"How Can We Lose When We're So Sincere?"

I had a chemistry professor in Ateneo who taught me not just chemistry but also some nuggets of wisdom. Back then, rallies against the Marcos administration were widespread. This professor reminded me that sincerity was never enough. Competence was equally necessary. Sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity were dangerous. With this reminder, he also cited a strip from Charlie Brown, "How can we lose when we're so sincere?" Aquino obviously had made serious errors during his administration. Without careful vetting, Aquino appointed a Chief Justice to the Supreme Court that later would be ousted by a quo warranto petition. Aquino also rushed a mass vaccination program against Dengue, disregarding the proper protocols and ignoring the advice of experts. And in basic education, Aquino plunged the nation into a new K-12 curriculum without careful preparation and analysis and with total disregard for the resources necessary.

Above copied from
The Comics Section

One glaring example of Aquino's incompetence on basic education was his desire to equip every Filipino student a tablet instead of a textbook:

His reasoning was based on his perception that if materials are online, errors could be easily corrected. To this, I previously wrote on this blog:
Technology can be an enabler - this is really the nature of technology. In education, technology can help enliven a class. Seeing a Cisco ad that shows students from two different countries interact through a webcam is an example. Replacing textbooks, replacing teachers - this is entirely different. The fact that content can be changed instantly is not purely an advantage. Of all the technology that is here in the US, it is amazing that applying and closing a mortgage still involves a thick set of papers that need to be read and signed. There is permanence in documents that are printed on paper. The cost of changing things makes it more important to be thorough and careful in the production. The fact that revisions are seen to be a lot easier and simpler to do in the future only caters to carelessness. There is no need to be particularly concerned with spelling and grammar when writing articles in this blog, for example. It does not cost that much because it can be easily erased. In fact, in a fraction of a second, this entire blog could easily disappear.
Actually, even if I erase this blog, there are numerous cached copies out there. It is one reason why "fake news" is such a big concern nowadays. Misinformation is occurring online, where it spreads quite fast, and is, in reality, more difficult to rectify.

Antonio Go, in a recent opinion published on the Inquirer, reminds us just once again of the numerous errors on learning materials provided to students in the Philippines:

The 363-page Grade 3 “English Learner’s Material” written by 15 “authors” and reviewed by three “reviewers” has 430 errors, while the Grade 3 “Araling Panlipunan Learner’s Material” written by Manalo, Capunitan, Galarosa and Sampang — a veritable joke book that is so funny simply because of its sheer stupidity — contains 1,308 errors!

Here are some of those errors:
  • Manila is near the equator that’s why its temperature is low and sometimes it rises.
  • The Philippines is an island of 7,100 islands.
  • Palay is the main food of Filipinos.
  • The Pasig River flows through many rivers before it exits into Manila Bay.
  • Negritoes first inhabited Romblon in 1870; the Panays and the Bicols also lived there in 1870.
  • The KIPLING is a thin biscuit made from rice; houses in Lucban are filled with decorative KIPLING.
  • The waterfalls of Laguna are vast.
  • The Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda hid in the jungles of Lubang Island in 1974.
  • Places that have the biggest population have the most number of people.
  • Taal Volcano is immersed in Taal Lake.
  • Mt. Pinatubo is located in Zambales and Pampanga.
  • Pants made of silk are worn by male fishermen and farmers of Mindoro.
  • The government, which wants to hasten the production of people, is responsible for erecting streets and piers for airplanes and ships.
  • The mayor did many things such as muddy cement and dilapidated roads.
  • Identify the provincial leaders who were NOT ELECTED by the people.
  • People from India are called Bombay.
  • Agta children do not wash their hands before eating.
  • Mangyan children do not take a bath.
  • Our ancestors hung jewelry in between their teeth.
  • From Laguna the highway will pass going to Quezon.
  • We ride vehicles to get to our schools which use oil to run.
  • Batangas and Bataan, which are rich in marine resources, are brought to the market.
  • The product of a province may be textile factories.
  • A large portion of the egg comes from Batangas because of its poultries.

These are the errors now read by Filipino children. Indeed, sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity are dangerous.