Lessons in Math for Young Filipinos

A teacher at Diliman preparatory school, Errol John Gumogda, recently wrote an article in the Education Digest of the online resource site Squeeze. The title of the article (translated to English) is "A Shameless K-12 Textbook". It comes with the following picture of a page taken from a textbook called Hiyas ng Lahi (Jewel of a Race) that talks about the past president Benigno Aquino III, citing that he is single, has no children, and therefore has no First Lady. It adds the fact that he is the first one born in the month of February to become president of the Philippines and the only one with the suffix "III" in his name. And he is also the second president who comes from the province of Tarlac. The page is supposedly a part of an "additional knowledge" section. Gumogda raises the question of whether this page responds to the cognitive needs of young Filipinos. Of course, the obvious answer is 'No'.

Above copied from Squeeze

What is interesting in Gumogda's article is that he actually provides an alternative lesson, one that can be used in teaching mathematics as well:
Mang Pedro has no land for him to farm. But in a not-so-far land, a man named Cojuangco-Aquino owns a thousand hectare of land and is looking for a "kasamá"(partner). Since Pedro has no choice but to accept any opportunity, they agreed for a 90-10 percentage deal of harvest. 90% for the “panginoong-may-lupa” (Cojungco-Aquino) and 10% for him (Pedro). So if Mang Pedro harvested 3 sacks of rice, how much amount of rice will he take home for his family provided the 90-10 percent deal with the Aquino?
The above does have more content to chew than knowing the zodiac sign of President Aquino III.

At the end of the article, Gumogda states that textbooks should also provide the Filipino youth with worthwhile information on current issues in society.  He adds that while two years have been added to basic education, K to 12 has only made it more difficult for marginalized Filipinos. In addition, instead of spending on drug tests, the government must address the lack of quality in textbooks, shortages in classrooms, and the low salaries of teachers. The Filipino electorate will only remain ignorant with textbooks that provide a very shallow look at history and current events. There is no real jewel in these books.


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