Thursday, September 29, 2016

No more homework

A small but growing number of elementary schools and individual teachers are doing away with the after-school chore to allow kids more time to play, participate in activities, spend time with families, read and sleep.

There’s been pushback against homework from parents in recent years who say their children’s time is monopolized by other activities, said Steven Geis, president of the National Elementary School Principals’ Association.

At North Trail Elementary School, in Farmington, Minnesota, where he is principal, students do what he says is engaging homework.

Some schools and individual teachers are revising their homework policies to ensure that they are effective, he said.

At the Orchard School, a kindergarten-through-5th grade school in South Burlington, Vermont, the principal there said he’s seen more anxiety among students in the last decade. The school opted to do away with homework this school year, based in part on the book “The Homework Myth.”

“They’re just kids. They’re pretty young and they just put in a full day’s shift at work and so we just don’t believe in adding more to their day. We also feel that we are squashing their other passions and interest in learning,” Principal Mark Trifilio said.

Alfie Kohn, the outspoken education lecturer and author of the book, “The Homework Myth,” says homework is a case of all pain and no gain.

“The disadvantages of homework are clear to everyone: exhaustion, frustration, loss of time to pursue other interests and often diminution of interest in learning,” he said. “Homework may be the greatest extinguisher of curiosity ever invented.”

But Harris Cooper, a psychology and neuroscience professor at Duke University, who has been studying the effects of homework for 30 years, disagrees.

He thinks all school children should be doing homework, but the amount and type should vary depending on age and developmental levels.

Cooper led research that reviewed more than 60 studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 and found that homework had a positive effect on student achievement, but the positive correlation was much stronger for students in grades 7-12 than for those in elementary school.

He prescribes homework assignments that are short, simple and lead to success for elementary school kids, he said.

It teaches kids that they don’t just learn in the classroom and helps turn them into lifelong learners while improving their sense of independence, and time management and study skills, Cooper said.

“Homework is like medicine. If you take too little, it does nothing. If you take too much, it can kill you,” Cooper said. “You’ve got to get the dose right, and if you do, it can do wonders.”

A lot of the backlash is a reaction to some teachers assigning too much homework, he said.

A guideline for many schools is 10 minutes of homework per grade: so 10 minutes in 1st grade, 20 minutes in 2nd grade and so on.

“We definitely don’t say ‘no homework’ but we try to keep it reasonable,” said Cherie Stobie, principal at the K-8 Marion school in Marion, Montana.

“The main benefit is just having the additional time to practice later in the day because research shows that if students practice, you know they take a break after they’ve learned something and they practice it again later, it’s more likely to be retained,” she said.

Noelle M. Ellerson, of AASA: The School Superintendents Association, said there has been a small but growing number of schools or teachers revising homework policies or talking about it “whether it’s to do away with it or to shift to a policy where homework is the classwork they didn’t finish during the day or where the homework of the child is to read with their parents.”

At the Orchard School, the children’s daily home assignment now is to read books, get outside and play, eat dinner with family — including helping with setting and cleaning up — and get a good night’s sleep.

“It’s awesome,” 9-year-old Avery Cutroni said of the no-homework policy. She had dance and piano lessons after school recently, so said she had a busy schedule. Plus, she’s reading more on her own, her mother said.

“I think it gives kids a lot time for mental and physical rest which I think is super important,” said Heidi Cutroni, of the school’s elimination of homework. “I think it’s really good for parent-teacher-student relations in all directions and I think it just gives kids a chance to use their time for what their passionate and excited about.”


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bill doubling public teachers’ monthly base pay

“Teachers are a special breed and to teach is a special calling. One writer once said, ‘Students are actually better off in a bad school with an excellent teacher, than in excellent school with a bad teacher,’” he said in an event in celebration of the National Teachers’ Month.

The senator has also filed a bill that seeks to provide grants and scholarship with return of service agreements to academic and non-academic personnel to upgrade their qualification through masteral, doctoral or post-graduate studies.

There is a need, he said, to retrain teachers “to meet the instructional aptitude needed to teach an entirely new curriculum provided under the K-to-12 program.”

Angara said the scholarships and grants will also attract new teachers and researchers to the higher education sector.

“I think every teacher realizes deep in their heart that they are not doing this for personal glory or for personal riches but definitely, to leave a legacy. Ito ang nag-iisang propesyon kung saan nasusukat ang kanilang tagumpay sa tagumpay ng iba (This is the only profession wherein its victory is measured by the success of others),” the senator further said.

Angara, a known advocate of educational reforms, said Senate Bill 61 aims to upgrade the minimum salary grade (SG) level of teachers from SG 11 to 19, “nearly doubling their current monthly base pay from P18,549 to P33,859.”

