"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

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Are Public School Teachers in the Philippines Asked to Pass Everyone?

There is a year-old open letter posted in the blog Definitely Filipino that has found its way once again in social media. The letter is addressed to the secretary of education in the Philippines, Bro. Armin Luistro. Since the additional pay a teacher may receive depends on given measures, it seems that schools are tailoring its policies to game the system. For instance, performance based bonuses are fueling the need to keep dropout or retention rates in schools low. The letter therefore talks about the perception that mass promotion is encouraged in public schools in the Philippines.

Above copied from Definitely Filipino

Of course, there is no specific memorandum from the Department of Education in the Philippines that dictates mass promotion. DepEd Order No. 73. S. 2012 provides the steps that need to be taken when students fail. It is described in one short paragraph within the 125-page memo:

The following is my opinion as posted previously in this blog:
...As demonstrated in this blog through numerous articles, poorer learning outcomes correlate strongly with poverty and shortages in resources. Thus, it is only expected that failing students are going to be more common in schools that are overcrowded, under-resourced, and poorly staffed. These schools are likewise employing multiple shifts and large pupil to teacher ratios because of lack of classrooms and teachers. Thus, it is in these schools that DepEd expects teachers to find extra time to help struggling students. It is in these schools where there are not enough classrooms that low achieving students are expected to undergo remediation after class hours. It is in these schools where teachers are overworked that teachers are required to spend extra time with poor students. It is in these schools where there are gross shortages in resources that students are required to take summer classes. This only shows how seriously DepEd considers learning outcomes in its new curriculum. DepEd is not serious at all. Teachers are smart enough to see what the memo really says. If the actions required with retention are impossible then the teachers are correct in interpreting the order as mass promotion.

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