Waiting, wanting better

Jose Alfonso P. Sendaydiego
April 19, 2012, 6:16 am
The 6th man

Next year, the K+12 educational system takes full effect in the Philippines. To explain briefly, this new system will add two years of secondary education and is patterned after the system followed by the United States, Canada, and some parts of Australia. The existing system is modeled after the American schooling system but is cramped into a 10-year cycle. The DepEd explains this is meant to answer Filipino students’ “chronic underachievement and insufficient mastery of basic competencies due to congested curriculum.”

Next school year opens with this year’s graduating students from the primary level moving on to Grade 7 and will be the first to have finished Grade 10 before moving on to Senior High School. The DepEd sees this move as one to make erase the perception of high school being a preparatory stage for college. Those who go through the 12-year program will get an elementary diploma, a junior high school diploma, and a senior high school diploma. Senior High School adds 2 years of in-depth specialization for students depending on the career track they wish to pursue. A full 12 years of basic education will eventually be required for entry into tertiary level education.

At first glance, it seems most promising but until we get over the way education is being brought down to the students’ level in this institution, this forthcoming system is doomed to fail. When you have teachers who permit cheating, who hand over the course syllabus for students to report (or rather read aloud that is), who reads every word in an apparently hurriedly done PowerPoint presentation like it’s some sort of script to follow, add to that the cultural transition that’s meant to go with the change of system, one can only hope we get lucky enough to look back and say it was the right move.

If we are to change an age-old system, we might as well change our age-old ways of instruction. I believe most would agree if I say the way we are taught in college is the same way we were taught in grade school and high school. Instruction banks mostly on memorization, group activities, reporting, and the occasional totally unrelated special projects. Furthermore, we have to raise the competency level of our faculty as to match the demand for better education for the supposedly already “more mature” freshmen to get into XU come 2016. At present, it is quite alarming how there is more than a fair number of part-time teachers who are fresh graduates, how easily our former classmates become teachers a year later.

It is exciting to see if this new system pans out. Whether it does or not, only time can tell.

Hit me back, 2016.C

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