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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DepEd Plans to Teach Students How to Spot Illicit Drug Pushers
Within just a few days of a new executive branch in the Philippines, basic education is tasked to help solve a growing drug abuse problem in the country. It is indeed tempting to throw every problem at schools since it is believed to have the widest reach. President Duterte apparently has ordered a drug literacy program starting at fourth grade. It is not clear whether such move is based on evidence. Such program may just be another wild guess added to a curriculum that is already lacking support from research. Although an accumulation of knowledge is certainly important in basic education, drug abuse is one area where evidence suggests that teaching life skills may be more effective. Humans have a natural tendency to find meaning or purpose in life. In Turkey, for instance, Eyrilmax reports in the paper, "Meaning of life-setting life goals: comparison of substance abusers
and non-abusers" (Turkish Psychological Counseling and Guidance Journal, 5(42), 235–243), that youth who do not use illicit drugs tend to have a purpose in life and have found meaning from their environment. Philippines' DepEd secretary Leonor Briones is taking quite a different angle. She is quoted by The Inquirer, “The composition is more from the science point of view—its impact on the body but not so much on the practical matters.” Briones then raises the importance of teaching children how to spot drug pushers.
It is true that I have not been in the Philippines for quite some time but I highly doubt that drug pushers in the Philippines are now going out of their way to get young children addicted to drugs. Drug use is about peers. It is something social. Drug abuse is also associated with dropping out of school or at least, not attending classes. The youth are essentially not attracted to illegal drug just because of some pusher's advertisement. The youth oftentimes actively seek drugs so that they could have a sense of belonging. A school that lacks a sense of community, a school that fails to show a caring attitude toward children, a school that does not promote academic achievement, these are the real drug pushers.
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…