Monday, August 9, 2010

Increase the school years? Or increase the quality of education?

Increase the school years? Or increase the quality of education?

Headlines burst out saying that the current education secretary was proposing adding to more years to Basic Education meaning 12 years. Among the reasons stated were the following: 1. additional enhancements in skill sets for employment, preparing them for college (academically), and making our students globally competitive.

Laudable if the government has enough resources to begin with considering the public knowledge that the government budget was siphoned by the previous administration (according to the present president). For an educator sitting at the helm of Government and the agency tasked to formulate and oversee guidelines in implementation of educating the hope of tomorrow; that's a big job.

But it seems that the present education secretary has been sitting in an ivory tower to start talking about immediate curriculum revisions, adding another year; and wasting the time of curriculum developers in order to make a wishlist of the best educational system he can dream of.

In the 80's we were sitting in a class of 20, in the 90's in a class of 40, now i guess a class of 60-70 is an average class in public schools. Add to this fewer classrooms, fewer teachers, books, chairs and even classroom time. More time is spent on the average by every kid on DOTA than the class room. Gone are the days when one goes to school for 8 hours a day.

The education secretary should've considered all of this before jumping the gun on the wrong issue to be addressed. Considering that our curriculum is defective; how can one see the proposed remedies and solutions if one does not answer the basic question of adequacy. The basic adequeties such as classrooms,armchairs, books,teachers and classroom time.

Activists have been critical of previous administrations for lack of attention to education on the basics that we have previously mentioned has been on the banner stories whenever the opening of classes would come in; and would always be the rallying cry of every youth leader marching the streets.

The emergence of a so-called people's mandate who was elected for president meant he would be selecting the best minds to make the first steps towards recovery and healing of this nation.

Would that decision mean that we will have better equipped public schools? Or an error that would make the parents and students suffer for 12 years?

The answer lies before your eyes.

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