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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Solon doubts “zero backlog” in teachers, classrooms
Despite proud announcements from the Aquino administration of a “zero backlog” in teachers and classrooms, ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio lamented that public school children will still be facing severe shortages in these basic inputs this school year.
According to Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro, the teacher and classroom shortages will be erased “by the end of 2013″ with the help of interventions from local governments, the private sector, and foreign assistance.
DepEd and administration officials told media that the teacher shortage was 145,000 in 2010, with 36,923 hired as of February and 61,510 others to be hired starting this month. Since 2010, government has constructed a total of 33,956 classrooms, which is still short of the total backlog of 66,800 classroom.
“In short, despite DepEd’s ‘zero backlog’ claims, there will be a shortage of 46,567 teacher items and 32,844 classrooms when public schools open on Monday,” said Tinio.
Tinio noted that DepEd continues to rely on 35,449 volunteer Kindergarten teachers, 4,828 mobile teachers and ALS coordinators, and 49,530 teachers funded by local governments, majority of whom are paid less than their DepEd-funded counterparts and have no benefits or job security.
“Government cannot claim that the teacher shortage has been addressed when it relies on 89,807 contractual and grossly exploited teachers, who are paid far below the minimum wage with no benefits and no job security.”
Government also touted as gains the outputs of PPP for School Infrastructure Project, most of which will not be realized by end of 2013. Its Phase I (for schools in Regions I, III, and IV-A) was awarded to two companies just last year while Phase II has yet to begin with the submission of bid documents on June 17.
“Nasa hangin pa lang ang classrooms na ito kaya mismong mga Division ng DepEd ay nag-uulat na para ‘resolbahin’ ang nananatiling classroom shortages, mapipilitan silang magdagdag ng shifts, mag-klase sa ‘non-classroom spaces’ gaya ng mga library o stage, at mas lalo pang palakihin ang class sizes.” ###
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…