Voices that Need to Be Heard
|Above copied from a Facebook post of John Silva
There is an ongoing demonstration in front of the Department of Education by those opposed to the implementation of K-12.
In our own experience in Synergeia, an organisation devoted to teaching teachers to be better at their work, we have a consensus, heard from most teachers, that K-12 does not work. There are implementation problems, teachers not trained, books not delivered and for many of us in Synergeia, we consider the expense of additional years a burden. We believe that we should enhance the current grades so that each year, from Kinder on, are truly educational experiences for the students. Right now, they are woefully inadequate and schools become day care centres or prisons to keep students for the required hours. So many brains lost. That's why we lag so far behind.
The Department of Education is a major disappointment and reflects badly on the Aquino Government.A report from Miguel Ortilla of CNN Philippines echoes some of the points raised by John Silva.
|To view this report, please click here
I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Milwida Guevara, President and CEO of Synergeia Foundation during a round-table discussion back in 2006 in Washington, DC. The discussion was sponsored by the Southeast Asia Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University. During one point in the discussion, Guevarra was actually in tears as she related to us some of the challenges schools in the Philippines were facing. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J., the founding chair of Synergeia, asked the following question in 2010:
“How does adding two more years help out? What good does it do to the 600,000 that do not finish Grade 4? Or to the 700,000 who do not finish Grade 6? Or are they saying that they just don’t care?”These are voices that definitely need to be heard.
Teachers carry a huge responsibility in their classrooms. It is only expected then that teachers cannot really abandon their post to rally along the streets of Manila. There are half a million teachers, but they are scattered all over the country. Some are even serving children in remote areas that would take a day or two to reach from an urban area. Teachers are likewise in a difficult position. Teachers are employees of the Department of Education. Supervisors or superintendents are often more interested in promoting the agenda of the central office than finding the truth. And with a president who would not hesitate to throw a jab, void of any sensitivity or compassion, who would really voice out?
Solving the problems of basic education require us to listen to those who are inside the classrooms. Simply listening, however, is insufficient for their voices are weak. We need to seek. The people at Synergeia had done so.