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.
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…