Politics in education

6 June 2017

Politics in education is an issue that presently pervades educational system in the country. The government, specifically the legislators, is inept in formulating laws that can address the crisis in the educational system. A sad reality that is happening right now is the formulation of policies with the main purpose of making our educational system at par with those in other countries, but there are no concrete guidelines as to how these are to be implemented. Most educational experts are technocrats with no experience in the field.

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Yes, their programs are good, to say the least, but because f their lack of experience in actual classroom teaching, they fail to study the application of these programs. One specific example is the Bridge Program that was implemented a few years ago. This program assessed the competency of Grade Six pupils to be promoted to High School. There were grade six pupils who scored below the passing mark that were made to repeat grade six to bridge their admission to high school. Thus, this added another year of elementary schooling.

However, after a year of its implementation, the program was stopped. Worst, teachers in the classrooms were not duly informed of the reasons for its non continuance. This is just one of the many educational programs implemented in the Philippine educational system that were not properly monitored and evaluated. This brings to a conclusion that Filipinos are only good planners but not good implementers and evaluators. As educators, what then can we do to transform the image that the educational system had propagated through the years?

As an educator, I believe that total transformation must be implemented in the education sector of the country. When I say transformation of the education sector I refer to the total re orientation of the system which would start from policy transformation. Education policies and programs, including the curriculum must be carefully evaluated and studied whether they are attuned to the needs of the people and the country. Review of the provisions must be done in all levels and participation of the stakeholders must be solicited.

Experts must be realistic in coming up with more attainable policies, that will address not only the educational problems but more so contribute to economic growth and development of the country. I also believe in the values reorientation of the Filipinos as a key to national development. The integration f values education in the curriculum, I believe is still not enough to address this need. Values become more permanent in the minds and hearts of the pupils and students when they are caught, modeled by their mentors, rather than being discussed as abstract concepts in the classrooms.

Thus, there is an urgent call for teacher transformation, in terms of their values orientation. I believe that teachers cannot become effective models of good moral values unless they undergo some process of values transformation. It is always wise to say “follow what I say and do,” rather than “follow what I say, do not follow what I do. It is only when pupils and students concretely observe their teachers consistently practice these good values that they will be able to replicate these in themselves. These, I believe is easier said than done.

But unless we start doing it, we cannot claim tried. Lastly, I believe that teachers’ transformation must include their upgrading or updating tor protessional and personal development. Even it the salary of the ordinary public school teacher had been standardized to be competitive, with the increasing economic crisis, it will still be not enough to afford them attendance to seminars, trainings and enrollment in graduate education. Hence, government support and intervention, along this line is very much needed.

Our teachers are professionals, and I believe their pre-service training had equipped them with the necessary skills to teach. Yet, with the advancement in science and technology, there is a great need for them to acquire competence in the use of these state of the art equipments to enhance their teaching skills. The government must invest on our teachers because it is through them that we train and develop the minds of our future leaders. As they say, show me your schools and I will tell you what society you will have.

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