“As we celebrate our teachers’ role in the society and nation building—most especially as molders of our children’s future—we should also give priority to the welfare of our hardworking teachers,” the senator said in a statement on Friday.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Survival Sex in Iloilo City

A survey conducted by Mass Communication students of the West Visayas State University among 100 taxi drivers in Iloilo City showed a high incidence of premarital sex among college and high school students, and even among elementary pupils.

A report on "Survival Sex in Iloilo City" by Professor Ma. Rosario Victoria de Guzman during a City Council committee hearing also showed the rampant survival sex for pay, especially during midterm and finals seasons.

The hearing was conducted by the City Council committee on women and family relations chaired by Councilor Dylee Zulueta Salazar, Task Force on Moral Recovery chaired by George Duron, City Health Office, and City Social Welfare and Development.

The committee is drafting an ordinance regulating the operation of lodging houses, motels, inns and other similar establishments in Iloilo City and providing mechanism therefore and other purposes.

Zulueta Salazar said the committee is gathering inputs to be incorporated in the proposed regulation ordinance.

Based on the survey, De Guzman said that 65 percent of those who frequent lodging houses are students of the same age level, 14 percent are of same age as their father, and 10 percent are of grandfather age.

Majority are students who frequent the places with age bracket of 12 to 24 years old, she said.

The survey report also showed that in one week, 63 taxi drivers brought the students to Katrina Lodge, 45 drivers to Anita, 44 to The Q, 43 to Sofia Lodge, 39 to Green Dragon Lodge, 31 to Queens Court, and eight to Moonlight Lodge.

Mostly wearing civilian clothes, the students or those going to the lodging houses have pick-up points in the vicinity of the University of Iloilo, Iloilo Doctors College, plazas, Arroyo St., Mabini St., Small Ville complex and the White House in Baluarte, Molo district.

see details at :

Students engaging in ‘survival sex’ is a clear manifestation of a commercialized education system in the Philippines, according to Anakbayan Panay.

“We cannot deny the fact that some people sell their bodies to pay for their needs but students engaging in ‘survival sex’ to pay the high cost of tuition and other school fees collected by the schools especially as final exam approaches clearly manifests a commercialized Philippine education system ,” said Bryan Bosque, Anakbayan Panay Spokesperson.

According to a research by West Visayas State University College of Communications Professor Ma. Rosario Victoria de Guzman, more students in Iloilo City are engaging in ‘survival sex’.

“In the middle of this issue, the government is doing nothing to take action. Commercialization of education is perpetuated by the government to neglect its financial responsibility and pave the way to privatize education and leave the fate of the students to private educational capitalists that increases tuition fees and other school fees at unprecedented rate which forces students to engage in anti-social activities such as ‘survival sex’ or even commits suicide,” Bosque added.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said, “What we can do is, probably, to hold a meeting with all the owners of lodging houses and motels in the city and remind them of minor checking in at their respective motels.

story :

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Mamasapano issue

Former President Fidel V. Ramos issued a statement on the Mindanao peace process and enumerated what he believes are the possible reasons behind Sunday's bloodshed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Ramos, who founded the police Special Action Force as chief of the Philippine Constabulary in 1983, found the irreparable loss of 44 commandos in Mamapasano town needless as the operation's targets are yet to be confirmed dead.

"The intended mission of the SAF contingent was to capture Malaysian Zulkifli Abdul Hir (also known as Marwan) and Filipino Basit Usman, both notorious terrorists," Ramos said. "Ironically, it has not been confirmed if these wanted criminals were fully accounted for."

"It is ... clear that the tragic happening was a combination of these factors," he said.

  • Inadequate confidence-building measures (CBMs) among the civilian-military-police stakeholders
  • Poor or lack of coordination
  • Faulty written SOPs and rules of engagement
  • Slipshod monitoring of the existing "ceasefire"
  • Between maneuver and fire support elements, lack of teamwork
  • Poor unit troop leadership
  • Poor tactical intelligence
  • Lack of sincerity to pursue peace on the part of the MILF
  • Inadequate command guidance from the higher commander
  • Poor strategic direction from the Commander-in-Chief

Ramos also said government peace negotiators should have consulted retired military and police officers who were assigned in Mindanao.

The Mamasapano operation—which involved nearly 400 PNP-SAF members—took a bloody turn. Some 44 elite cops were killed, while 12 were wounded in clash against members of the MILF.

According to MILF chief peace negotiator Mohaquer Iqbal the bloody clash erupted due to "the lack of coordination between the police and the proper governing bodies."

