Tuesday, April 12, 2011

State of the Philippine Education

Graduation rites are almost everywhere in the Philippines. As we share the jubilation of graduates and respective families, let us likewise reflect on the state of the Philippine Educational System.

Reviewing my decade long paper on this topic, I find the framework still relevant, particularly the concepts on what education should be. With updated data from some current links, a comparison on what it is now will make us see the gap or the problem.

In most countries of the world, there is a widespread acceptance of the principle that education is a fundamental human right. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 26) states that everyone has the right to education. The 1987 Philippine Constitution recognizes education as basic right of every Filipino. Enshrined in the Article XIV is the mandate for the protection and promotion of the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and the appropriate steps to be taken to make education accessible to all.

The same constitution relates education and nationalism. Section 3 of the aforementioned Article states that all educational institutions shall inculcate patriotism and nationalism, foster love of humanity, respect for human rights, appreciation of the role of national heroes in the historical development of the country, teach the rights and duties of citizens.

This nationalist oriented educational philosophy is expected to develop an enlightened and nationalistic citizenry imbued with democratic ideals, unselfish in their commitment to serve the national community, and proud of being a Filipino.

The third concept points to the role of education as change agent. Education is expected to transform individuals and institutions, systems or structures. Human nature has the tendency to satisfy vested interest at the expense of others. As society develops, the tendency has been institutionalized resulting to a system dominated by a conglomeration of power-hungry cliques. Taking advantage of the passivity caused by innocence or ignorance of the less privileged, they perpetuate a system of control and maneuver the course of events to suit their designs and caprices.

An educated person is one who has undergone the process of conversion within. Such change is expected to radiate in the society. As he/she moves out of the shell and actively contribute to the affairs of the community, transformation takes place. To borrow the words of Sr. Mary John Mananzan, the process of change involves “people steeped in a culture of silence to break through this barrier to a self expression and self assertion that is necessary in the transformation of society where the few decide for the many.”

Finally, education is akin to development. It brings new knowledge, ability and skills in continuous technological, managerial and organizational improvement. Subsequent economic growth is expected in a community or society of educate people. Moreover, education helps build an atmosphere conducive to development. As educated persons are assumed to respect law and order and foster relationships.

Given the assumptions above vis-à-vis the statistics placing the Philippines among highest literacy status, we can safely expect to see developments in the lives of Filipinos.

Present reality, however, shows otherwise. Details in the next blog

No comments:

Post a Comment