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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Schools Need Adults
"For every seven adults a neighborhood adds, one fewer young person leaves school", Jonathan F. Zaff and Thomas Malone conclude in their paper, "Who’s Minding the Neighborhood?". It is a correlation they find after comparing a neighborhood's school dropout rate and the adult to youth ratio. This correlation is not surprising since children generally need both support and guidance. Developing nations like the Philippines currently have a "young population". A young population of course correlates with serious challenges in basic education as resources, teachers, and other necessary inputs are stretched to their limits. What is remarkable is such correlation is still found at a more granular level.
Above are maps for Kansas City and its suburbs. The first map is colored according to the percentage of young people not enrolled in school and not employed. Reddish brown and red are for 15 percent and higher while yellow is for under 5 percent. The second map, likewise of the same region, is colored according to the adults to youth ratio. The darker shades of blue are for districts that have 4 or more adults per youth. Comparing these two maps, it is obvious that dark colored regions do not overlap. Thus, at this level, one can still easily see the correlation between having less adults per youth and the percentage of out-of-school youth.
These vividly bring before our eyes one of the major challenges basic education faces in developing countries like the Philippines. Drawing higher standards for learning, revising curriculum, adding years to basic education, administering standardized tests, and adopting merit pays for teachers are among the favorite means by which school systems try to improve education. Unfortunately, all of these measures evidently do not address the problem of simply not having enough the support or guidance our children need because there are too many children per adult.
This is simply one of the many instances that plainly demonstrate that major challenges education systems face are often outside the school.
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…