

9/28/2011 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous dis is lee cabrera said...

throw it all back to the government.,.,all that education needs is just in fund.,.Filipinos are intelligent.we could process all kinds of information.,.and provide better understanding.,.only if given the opportunity to have and use proper educational materials and equipment.,.pubic servants if you can not stop corruption please minimize it.,

12/13/2011 05:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GRAFT AND CORRUPTION! This I think, is the root of the problem. Government funds are not spent wisely like the budget for education. Only some greedy politicians are being benefited.

12/27/2011 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have good points and I agree with most of them. I came across your blog entry because I'm currently taking education subjects and I'm also an advocate of quality education for Filipinos. You have a good vocabulary and your thoughts are well organized. However, I think you have to work on your grammar because I have noticed several errors, which are quite distracting. Just a friendly advice, please edit your entry so it would be much more worth reading. Thank you.

1/14/2012 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the name of the author of this article?

4/06/2012 09:49:00 PM  
Anonymous sly said...

Grammar per se is one of the measurements as to what level of learning one had achieved. So this only means that the quality of education that was importuned to the writer is a bit mediocre and this should not be tolerated. This is a shame to the academe....It is very important therefore, that we have to help ourselves otherwise we be put into mockery...

Schools, colleges and universities, whatever you teach will be reflected by your graduates or products so be guided...

4/18/2012 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous iyanski said...

I think the problem is rooted from the basic component of a society which is our family. Our parents educates us with this linear type of mentality. They send us to school to prepare us for college. They send us to college to land a good paying job. They send us to college to go abroad. And some or most of these jobs, are jobs that we are not really passionate about.

When I was still a little boy, I'm fond of lots of things. Painting, music, electronics, etc. When I graduated in high school, my parents did not allow me to take up Fine Arts because there is no money in it during that time. They didn't allow me to take up music, because they said, there is no future there. We parents think that we know best what's good for our children and what's good for them in the future. But in reality, nobody knows what's ahead five years from now. Good thing though, I disobeyed them and shifted from Accountancy to Computer Engineering, simply because I love computers and I also had passion in programming.

Point is, although we know what's best for our children, it's their life, and it's our responsibility to guide them while they growing up but that does not necessarily mean that it is our take to make them who we want them to be.

Schools are not just the only source of education. Sometimes, or most of the time, schools are the hindrance to a good and quality education. I believe that we need a mentality shift and refrain labeling people without formal education as non-educated. This mentality only brings inferiority to people who didn't have the capacity and opportunity to get formal academics.

Lastly, we and our government should consider alternative forms of education. Encourage students to discover their passion; study, learn and improve on what they can do best and not dictate us what we need to be because that's what our country needs us to be sellable and employable. We don't need another computer engineer student who'll go abroad because they can get a higher salary, we need computer engineers to apply scientific knowledge and create tech-solutions for our problems in our country. We don't need another nurse to go abroad, we need agriculturists who can help feed millions of people in our country.

6/01/2012 02:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats the problem here in the Philippines.. When you read something interesting, just please don't mind the grammar... People like you, are the one to blame.

6/09/2012 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Education is a major problem in Philippine society because it spends very little money to profect the system it has to any quality or use. This is a normal type of thinking that gives the Philippines there style of living that is unique to others. Most people will develop an idea by saying " how far can I go with this to make it into something great to have". To a filipino, its "how can I do this with as little efort as I can put into it and still get my resaults". They will pinch a peso tighter than anyone that I know of. Walk into a toilet room and you will not see a toilet seat on a toilet. You want to wipe after, bring your own paper with you. They can't supply any. You can wash your hands after but bring your own towel with you.They can build a road to drive on but thats the extent of it. no budget to maintain it, It stays like that untill it is completly fallen apart and is of no futher use in that state.They then got to find a budget to build a new one.Why don't Filipinoes have sidewalks. It doesn't bring in any capital from them. A seller there with a booth will pay out for license and permits to sell. In a very short term, they have become to selfish and greedy to develop any thing of use in the country. Why do you think that education will be any different.

6/12/2012 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Fox said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/26/2012 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger The Fox said...

I think corruption would not be possible if our leaders were God-fearing men regardless of religion because when you’re God-fearing that means you love your God, you took your God seriously and you took the law of your God wholeheartedly. Surely, you would turn away from evil. But such heartbreak, many of our leaders weren’t God-fearing. Imagine what our country would be if all our leaders were God-fearing men. I think we would stand out among other countries, not just a plain mediocre country that we have right now.

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7/26/2012 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is undeniable that really, Philippines suffers from bunches of educational conundrums...facilities, technology, school safety, student behaviors, education being politicized and much, much more.

Let's go back to the basic....
"Teacher is the heart of Learning", if so, then why are they being hindered from teaching what they were really prepared of by giving them subjects to teach in which they have no training or preparation?
Why not place qualified teachers to the assignment that befit them?
Why is it that an English teacher is teaching Math or the other way around?
What's the use of having majors in college if the teacher will not be able to have an application of it because he/she will be given a subject to teach not of that field?
This actually not only hinders the capability of the teachers to serve quality education, but it also hampers the teachers opportunity to progress and develop.
In the end...both TEACHERS and STUDENTS suffer from this unrecognized enigma.

9/25/2012 09:40:00 AM  
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