What Schools in the Philippines Really Need
|Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo helps paint a wall in Wawa Elementary School, Navotas City
Copied from Philippine Star
Sarah Gonser recently wrote an article in the Hechinger Report. The piece, "School counselors keep kids on track. Why are they first to be cut?", brings to our attention the importance of guidance counselors especially in high schools. There is a sense of urgency in the article as Gonser cites that in the United States the the current average number of 482 students per guidance counselor is too high, almost twice what is recommended by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), 250 students to 1 counselor.
Of course, this problem like other problems Philippine basic education faces has its roots in highe education. Teresa Tuason ans coworkers wrote in an article published in the Journal of Counseling and Development:
According to Philippine Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz, there are 49 guidance counselor networks with 1,739 members (Department of Labor and Employment, 2011). Twenty-three universities and colleges offer graduate studies in guidance and counseling, counseling/clinical psychology, and counselor education, and a handful of institutes offer degrees in pastoral counseling. Most programs offer master’s degrees and a few offer doctoral degrees, most of which follow the practitioner–scientist model.
With only 23 universities and colleges, it is close to impossible to fill the 50,000 guidance counselor positions that are badly needed in Philippine schools. The late Senator Miriam Santiago once wrote a bill in the Senate that aims to put one counselor per 250 students in high schools that have high dropout rates. At least, a senator in the Philippines has recognized the importance of guidance counselors. For most, painting walls seem to be the only thing they can do to help students in the Philippines. Sometimes, I wonder why those walls need to be repainted every year....