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Maipagmamalaki talaga ang edukasyon sa Pilipinas. Patunay nito ang pagpasok ng mga dayuhang mag-aaral sa ating bansa para makapag-aral. Nakatutuwang isipin na sa dinarami-raming magagaling na paaralan sa buong mundo ay ang inang bayan pa natin ang napili nila. Ano ba talaga ang meron sa edukasyong pinoy?  O ano ba talaga ang maipagmamalaki ng pinoy pagdating sa ganitong usapin?

Bigyang diin natin ang mga kapatid nating koreanong nag-aaral sa Pilipinas. Tingin nyo, bakit ang bansa natin ang napili nila? Simpleng tanong na may simpleng sagot, pero may malalim na pag-unawa.

Masasabi bang, dahil mura ang edukasyon dito? O dahil, maganda talaga ang sistema ng edukasyon satin? Madali lang sagutin ang tanung ko, kung pag-iisipan mo! Di na kailangan patanung pa sa iba dahil proweba na ang kanilang pagpunta. Isipin mo man ng may duda, makita naman ang ibedensya.

Nung una, maraming nagtataka satin kung bakit may ibang lahi sa ganito o ganyang paaralan, maiintindihan ba nila yung tinuturo dito? Tanung na kahit yung iba satin dati ay di alam ang kasagutan. Pero ngayong mga panahon, kahit sino yata alam na ang dahilan. Sa totoo lang, napakalaking tulong sa iba nating kababayan ang kanilang pag-iistay sa lupain natin. May mga nalilikhang trabaho para sating lahat, at kapalit nito ay ang pagbibigay ng ating mga kaalaman sa kanila, pagdating sa edukasyon at iba pang aspekto. Nakikita natin yung pagtutulungan ng bawat isa pagdating sa lahat ng bagay, pagbibigay ng kaalaman at tulong, at magandang samahan sa iisang bansa.

Ano man ang dahilan ng kanilang pananatili sa ating bansa, isa sila sa mga dahilan kung bakit ang Pilipinas ay nananatili sa kanyang dapat kalagyan sa aspekto ng edukasyon. Dahil hanggang ngayon, pinagkakatiwalaan ang ibang lahi ang edukasyong sa Pilipinas. At sana mapukaw din tayo ng kanilang determinasyong ipagmalaki at ikarangal ang Pilipinas pagdating sa ganitong usapin.

Marami mang hirap ang pinagdadaanan ng dalawang lahi, makikita ang magagandang dulot sa bawat isa at ito ay ang pag-unlad ng bawat indibidwal. Dapat nga ipagsigawan ang lahing ating pinagmulan, dahil tayo ang perlas ng silangan. Huwag ding kalimutan, ang nagbigay ng kaganapan sa ating mga buhay. SIYA lang ang tunay na  nakakaalam.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago wants the Senate president to shut up!

This comes after Enrile made a new allegation that Trillanes' contacts included a Chinese military intelligence officer from Chinese embassy.

Enrile cited a new "reliable source" apart from Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Sonia Brady, whose notes about the dispute between Philippines and China over Scarborough Shoal had been revealed in a Senate plenary session last week.

"The question is why did the senate president obtain a copy of that report, which was not meant for him and how did he manage to do that?" Santiago said.

"That must never be revealed. You will never tell our antagonist or the other country who is having difference with us on any foreign policy. These are basic principles of international negotiation," she added.

The female senator expressed fear that the Chinese government might take advantage of Trillanes' tiff with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"It always the best procedure when there is a perceived confusion such as this is for everybody to zip up your mouth. Nobody should talk," the feisty Senator says of Enrile, who still freely talks about the alleged "real story" behind Senator Antonio Trillanes' back-channel negotiations with China.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Philippine universities among world's best English-teaching schools

Ateneo de Manila University posted the highest rating of all Philippine schools, ranking 24th in English language and literature. University of the Philippines ranked 32 while De La Salle University ranked 44th.

World-renowned universities in the United Kingdom and the United States took the top five spots (in this order): Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford, Yale and University of California Berkeley.

In a statement sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, QS said the country's specialist strength in the English language was affirmed in results of its latest World University Rankings by Subject, an index that rates universities across 29 disciplines.

Three Philippine Universities are among the top 50 universities in the world when it comes to teaching English according to a new survey by the London-based research and ratings firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

The specialist strengths of Philippine universities in English language and literature are clearly shown in these rankings. The country should be proud of their achievements," Ben Sowter, QS research chief, said in the statement sent to the Inquirer.

The Philippines rated in only one other discipline, with UP placing within the 101-150 bracket in Geography.

QS ranked schools on 29 subjects ¿based on academic reputation, employer reputation, and citations per paper," QS said.

Amid strong showing in English, Philippine universities have been slipping in world rankings in the past few years.