Friday, April 27, 2012
The administration’s plan is a plain insult to poor parents and students who are trying hard to make ends meet. As it is, families can barely afford to get their kids through 10 years of education. Aquino is being insensitive to the plight of majority of the Filipino people, and we may need to remind the president that unlike him, not everyone is born landlords or business tycoons.
We are aware that while there is no tuition fees being paid in public schools, there are fees and expenses that parents have to shoulder to get students through school. Last year, the government allotted only P2,502 a year, or P6.85 per student per day for education. More than P30,000-P35,000 is needed for school fees, fare and food expenses per year. Poor parents are not able to afford this as proven by the rising drop-out rates.
Addressing basic education is a matter of prioritization. Adding kindergarten and two years to high school is estimated to cost more than 100 billion pesos. On the other hand, to solve the two pressing problems, as UNESCO has advised, 6% of the GDP must be assigned to education. At the current funding (2.3% of GDP) of the Department of Education (DepEd), additional years will only lead to a greater demand for resources. Adding two years to high school essentially increases the needs of a high school by 50% – teachers, classrooms, desks, toilets, learning materials, etc. The DepEd can only answer less than half of what UNESCO deems is necessary for the 10-year basic education program. Adding two more years will stretch the budget of DepEd even further.
Instead of trying to attack the problem at the end of high school, efforts must be focused on the early years of education. This is where the dropout rate begins to escalate and these are the years where students are failing to learn as diagnosed by the standard test scores. Resources are very much needed in the first ten years of education and kindergarten and DepEd can do a better job on these years if DepEd does not have to worry about the added senior years in high school. The government should allow its citizens to work out on their own a solution for the desired two years that aim to prepare students either for college or the workforce. College preparatory schools or community colleges can do this job and TESDA could address those who are leaning towards vocational training.
During the past years, only 4 out of 10 students entering the school cycle manages to finish high school, and only one will be able to get a degree. More than 8 million Filipino school aged youth are out-of-school because of hardships.
The additional two years will mean additional burden to the poor families and will lead to more students dropping-out and more young Filipinos being deprived of their right to education.
For any overwhelming policy that involves dramatic changes and budget requirements, it is important that the policy is based on good data and statistics. The Philippines, with its financial condition, cannot afford to waste. The ten-year basic education program can work as demonstrated by a Philippine school in Qatar (see “Do Filipino schools make the grade?”. The Philippine school at Doha, Qatar participated in PISA 2009 and their scores were: Science (466), Math: (461) and Reading: (480). These scores place the Philippines near the average scores of participating countries.
It is amazing how the proponents of this program could stand firm on their twisted analysis that adding years to the current education system will solve the problem of quality.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that no matter how many years they add to education, as long as classroom to student ratio remains 1:70, as long as there are no textbooks or they are riddled with errors, as long as teachers are underpaid, and facilities remain dilapidated, no improvement in quality can be expected.
The problems concerning basic education that developing countries face are enormous and complex. A few years from now, the international donor community will look at how close governments they have funded to improve education have reached the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It is highly likely that the Philippines will not meet the second item in the MDG, universal primary education:
The K12 proponents try to further amuse the public by promising that the 12 year cycle will make the youth “employable” and that this will enable the young people get jobs. This is a ridiculous claim as the more than 500,000 college graduates annually do not manage to get jobs. There are no jobs not because there is a lack of “employable” young people but because there is no clear plan for national development which will lead to sustainable job generation.
The statements, however, expose what the real intention of the government for this project. The program is primarily designed to serve foreign needs for cheap “semiskilled” labor. The K12 project is a being pushed by foreign banks and companies for them to be able to profit by further exploiting our people.
The proponents do not deny the fact that this is in fact a foreign-recommended plan. Miguel Luz, one of the main advocates of the program, is consulting for and working for the World Bank projects in the Philippines.
Is it “matuwid” to model Filipino education system after foreign needs? Isn’t education supposed to be for the people and for national development?
