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.
Project PEARLSis trying to help keep children in school, and improve the living conditions in the Ulingan community.
The U.S.-based nonprofit is paying the school expenses of more than 60 elementary-school and 40 nursery and kindergarten children in Ulingan, and hopes to expand that to older school children. The group also delivers hot meals every Saturday morning to more than 100 children and elderly residents, and has built a day-care and learning center to replace a makeshift plywood structure perched above a polluted body of water.
"Our ultimate goal is to eradicate child labor in Ulingan," said founder Melissa Villa, noting that children start working "as soon as they can walk" picking up nails from the burned wood.
Villa was born and raised in the Philippines before moving to the United States more than 20 years ago. She grew up only about 30 minutes from Ulingan, which means "Charcoal City" in Tagalog.
"I had grown up seeing those squatter areas, but I had never seen anything like that," Villa said of her first visit in 2010 with a photojournalist. "No electricity, no toilets, no sanitation. It's right on top of a garbage dump site."
Only the acrid smoke of burning charcoal masked the strong smell of garbage, she said. "I was overcome with grief, I knew I needed to help these kids and help these communities."
Her project now is about 18 months old, and growing. It relies largely on donations by businesses and individuals in the U.S. and Philippines.
"The children of Ulingan suffer from a host of respiratory illnesses as well as skin diseases due to living near the charcoal factories in the midst of the dumpsite," Villa said. Volunteer nurses and doctors recruited by Project PEARLS visit the site every three months.
We focus our outreach efforts in ULINGAN. Ulingan is a small slum community in Tondo, Manila that sits on a dump site and surrounded by charcoal factories that emit toxic smoke; there is no electricity, no access to toilets or sanitation. Children and families have no choice but to live with soot, garbage, mosquitoes, flies, vermin all day and all night. Children as young as three-year olds work in the charcoal factory to help their families. Our main mission is to put those children to 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 information to be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to have these numbers. These numbers may not tell everything in detail with high accuracy. Nevertheless, test results allow for a useful perspective. The National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, a set of standardized tests addressing the major subjects taught in school, is an example. These tests are given to Grade 3 where students are assessed in both English and Filipino (These two subjects comprise two thirds of the exam) and Math and Science (These two account for the remaining one third). A different set of tests is given to Grade 6 pupils where each of the following 5 subjects is assigned 40 items: (Science, Math, English, Filipino and Social Studies). Another set is administered to fourth year high school students (This is currently the last year…