New School Year, Same Woes and Wishes

It’s a new school year again, and as expected, we have seen the same problems — a lack of classrooms, teachers, textbooks, etc.  With a new administration coming in, we, of course, have a wish list for the country’s educational system.

Wish # 1: More classrooms, still.  As the PGMA regime ends, the DepEd says that over 100,000 classrooms have been built since 2001.  There’s still a great backlog in order to achieve the 1:45 student-teach ratio.  But the follow up question is, does the ratio stand for quality education?

Wish #2: More than the number of classrooms as the obvious need, it’s the quality that has a serious problem.  We need to catch up in math and science.  And if we wish to continue being a center of excellence for BPO’s and KPO’s, of course, we need to address the growing deficiency in English.  Of course, English can be taught without compromising Filipino and other Philippine dialects and languages.

Wish #3: For P-Noy to address the needs of teachers — better benefits that are delivered on time.  Plugging the brain drain of educators who leave the country to either 1) be teachers abroad; or 2) be domestic helpers. There’s still a shortage of teachers.  And for many, being an educator is a career for the last resort.

Wish #4: Greater access to education through scholarships. As new president, Noynoy may want to revisit and review the Study Now, Pay Later program, which his father had authored.

Wish #5 More private sector involvement.  Let’s admit it.  The government cannot do it alone.

When I think of the situation, I am always reminded of a back-t0-school story I produced in 2007.  It perfectly captures the dilemma we are in.

Let’s hope — push — that radical and substantial reforms will be implemented within the next six years.

3 thoughts on “New School Year, Same Woes and Wishes

    • Hi, Menchie!

      In principle, I believe having grade 7 (or 5th year) has its advantages. I speak from experience because I took grade 7. It prepared me more for high school and beyond. But… given the quality of education we currently have, plus the lack of classrooms and teachers, adding an extra year or two is an exercise in futility. My take is, the government and DepEd should concentrate first on improving the quality of all the existing grades first and foremost. Otherwise, adding an extra year will give no added value to students. And, it will add more burden to parents who need to pay tuition for an extra year — and for nothing.

      What’s your take?

  1. I failed to take grade 7 at Miriam College, formerly known as Maryknoll during my time.. hahaha.. Since I have to transfer to a Chinese school to learn Chinese and stay with lola.

    I would like my daughter to take grade 7 and 5th year. But early this morning as shown on the news, I can’t help pity those parents who can’t afford their children to spend 2 years more in school.

    Well, I hope that our government will provide the funds that the dept of education needs.
    And I hope our new president won’t be corrupt. Or maybe I still don’t have faith in him.
    Sounds like I didn’t voted for him.. hahahahah…

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