Wrong Track in Senior High School?
|Above copied from Coldwater High School Early College Program|
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 to earn college credits in high school. The "bridging program" in the Philippines is more like a set of remedial courses. In some cases, these remedial courses are given only over a few weeks. Below is an example from Saint Joseph College in Maasin, Leyte:
Looking at the above schedule, students are supposed to take a 5-day course in General Chemistry, each day for eight hours. The two weeks before that, these students have spent eighty hours on pre-calculus and basic calculus and the next two weeks, a total of eighty hours are devoted to physics. This is quite intense.
Obviously, these involve additional time, effort and money. The National Union of Students in the Philippines is clearly not happy with these bridging programs. The Union's recent statement is as follows:
WE ARE NOT FOR SALE!
Students entering university with insufficient mathematics preparation for the courses they intend to study is an increasing problem. We show evidence of how withdrawal rates, failure rates, and final marks in a first year calculus unit are strongly associated with the level of mathematics studied at school, the assumed knowledge published for the degree and enrolment in a bridging course. Bridging course students were, on the whole, able to pass their first semester university calculus-based subject; however, they did not achieve at the level of their mathematically well-prepared peers.
The K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines with its tracks and strands basically forces students to choose a career path at an early age. The wrong choices made unfortunately have serious consequences.