Revolutionize Philippine education

MY DREAM FOR CHANGE

When I received the invitation by the Department of Education to host for them the K+12 training/seminar for private schools in the Division of Malolos, Bulacan, I could not say no. It is so important for all of us to be part of reform efforts in our educational system - and DepEd cannot do it alone. Helping out in the activity means providing the venue, logistics, food and support staff to discuss with fellow educators what K+12 is and is not.

K+12 is the most radical education reform this country has seen in decades. I had first seen its essence in England as a graduate student. It was my dream for the Philippines to follow suit.

This school year, the dream starts to become a reality. Among others, K+12 starts with curricular changes in Grades 1 and 7 only. The mother tongue approach also commences in Grade 1, which will eventually cover up to Grade 3. Eventually, there will be two additional years in high school.

But adopting K+12 will not automatically solve all the problems. It will take courage, sincerity, seriousness, consistent funding, time, accountability and getting rid of corruption before it really bears fruits.

EVOLUTION OF EDUCATION IN GIST

During the time of Alexander the Great under his teacher Aristotle, education was exclusive to royalty. In the Middle Ages, universities were born and only young men from upper classes could study at Oxford and Cambridge.

The Industrial Revolution ensued, necessitating children as future workers and managers to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. With the advent of democracy, children had to be educated, via the public schools, as citizens with civic rights and duties.

Today, we are once more at a crossroad of human history. The Information Technology revolution has spurred the renaissance in various disciplines, made travel easy, and made exchange of information efficient.

21st CENTURY EDUCATION

The IT Revolution demands the inculcation of 21st century skills among our children. On top of excellent communication and computational skills, students are expected to have the following:

• Critical thinking, for analysis and synthesis

• Creative thinking, for innovation

• Multilingual skills, for cross-cultural communications

• Teamwork skills, for easy adaptation and cross-country cooperation

• Lifelong learning skills, to survive in an ever-changing world.

Educators are tasked to train children to become better citizens, nationally and internationally and the K+12 program is an avenue to transform our educational system. But we cannot do this unless we also transform schools, teachers and administrators to become 21st century educators.

TRANSFORMING MINDS

Transformation means committing our attention, hearts and efforts to the idea of change and high-standard education. We cannot educate children as if we were still in the 20th century: making them copy lessons to be memorized; or pass them from one level to another without mastery - worse, through mass promotion.

We cannot just make children become 21st century students unless educators understand the dynamics of international relations, make approaches to teaching multi- and inter-disciplinary, and guarantee that our students will really be able to enter the top schools of the land when they go to college and be very successful in their chosen professions. Schools cannot just act like mindless factories of diplomas; schools ought to be accountable for the results of their actions.

For society to be at ease with 21st century education is a continuing process of discovery. We may ask questions, give opinions, share our views, agree to disagree, and disagree with things we deem not best for students. Yet, it is not really just a question of liking or disliking K+12 but a question of asking ourselves what are we to do, considering its strengths and weaknesses, so that it will work!

REVOLUTIONIZE PHILIPPINE EDUCATION

In a meeting with Secretary Armin Luistro, I asked him: "Brother, you know the gargantuan problems of education in the country. In the minds of many, it is not only complex but also hopeless. Why did you have to exchange your quiet life as administrator of La Salle schools to become the Secretary of Education?"

His answer is simple, yet profound: "Alam mo ba na bago ko tinanggap e anim na linggo ko yang pinag-isipan? Masuwerte lang talaga kasi mga professionals ang nakuha ko na kasama. Hardworking. Andyan si Albert. Si Francis, at iba pa. Service talaga eh. And there is hope."

There is hope for as long as we continue to believe in the power of schools to affect society; in the power of administrators to make decisions to positively affect curriculum and teaching; in the power of teachers to heal the wounds of society by inspiring students to dream big and make them experience being loved, successful and happy.

Schools, administrators and teachers need to revolutionize the way we teach by ensuring that Filipino students not only acquire 21st century skills but also for the nation's educational system to be on a par with the best in the world. We need change, and change should be in the heart of every educator. We need to offer our hearts in the altar of change - for the sake of the youth, and the motherland.

An alumnus and former faculty member of UP Diliman, the author is president of the Darwin International School System. He studied in Osaka University (Japan), the University of Cambridge (England) and at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands). The article is an excerpt of the welcome remarks delivered by the author as host of the Department of Education's K+12 training/seminar for private schools in Malolos, Bulacan, last May 21.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea
    Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea

    The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …

  • Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt
    Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt

    Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, who faces his biggest fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather, already holds top spot as the number one taxpayer in the Philippines, government records showed Saturday. A list of top individual tax-payers for 2013, posted on the Bureau of Internal Revenue website, put the boxer-turned-congressman at number one with 163.84 million pesos ($3.72 million) in taxes paid. Internal revenue chief Kim Henares confirmed that Pacquiao topped the list but stressed …

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options