A blog that tackles issues on basic education (in the Philippines and the United States) including early childhood education, the teaching profession, math and science education, medium of instruction, poverty, and the role of research and higher education.
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"Buwisit" in Philippine Education
The website "Tagalog Lang" traces the Tagalog word "buwisit" to the Fukien Chinese phrase "bo ui sit", which means no clothes or food. Food and clothing are among the basic needs of a human. Thus, a word associated with a lack of these necessities is as empty as a promise made by a politician in the Philippines. It is as empty as the reforms in education currently being forced upon schools in the country. It is just appropriate that Pinoy Weekly's Pher Pasion uses the word for the title of a recent article:
The above discusses the shift in the school calendar in most of the campuses of the University of the Philippines. The shift is in preparation for the coming integration among members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). As described in a previous article on this blog, "When Should the School Year Begin and End", changing the school calendar year is not necessary. On top of just wasting time and causing aggravation, the shift may even harm students because most facilities are not equipped with air conditioning which is badly needed during the hot dry and summer months in the Philippines. Pher Pasion therefore uses the word "buwisit" appropriately and the following protester simply highlights the emptiness in the directions being laid out by education reformers/leaders in the Philippines:
Simbolo ng pagtutol ng mga mag-aaral at propesor sa calendar shift. Pher Pasion -
The above represents the objection of students and professors to the calendar shift. The calendar shift after reducing to its very essence does not really hold any substance or value. Here are some of Pasion's arguments. Similar to K+12, copying other countries is provided as one justification. Unfortunately, the countries where universities may work or partner with the Philippines like Japan, Korea and Australia do not have the calendar year targeted by the current shift in the Philippines. Most importantly, there are so many other issues that require our attention. The calendar year is as high of a priority as writing standards or a curriculum. These are simply not the factors that define quality in education. People choose to discuss these items because these are a lot easier to comprehend and digest. And here I am thinking that I am the one who is "purely theoretical". The reason why education in the Philippines is facing serious challenges is not in the "drawing plan". It is fully explained by what is happening on the ground. "Neither clothes nor food" - that is all education policy makers in the Philippines have to offer, simply "Kabuwisitan".
People have strong opinions about almost anything and the issue of education is no exception. How these opinions have been formed needs to be examined. This is what good research does. It informs and guides. A myriad of factors influence education and oftentimes, these factors are not independent from each other. Factors interact, sometimes these add, and other times, these subtract. General notions therefore need to be carefully drawn. Writing articles on education can also be quite challenging. When problems in basic education involve an inability to think critically, it is difficult to reach the audience and convey the correct message. Oftentimes, sarcasm is lost so such style of writing needs to be avoided. For people who are convinced of their wisdom and understanding of how education works, profound messages from basic research can be often easily lost.
TANONG: ANO ANG KTO12 PROGRAM? SAGOT: Ang Kto12 Program ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ay tumutukoy sa pagkakaroon ng mandatory o required na kindergarten at karagdagang 2 taon sa dating 10-year Basic Education Cycle. Kung noon, pagkatapos ng anim na taon sa elementarya at apat na taon sa hayskul (kabuuang 10 taon) ay maaari nang makapagkolehiyo ang mga estudyante. Sa ilalim ng Kto12, bago makapagkolehiyo, kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa karagdagang 2 taon pagkatapos ng apat na taong hayskul. Sa bagong sistema, tinatawag na senior high school o junior college ang karagdagang 2 tao…
There is a reason why scholarships often come with a stipend. A government scholarship after all is an investment made by the public on a promising student. These awards are meant to support the student in every possible way. Without a stipend, a student may not be able to concentrate on his or her studies if such student is still forced to earn a living. Therefore, it goes without saying that the recipients will rely on this stipend to meet their basic needs. After all, it is not a "luxury allowance" but a "living allowance". When I started college, I was rudely awakened to bureaucratic incompetence. As a scholar, I was counting on the monthly allowance for my daily expenses. But months after the first day of school, there was no sign of such an allowance. It was delayed. Without a living wage and a stipend, it is no wonder that some bright people still find themselves buried in debt.
With the transition to the new K+12 curriculum in the Philippines, teachers in…