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.
Congestion means overcrowding. In simple terms, there is too much in too little space or time. To avoid congestion one can either increase space or time, or reduce whatever is taking space or time. In introducing K to 12 to the Philippines, the Department of Education made the claim, "...the sad state of basic education can be partly attributed to the congested basic education curriculum." A closer examination of DepEd's K to 12, however, reveals not a decongestion, but a reduction of instructional hours across the first ten years of education.
Here are the changes for elementary school:
There is a reduction in both languages and mathematics of about 10 percent in instructional time. Below are the changes in secondary school:
Here, the decrease in instructional hours is even greater. Science, for instance suffers a 33 percent reduction. Adding two years to basic education may indeed look good on paper as a way of decongesting the curriculum. However, if the first ten yea…
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…
With the new K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines, various tracks are now offered in the last two years of basic education. The various options available obviously make it possible for students to find themselves later unprepared for the courses they decide to take in college. A student, for instance, who finishes the accounting business management (ABM) strand in the senior high school academic track, is now required to take additional courses if the student chooses to enroll in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) major in college. These additional courses which are now called "bridging programs" are either taken during the first year of college or over several weeks in the summer before college starts.
There are bridging programs in the United States, but these are different from the ones that are now appearing in colleges in the Philippines. In Coldwater High School in Michigan, for example, the "bridging program" is an option for students…