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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"Buwisit" in Philippine Education
The website "Tagalog Lang" traces the Tagalog word "buwisit" to the Fukien Chinese phrase "bo ui sit", which means no clothes or food. Food and clothing are among the basic needs of a human. Thus, a word associated with a lack of these necessities is as empty as a promise made by a politician in the Philippines. It is as empty as the reforms in education currently being forced upon schools in the country. It is just appropriate that Pinoy Weekly's Pher Pasion uses the word for the title of a recent article:
The above discusses the shift in the school calendar in most of the campuses of the University of the Philippines. The shift is in preparation for the coming integration among members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). As described in a previous article on this blog, "When Should the School Year Begin and End", changing the school calendar year is not necessary. On top of just wasting time and causing aggravation, the shift may even harm students because most facilities are not equipped with air conditioning which is badly needed during the hot dry and summer months in the Philippines. Pher Pasion therefore uses the word "buwisit" appropriately and the following protester simply highlights the emptiness in the directions being laid out by education reformers/leaders in the Philippines:
Simbolo ng pagtutol ng mga mag-aaral at propesor sa calendar shift. Pher Pasion -
The above represents the objection of students and professors to the calendar shift. The calendar shift after reducing to its very essence does not really hold any substance or value. Here are some of Pasion's arguments. Similar to K+12, copying other countries is provided as one justification. Unfortunately, the countries where universities may work or partner with the Philippines like Japan, Korea and Australia do not have the calendar year targeted by the current shift in the Philippines. Most importantly, there are so many other issues that require our attention. The calendar year is as high of a priority as writing standards or a curriculum. These are simply not the factors that define quality in education. People choose to discuss these items because these are a lot easier to comprehend and digest. And here I am thinking that I am the one who is "purely theoretical". The reason why education in the Philippines is facing serious challenges is not in the "drawing plan". It is fully explained by what is happening on the ground. "Neither clothes nor food" - that is all education policy makers in the Philippines have to offer, simply "Kabuwisitan".
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…
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.
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…