Pacete: Ingredients of education

Ver F. Pacete
As I See It

EDUCATION is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. It made us what we are. It could be a leading out (or misleading also) of what is already there in the pupil’s soul. Based on my experience (as a student once), it could be a putting in of something that is not there. I don’t call it education. That is intrusion.

In the previous weeks, I was invited by some schools to be a resource person on protocol, social grace, and personality development. I was requested also to share a little of what I know on Mother Tongue and Indigenous Peoples’ Education. It is good to know that our school administrators are trying to strengthen the teaching-learning environment (especially for the K-12 Program).

Preparing one’s education is like preparing food. Food needs ingredients to be tasty. Ingredients may include proper preparation. That could be the reason why we have Brigada Eskwela: school repair, fence fixing, repainting of classrooms, ground improvement, checking of facilities, and programs involved the parents and the community. Good!

In public schools, we need to double check the toilets. Is it clean? I have my doubts. If the faculty members and the principal are using the toilets (or may use the toilets) for students, then that is something worth of praise. Toilets should really be comfortable rooms.

Students and pupils should have a place (food court or student canteen) to eat during recess or vacant periods. I noticed that in one barangay, students were having lunch by the roadside. (It was too hot for a picnic.) Faculty members should have a decent faculty room to rest or prepare their lesson plans. Some schools (if not many) have no faculty rooms. Teachers are like tourists in the campus during their vacant periods.

Students should be disciplined if they are late. Closing the gate and letting them stay under the sun may not be a good form of discipline, especially if the gate is three feet away from the highway. We do not want to see a mass funeral ceremony just in case a speeding vehicle hits the flock. Accident can always happen. We are reminding the school officials.

The making of identification cards and ID pictures could be a lucrative business. I hope that DepEd officials will look into this. ID cards should not be expensive and should not be delivered to the students in the middle of the school year. DepEd should not allow “commissioners” to make monkey business here. Monkeys are easy to identify (with tails or without tails).

I just don’t know how education can be effective if a small classroom is occupied by more than 55 students. Principals should see to it that students and pupils do not become sardines in can. That defeats the purpose of education in the concept of Asian Integration. What is ideal in other Asian countries should be ideal in the Philippines also.

DepEd says that K-12 Program is in full swing. We have special courses offered by selected schools. Do we have the prescribed facilities and equipment? Are our teachers trained to do the special task? We don’t want to know that the first graduates of K-12 Program are products of “mambo-jumbo.”

I admire former senator Nikki Coseteng. Two years ago, she invited me to give a two-day seminar-workshop for her secondary school teachers at Diliman Preparatory School in Quezon City. “Why should I train high school teachers in tourism?” Her answer is simple. “I want them to follow your style in Silay. If you become most outstanding and Silay could be in the hall of fame, there is no reason why Diliman Preparatory School cannot become most outstanding.”

Her dreams have come true. DPS graduates dominate the topnotch level in Manila colleges and universities. That goes to show that education should have the best ingredients. In the case of DPS, the school offers special classes in tourism, robotics, special English, and personality development.

Education starts from a school with excellent administrator (not corrupt) who has trained and inspired his teachers to become excellent pedagogues. Educators should be dreamers of the day so that they may act on their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.