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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DepEd Plans to Teach Students How to Spot Illicit Drug Pushers
Within just a few days of a new executive branch in the Philippines, basic education is tasked to help solve a growing drug abuse problem in the country. It is indeed tempting to throw every problem at schools since it is believed to have the widest reach. President Duterte apparently has ordered a drug literacy program starting at fourth grade. It is not clear whether such move is based on evidence. Such program may just be another wild guess added to a curriculum that is already lacking support from research. Although an accumulation of knowledge is certainly important in basic education, drug abuse is one area where evidence suggests that teaching life skills may be more effective. Humans have a natural tendency to find meaning or purpose in life. In Turkey, for instance, Eyrilmax reports in the paper, "Meaning of life-setting life goals: comparison of substance abusers
and non-abusers" (Turkish Psychological Counseling and Guidance Journal, 5(42), 235–243), that youth who do not use illicit drugs tend to have a purpose in life and have found meaning from their environment. Philippines' DepEd secretary Leonor Briones is taking quite a different angle. She is quoted by The Inquirer, “The composition is more from the science point of view—its impact on the body but not so much on the practical matters.” Briones then raises the importance of teaching children how to spot drug pushers.
It is true that I have not been in the Philippines for quite some time but I highly doubt that drug pushers in the Philippines are now going out of their way to get young children addicted to drugs. Drug use is about peers. It is something social. Drug abuse is also associated with dropping out of school or at least, not attending classes. The youth are essentially not attracted to illegal drug just because of some pusher's advertisement. The youth oftentimes actively seek drugs so that they could have a sense of belonging. A school that lacks a sense of community, a school that fails to show a caring attitude toward children, a school that does not promote academic achievement, these are the real drug pushers.
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…