Thursday, April 14, 2011

The State of the Philippine Education (Part II)

Education is supposed to be an equalizer. By the mandate of the Philippine Constitution, the government is bound to espouse a nationalist oriented education that is qualitative and accessible to all. As a transformational process akin to development, education is expected to bring changes in individuals leading to national development. Considering that the Philippines maintains the high literacy rate for decades, we can safely expect to see more educated Filipinos with nationalist fervor and pride.

Research studies, however, prove otherwise. A popular study of Filipino schoolchildren by UP Prof. Maria Luisa C. Doronila, showed that they prefer foreigners as role models. Given choices, they want to live in the United States or Japan. As the school kids grow older, the intensity of preference for other countries and for things foreign increases.

Data in school dropouts vary. The recent, according to Prof. Solita Monsod, is that for every 100 children that enter Grade 1, only 86 move on to Grade 2, only 76 get to start Grade 4, and only 67 will make it to the first day of Grade 6, of whom another two will drop out before graduation. Of the 65 who graduate 58 will transition to high school, but only 42 will graduate four years later.

While there is an improvement from earlier statistics, the increase appears to be less significant when compared to the data two decades ago. In 1991, when pursuing a masteral studies, I had done research on the subject as requirement in our Philippine Social Reality class. At that time, the study of Dr. Patricia Licauan, revealed that only 15 succeeded to get college degree. Interestingly, in reviewing my paper, the same issues and problems continue to beset our Philippine educational system. Among others are 1) quality of education 2) affordability of education 3) goverment budget for education; and 4) education mismatch.

There is a continuing decline in the quality of the Philippine education, as manifested in the performance in national achievement tests. School dropouts are still prevalent, mostly coming from the lower income levels. The Philippines still has one of the lowest budget allocations to education among the ASEAN countries. There is "mismatch" between the product of our educational system and the requirements of labor and industry.

Prof. Monsod describes the state of education in the Philippines as characterized by tremendous input deficits -- inadequate school infrastructure and facilities; very large class sizes; insufficient teaching materials (not to mention problems of quality); inadequate water sanitation and hygiene; and insufficient quantity and quality of teachers.

1 comment:

  1. We had all knew that education is very important to all of us. This was the only gift that our parents must be giving for us. Being poor, this is not the hindrance that you will not attain your goal in life; it must be needed to pursue in studying as well as to focus on study. Thanks for sharing your blogs.

    Greg | Philippine Education