ONE basic defect of the systems of education is the fact that it changes according to the objectives of the appointed Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd).
There is the saying "Bagong Hari; Bagong Ugali." This became detrimental when the programmed system of the secretary never saw its completion at the end of his/ her term. Was it accomplished? More often, it is not accomplished so we cannot gauge its success and effectivity.
The most recent example of this is the K to 12 Basic Education Plan. It saw its completion last year and there were many setbacks observed. This Plan includes 2 years of Kinder, 4 years Primary, 2 years of Intermediate, 2 years of High School, and the last are Junior level and lastly, Senior level taking the place of the traditional first and second years level of the university for a Bachelor’s degree.
The last two levels of the K to 12 are aimed to make the students fitted to have a job, to earn money. This level is termed as the Tech Voc levels. The students are requested to choose the course which they want to pursue. Examples of these are Culinary, Home Economics, IT course, HRM.
The school is supposed to have all facilities ready for students in the last two levels. What happened was the schools were not ready to provide these special demands to take the place of the classrooms.
This is an example of the OJT (on-the-job trainees) in the traditional system. What happened was we have the perfect implementation of the plans; but there was only one set of buildings expected to accommodate numerous students.
The students graduated with an insufficient time to effectively learn. They were all half baked that the places where they got employed complained of the inefficiency in doing their job. This is the situation right now and we are all waiting for the solutions to the problems.
I foresaw more problems also. Added to lack of facilities above is this.
The two years in the Bachelor's degree courses in the university are idle, no enrollees and the teachers are jobless. They encourage the teachers to train for a faculty position in the last 2 years of the K to 12 plan. Whew! This is really a mess.
Another problem was the textbooks published exclusively for the new plan have so many errors according to an expert reviewer. We are at this stage and we are at a loss. Why did this happen? The persons who made the K to 12 plan lacked the efficient future plans for their feasibility in short and long range plans of eventualities and how to prevent problems or solve them. I was really not so convinced of this plan and now I am seeing it.
The current system from kinder to intermediate, to high school, to University levels, to Masteral and Doctorate post graduate levels were doing well. There is again the saying - why fix or change a system when it was working well. I am glad the present Dep Ed Secretary is doing well with her plans. I had written about this in my past column.
Another issue I would like to mention here is about a perennial problem especially with the public school teachers. It is about their salary of about 8,000 to 10,000 a month. This is not enough to maintain a Family's livelihood. Some try to augment by selling food to their students. This was banned so they had to stop.
Imagine, I read that they will have a 2,000 pesos increase but this will still happen in 2020. The private schools are better here where teachers earn more and are increased regularly based on initiatives and efficiency.
Concerning the teachers' tests- The LET taken by all teachers is commendable. It is the license for educating test. The DepEd also requires teachers to attend workshop to improve their craft. They are required to take special courses to be acquainted with new trends in effective teaching.
I read in a news feed one veteran model teacher writing about the teachers' woe on this new CPL law. Teachers should take the Continuing Professional Development Act (RA 10812. The fees are stiff and the teacher just decided to stop teaching with regrets. The TDC (The Teachers Dignity Coalition) urged the government to spare teachers from this burdensome CPD Law.
When the UP, Diliman students rallied against the Chacha plan, the President proclaimed that they can stay out of school and he is planning the bright Lumad students to get the benefit of studying at UP.
Actually, nothing is wrong with this but in all my past columns where I campaigned for educational opportunities for the indigenous tribes, I emphasized the creation of curricula befitting their traditions, beliefs and modes of living to best equip them for a better life. It may be a good idea for the bright Lumads to study in UP. They can synthesize their learning and gain from it.
This issue also raises awareness on the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Act which gives full tuition to students in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs); local universities and colleges and Vocational schools.
There is free tuition in all the 112 SUCs including Medicine and Education. The progress of a country is based on the level of literacy the people have gained.
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