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Writing lesson plans is a foremost thing that a teacher must do before executing any teaching strategy in the class. The teaching method should be adopted on the basis of certain criteria like the knowledge of the students, the environment and the set of learning goals decided in the academic curriculum.
Students respond differently to different methods of teaching. Also, the students have their unique way of demonstrating the knowledge acquired and absorbing the information that is imparted. So, to aid this process of demonstrating the knowledge, the teacher has to adopt a technique that assists the students in retaining the information and increasing their understanding. There are many teaching methods for children like questioning. modeling, demonstrating, collaborating and explaining that have been discussed here.
Teaching Methods and Strategies
We all know about the importance of higher education, so now let us learn some methods of teaching as well. Here are some of the basic teaching methods for higher education as well as for the middle education.
Testing and questioning are always known to be effective teaching methods due to its interactive nature. The questions are asked by the teacher with an intention to know what the student has learned from earlier discussions and what it helps in deciding what should be taught further.
This can be even vice-verse, students questioning the teachers to clarify the doubts that would enhance their understanding of the subject. The inquisitive instinct of the students evoke them to ask questions and satiate their query.
The teacher should encourage this in a positive way so that the student's critical thinking is developed. Testing differs in one aspect from questioning. Test is done in order to know about the previous knowledge and already taught things to the student.
Explaining is one of the very important teaching methods in education. It has taken a form of lectures in teaching methods for higher education where the teacher presents the factual information in a direct and a logical way.
Sometimes the experiences can also be shared as a part of knowledge that would work as a source of inspiration for the students. While adopting this method the teacher should give an introduction and a proper summary. Make sure that the information is specific to the audience.
The explanation should be accompanied with suitable examples for the better understanding of the students. It is like a discourse on a particular subject or topic that is for the entire class or public. Explaining can be clubbed with the modeling process to be more effective and to have a long-lasting effect on the pupils.
Modeling is a type of visual aid for teaching as well as learning. It is a known fact that human brain absorbs more and understands better when visual aid facilitates explanation. This method works on three criteria - observing, retaining and replicating. The students learn more by observing the things and acquire it by imitating it time and again.
This is also known as reinforced behavior. This type of learning has very important role to play in the learning process especially during the childhood, though it can happen in any stage of life. This helps the students to visualize the things and, then hypothesize the solution.
With the help of demonstrative teaching methods in education students get an opportunity to explore the various aspects and understand the theory from a different perspective. Demonstration is a step-by-step explanation along with their reasons and significance for the better understanding of the student. It enhances the student's understanding by practically applying the knowledge and sharpen their skills and hence, they become capable of identifying and organizing the subject matter in a more efficient way. Practical experimentation is a very good method used for demonstrating the subject.
Teamwork is a contemporary form of collaboration. The students are taught to work in a group that makes the instructing easier for the teacher. This method of teaching promotes a sense of mutual responsibility among the students. They learn to put in more effort to research for the topic and apply effective techniques to get the result.
This inculcates patience and develops an ability to critically analyze a subject. It gives an opportunity to the students to solve the problem by a healthy discussion and co-operation. This is what we call 'group discussions' which motivates the students to perform in a team, show leadership skills and enhances the presentation capabilities as well. This is one of the best direct instructional methods.
The teaching methods for special education is a little different from the teaching methods and theories for others. The education is imparted to these students based on their strengths and weaknesses. The teachers cater to the special needs of the students like modification in the regular teaching program, use of supplementary aids that allows students to participate in the learning process. Different effective teaching strategies are adopted on the basis of the disabilities. Four kinds of provisions are adopted in special education and they are inclusion, mainstream, segregation and exclusion.
Apart from these defined methods, nowadays many other teaching methods in education are being adopted to give quality education. The methods like role-play, story or games, seminars, presentations, workshops, conferences, brainstorming, case study, educational trips and modern audio-visual aids like documentary films, computers, internet, etc have been introduced in education. These new methods have increased the pace of learning and understanding. This also enhances the capability of the students to research and logically think for a given problem.