TROUBLED with the outcome of PISA evaluation in 2018, the Department of Education launched KITE to shoot up the students’ performance within the bounds of an aspiring mission “No Filipino Child Left Behind.”
Former senator Manny Villar was farsighted for Filipino literacy when he authored the “No Filipino Child Left Behind Act of 2010,” so that by 2014 all Filipinos at the precise age has to complete elementary education; and by 2018 must have completed high school education.
Nine years later, the lady senator Cynthia Villar hit the nail in saying “disband low-quality schools and give incentives to high-performing schools.”
Performance here must be defined not by ink but of output!
Honestly, DepEd echelons are receiving misleading reports of how the people on the ground performed. The report says, no dropouts, no one failed. But the truth of the matter is that, a lot of teachers were bridled and pushed against their conscience to give high marks to non-deserving learners because of the pressure coming from their direct supervisors.
No dropouts: Even if a child is no longer attending the classes for a long period of time, the student should never be dropped once listed in the Learners Information System (LIS) of DepEd. So the learner has a privilege to enroll to the next level by the next school year, even without completing the requirements in the current level.
No one failed: There are a lot of third-grader learners who cannot read even a three-letter-word, yet getting an average mark not below 80 in second grading and given an increment of 2 per grading period. Why? Because once a teacher fails a learner, his or her performance will dive and so with the corresponding performance bonuses, without taking into account the 40 learners in a class of varied background!
In effect, we are producing low quality education because the pressured teacher is incapable to give grades according to the actual performance of the learner. This is the misapplication of the credo “No Filipino Child Left Behind.”
The worst thing we know is that there are learners who reached grade seven and even higher yet cannot comprehend a simple sentence, and that is what the PISA is telling us.
K-I-T-E as an aggressive reform under “Sulong Edukalidad” is another stride to neaten the department. (1) K to 12 review and updating, (2) Improvement of learning facilities, (3) Teachers and school heads’ upskilling and reskilling through a transformed professional development program; and (4) Engagement of all stakeholders for support and collaboration.
If I may suggest, in implementing “T” of KITE, the DepEd district level must first conduct a surgical audit, an actual reading assessment; and reconcile with the actual grade given by the teachers to weight whether or not a learner should pass. And from that actual assessment, upskilling and reskilling through “transformed professional development “program becomes operative.
Doing so is praiseworthy rather than contented of waving their two hands, the left and the right; and holding up high so clean and bright. They even clap among themselves in a cadence of one, two, and three; that their little hands are good to see, yet all were impracticable.
We hope with KITE, the quality of our education will soar high to the maximum limit of the thread under the DepEd’s steadfast principle that “Honesty is the Best Policy.”