"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Perverted Assignment of Roles

Imagine this scenario: A physician spends his time and effort finding funds to support the infrastructure and meet the operating expenses of a hospital that answers to the healthcare needs of poor indigenous people while the government takes the role of determining what medical advice, treatments and procedures should be given. This would be considered absurd in the medical field yet this is the current predicament of basic education in the Philippines.

The following is a post on Facebook from a member of Congress in the Philippines:

This is not the spirit of bayanihan (communal unity and cooperation). Instead, this is a demonstration of a perverted assignment of roles. Teachers are supposed to spend their energy and time teaching children. Teachers know their students so they must be the ones deciding what needs to be taught. Teachers need the ability and responsibility to decide how they should teach. Teachers are the ones in a much better position to choose learning materials as well as strategies. Teachers need not be told how to assess their students with memos that dictate up to the second decimal place how grades should be assigned. It is the government which takes taxes from its citizens that should be responsible for ensuring that resources are available for education. A government which takes enormous loans from foreign banks or institutions should be the one building classrooms. Yet, in the Philippines, the government seems more preoccupied in dictating how students should be taught instead of making sure that classes could be held. It is indeed heartbreaking. Sadly, it is also mind-boggling that we do not see what is really wrong....

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