A reader’s view on resolving basic education

BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa - The Philippine Star

From one of our readers, Dr. Dolores G. Garcia, who describes herself as a Doctor of Education -- a retired professor with years of experience in the administration and teaching at basic education, college and graduate school levels, is a lengthy letter that should provide some inputs for the new Secretary of Education.

Following are excerpts from her letter offering help in resolving some of the problems confronting our basic education system. Please read on:

“The immense value our people and our government entrusts to our educational system for our country’s survival, productivity, and progress clearly reflects the high expectations and benefits our young learners can gain from established objectives and standards of teaching and learning in our schools.

“Thus, it was with widespread alarm and disappointment that news was received regarding the poor performance of our Filipino students in the 2018 Program on International Assessment (PIA) in the key areas of Reading, Mathematics, and Science.

“Worse, our students suffered from comparison with their counterparts in the Southeast Asian neighbors from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. The shock and condemnation could not change nor correct the reality of such failure. Remedies through corrective plans must be drafted and implemented to escape from such predicament.

“Fortunately, legal and official measures were not long in forthcoming. Among the planned solutions is Republic Act 11713, which former president Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on April 27. Known as the Excellence in Teacher Education, the act seeks to improve the quality of teacher education in our country.

“Several years before, the Department of Education (DepEd) adopted the Governance of General Education Act of 2001 [that] prescribed values our students must learn to become caring, self-reliant, productive, socially aware, patriotic, and responsible citizens.

“The supportive (2002 Basic Education Curriculum or BEC) envisions a curriculum that shall promote the holistic growth of Filipino learners. Thus, this curriculum is planned to be flexible to meet the needs of diverse students, and is relevant to their immediate environment and social and cultural realities.

Aspiring BEC success

“Several plans and proposals have been offered to insure the success and productive outcomes of the 2002 BEC [that] were developed by established authorities in education, research, and related fields. Some of these are listed below, reproduced or paraphrased:

“A. Plans on learning how to learn:

“Filipino students must be taught to filter information critically, seek credible sources of knowledge, and use facts wisely so that they can overcome poverty and raise their personal and national self-esteem.

“Filipino students must learn how to learn, gain lifelong learning to meet the challenges in a rapidly changing world.

“Formal education curriculum must be less prescriptive and flexible to meet the needs of learners from such diverse communities as traditional oral communities, traditional subsistence communities, Muslim Filipinos, and lowland Christians – rural and urban; (and)

“The curriculum must be decongested, the less essential subjects reduced so that the teachers and students can devote time to the teaching and learning of basic skills in reading and communication, and to understanding basic mathematical and scientific concepts suggested by research on student learning.

“B. Suggestions on how to teach:

“First, there must be two-way interaction and collaboration between teacher and students, among students, and among teachers of different subjects/disciplines for collaborative teaching.

“The ideal teacher must be a facilitator of learning, must give up the role of sole provider of concepts and information.

“The ideal teacher guides students to process and evaluate information instead of treating them as receivers of facts and answers.

“Students must be taught to consult different sources of information from the environment, from news broadcast, radio and television programs, from workers, and other sources of information; (and)

“Teachers must make clear that textbooks cannot serve as lessons, nor replace multiple sources of information.

Going beyond administrative design

“Our students’ poor performance in the 2018 PIA strongly indicate that plans for improving our country’s education system must go beyond administrative design in order to insure quality education in our schools.

“The 2002 (BEC) must be translated and transformed into teaching and learning classroom interactions in order to promote the attainment of educational learning goals.

“The following are a few established guidelines for work on curriculum and instruction obtained from a reference source book. A study program or curriculum whether for a day, a month, or for a complete school term must be guided by the educational objectives (that) give direction to the content, activities, teaching strategies and other elements of curriculum.

“Knowledge is regarded as an outcome of learning as well as a guide to new additional learning. What one learns depends on what he/she brings to the learning situation.

“In assessing the extent of learning students achieve, educational objectives serve as criteria for evaluation. Thus, tests are useful in determining whether or not, and to what extent (learning) stated in education objectives (is) attained.

“On their part, teachers must be professionally prepared to promote student thinking by encouraging analysis, problem solving and reasoning, in regular classroom lessons.

“Teachers can create a culture of thinking by promoting inquisitiveness and creative thinking and assuming, expecting what pupils/students will learn and understand.

“Decisions reached at the central (DepEd) will need the support and collaboration of consultants and qualified regional officials who can capably and flexibly provide for and promote the implementation of the (BEC) relevant to socio-cultural, geographic, and unique environmental circumstances in each different Philippine region.”

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Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at [email protected]. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.


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