Problems and Issues in the Philippine Educational System Notes About the Problems and Issues in the Philippine Educational System: A Critical Discourse by Prof. John N. Ponsaran Colonial historiography. Most of the past and present teachers, book authors, and Social Studies consultants give heavier premium to the history of the colonizers in the Philippines, and not to the history of Filipinos. Mostly, this has been the case in the teaching of History subjects from the elementary to tertiary levels and will most likely perpetuate in the next generations to come.
The history of the Filipino people and the colonial history of the Philippines are two different topics altogether. Internationalization of the division of labor. To a certain extent, the Philippine educational system conditions its students to be skillful in arithmetic and computer literacy, fluent in foreign languages (specifically English and Nihonggo), and docile in order to serve as workers of the transnational businesses of the advanced, capitalist countries. Take the case of the call center phenomenon in the Philippines, India and other developing states.
Emasculation and demoralization of teachers. Teachers, more often than not, are victimized by the over-worked and under-paid policy of the system of the past and present dispensations. This leads to the emasculation and demoralization of their ranks. This probably explains why the teaching profession is not attracting the best and the brightest from the crop of students anymore. Expectedly, this will correspondingly result to the vicious cycle of mediocrity in education. Fly-by-night educational institutions. By any measure, the proliferation of fly-by-night educational institutions is counter-productive.
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In the long run, it produces a pool of half-baked, unprepared, and incompetent graduates. Alarmingly, the country is having an over-supply already. Some would even consider them as liabilities than assets. This case is true for both undergraduate and graduate studies. Culturally and gender insensitive educational system. Women, the common tao and the indigenous people are almost historically excluded from the Philippine historiography in favor of the men, heroes from Luzon and the power elite. Women are marginalized and trivialized even in language of education.
Take the case of the terms female lawyer (as if lawyer as a profession is exclusive only to men) and manpower (which should have been human resources or human capital to be more politically correct). State abandonment of education. In the name of imperialist globalization, the state—in an incremental fashion—is abandoning its role to subsidize public education particularly in the tertiary level. This comes in the form of matriculation, laboratory and miscellaneous fee increases in order to force state colleges and universities (SCUs) to generate their own sources of fund.
Ironically, the bulk of the budget (in fact, more than one-third in the case of 2005 National Budget) goes to debt servicing. Sub-standard textbooks. Some textbooks which are already circulation are both poorly written and haphazardly edited. Take the case of the Asya: Noon at Ngayon with an identified total number of more than 400 historical errors. Unfortunately, it is just one of the many other similar atrociously written textbooks which are yet to be identified and exposed. This is a classic case of profit-centeredness without regard to social accountability. Widespread contractualization.
In the name of profit, owners and administrators of several private schools commonly practice contractualization among their faculty members. Contractual employees unlike their regular/tenured counterparts are not entitled to fringe benefits which consequently reduces the over-all cost of their business operation. Job insecurity demeans the ranks of the faculty members. Undue disregard for specialization. Some colleges and universities encourage their faculty pool to be generalists (under the guise of multidisciplinary approach to learning) in order to be able to handle various subjects all at once.
But some faculty members have turned out to be objects of mockery and have lost their self-esteem since some of them were pushed to handle Technical Writing, General Psychology, Filipino, and Algebra at the same time. This is prevalent among some franchised academic institutions even if the subjects are already off-tangent their area of interest and specialization. Copy-pasting culture. Over-dependence to the cyberspace has dramatically reduced the capability of students (even teachers) to undertake research. Copy-pasting’ has even turned into a norm among some students whenever they are tasked to submit a research paper or even a film review. Needless to say, plagiarism has already transformed into a more sophisticated form in the context of today’s electronic age. Mcdonaldized education. The system, methodology, and even content of education in the Philippines are mere haphazard transplantation from the West. It is therefore Eurocentric, culturally insensitive, and non-reflective of the local milieu.
This is based on the xenocentric (foreign-centered) premise that other culture or system is far more superior than one’s own. The problem of non-sustainability and non-continuity. Teachers, administrators and publishers are all left in limbo whenever the DepEd would come up with another totally different directive from what it used to have in a rather very sudden interval. Take the case of the grading system, timeframe allotted to various subjects, MAKABAYAN program, readiness test, and learning competencies (LC). Poor regard for liberal art/education.
Liberal education is intended to form a holistic individual equipped with communication, critical thinking, mathematical, creative, inter-personal and intra-personal skills. This explains why we also have Philosophy, Languages, Humanities, Natural Science, Social Science, Physical Education and even Theology in our college curriculum, and not only our major subjects. The curriculum is specifically designed to produce a total person, and not only a technical specialist. Unfortunately, the desired objective is not being met at all since liberal ducation is regarded only as a set of minor subjects. With the way these subjects are being handled (taking into account both content and methodology), students view the entire exercise as an unnecessary duplication of what they have already covered in high school. Equally alarming is the lack of enthusiasm and motivation exhibited by some professors to handle the subject especially if they believe that it has nothing to do with the course or area of specialization of their students (say, Art Appreciation for Accounting majors or Algebra for Creative Writing majors).
Education a purveyor of myth. Education has been very effective in mainstreaming and perpetuating the social myths in a subtle and indirect manner. Some of these myths are the perceived superiority of white, educated men, ‘official’ history as advanced by the western point of view, globalization as the only way to achieve economic development, and stereotypes against the minoritized and the disenfranchised. Further marginalization of the undersubscribed courses.
In the name of profit and as a response to the dictates of the market forces, colleges and universities prefer to offer more courses in line with the health sciences like nursing, medical transcription, and care-giving. This is done at the expense of the already undersubscribed yet relevant courses like Area Studies, Pilipinolohiya (Philippine Studies), Development Studies, Philippine Arts, Art Studies, Community Development, Social Work, Islamic Studies, Clothing Technology, and Ceramics Engineering. Monolithic education.
Some educators in the name of conservatism and for the sake of convenience, prefer the old-style teaching paradigm where they view themselves as the fountain of knowledge and their students as nothing but empty vessels to be filled up (banking method of education). Modern education has ushered in learner-centered approach to education (from being the sage in the stage to just a guide on the side). Atrociously boring teachers. As I always underscore, there are no boring subjects, only boring teachers. But at least we should recognize them because they still serve a purpose. They serve as bad examples.
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