"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

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Real Status of Philippine Basic Education

In science, honesty is expected. Truth is the primary value in science. One simply cannot pursue truth by presenting manipulated or selected data. When a scientist lies, a potent weapon is then handed to skeptics and deniers. Truthfulness is expected in a discipline that promises to guide programs or policies. In the realm of education, knowing what really works is necessary, but if scientists begin to lie, society becomes vulnerable to snake oil salesmen. Politicians, on the other hand, seem to be able to get away easily with lies. As an example, the president of the Philippines recently offered in his state of the nation address the case of a 19-year old as proof of success of his new K-12 program when it is quite obvious that the program would only produce its first graduate a decade from now.

Antonio Tinio like the president of the Philippines is also a politician. Tinio currently sits in Congress as party list representative of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers. Hours ago, he posted a series of six photos on Facebook. The photos came with a series of paragraphs describing how a high school in the Visayas region is delivering the new curriculum specifically its Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) component.

Above copied from Rep. Tinio's Facebook page

One of these photos (shown above) tells us that this school is currently focusing on "caregiving" in its TLE program. Tinio writes, "In Aquino's K to 12 curriculum, Filipino students at a young age are exposed to Caregiving in a foreign land as a possible career choice." Another photo (shown below) shows us the place where classes under this program are held.

Above copied from Rep. Tinio's Facebook page

Tinio, however, points out that the above classroom at least is equipped for instruction. It has a coffee maker, food processor, electric knife, electric can opener, vacuum cleaner, steam iron, electronic blood pressure monitor, and digital thermometer. It even has two microwave ovens. All of these apparently have been provided by the teacher using her own resources.

Are these likewise lies?  To answer this question, a study published in the journal Communication Research Reports may be of help. It says on its abstract,
"It is concluded that people usually deceive for a reason, that motives producing deception are usually the same that guide honesty, and that people usually do not lie when goals are attainable through honest means."
One can either show that DepEd's K to 12 is good or bad. That is the goal of a presentation. The only honest means of demonstrating either the success or problems of the K to 12 program is providing good data. In this scenario, one side clearly has no good data to show.



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