|Posted by SNSCLC on August 25, 2013 at 7:25 AM|
SUBJECT: EDUC 607
SEMESTER: 1st Semester (2013-2014)
PROFESSOR: Dr. Odie Maglasang
Here are some readings for you to make your reflection paper.
However, if some points are worth your discussion, you can choose to make a reaction paper instead of reflection paper.
LEARNING TO STAY IN SCHOOL
Filipino researchers developing measures to keep pupils in school longer have caught the attention of educational policy makers.
Although basic education is compulsory in the Philippines, one out of three children drops out of elementary school before grade 6. The reasons are mostly economic -- families are too poor to afford school supplies, much less food to take to school. Children help out with farming or younger siblings. Others lose interest after leaving school owing to illness, or because the teacher cannot meet individual needs. Some parents are not convinced of the importance of education.
Whatever the reason, school leavers are unlikely to return. A study by the National Education Testing Center shows that the earlier children drop out, the greater the likelihood of their reverting to illiteracy. A 1988 World Bank study showed most dropouts to be from rural, low-income families.
"These issues -- educational wastage primarily due to the dropout problem, and access to quality education regardless of socio- economic background -- are what we sought to address," says Dr. Eligio Barasaga, leader of the project No-Dropout Learning System/Education for All (NODROPS). Dr Barsaga is senior research specialist of the Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH), an agency created by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization.
"Simply put, project NODROPS aims to ensure that every child who enters elementary school stays until he or she becomes functionally literate and develops his or her learning potential," says Dr Barsaga.
Project NODROPS is one of several funded by IDRC to assist developing countries to follow up on commitments made at the Education for All conference at Jomtien, Thailand in 1990. IDRC provided critical input into conference preparations and follow-up activities.
NODROPS approaches education holistically, beginning with research to pinpoint the main reasons for dropping out as well as responses made. The INNOTECH team designed a learning system that responds to the students' socio-economic and psychological circumstances, is flexible in delivery, and is able to improve children's learning ability and equip them for self-education if obliged to leave school.
The system was piloted in disadvantaged schools in six ecological settings: lowland farming, upland farming, fishing, suburban, inner city, and slum communities.
To determine potential dropouts among elementary pupils, INNOTECH developed an instrument that considers the pupil's achievement in mathematics, English and Filipino, school attendance, fathers' education and the family's socio-economic status.
Pupils found to be slow learners or potential dropouts get special help in the form of learning modules. Simple to use, the modules can be used for self-study or for tutoring by an older sibling or a classmate. Those who miss school can also use the modules to keep up with lessons and avoid having to leave permanently.
Family and community support being crucial, INNOTECH prepared training packages that develop parents' tutoring skills and stress parents' role in their children's education. Parents become partners through a "learning contract" with the school, promising to inform the teacher if a child will miss class, and ensuring that only unavoidable absences occur. Other assistance is in training for livelihood skills, incorporating environmental awareness and health and sanitation concerns, and provision of seed capital for community livelihood projects.
A key feature of the scheme is simplicity, with the least burden on pupil or teacher. "Most innovations are resisted because they place undue demands on the teacher," says Dr Barsaga.
Dr. Ophelia Veniegas, assistant project director, describes her team's experience in one of the pilot sites. The fishing village of Tapian in Maguindanao province is "so depressed you will also get depressed (seeing it)," she says. Children drop out "simply because they have no money for pencil, paper or even food." She has seen children eat a lunch consisting only of rice with roasted saba (a banana variety). The classrooms were barren except for yellowed bulletin boards and flowers fashioned from cigarette foil. "To reach the school one has to cross an extensive coconut grove where you risk getting hit by falling coconuts," she adds. "We looked at how the teachers could be more creative -- how they could entice their pupils to stay in school. We planned together." The principal and one teacher went to Manila for training, and visited schools with remedial education programs. When they returned to Tapian, they opened their own resource centre with some funding from project NODROPS. A year later, Dr Veniegas found the once unkempt schoolyard had been landscaped. The local government paved the road to the school with coconut trunks to permit access by car. More importantly, the school leavers returned. "Show the way and everything will follow," says Dr Veniegas.
Community resources are tapped in the process. At the school in Metro Manila's Navotas district, the Parents, Teachers and Community Association and local government officials came together to solve the problem of schoolyard flooding during high tide, and to meet more of the children's classroom needs.
Philippine Education: Key Issues
The job market, especially in an economy like ours, naturally favors individuals who have gone to good universities and colleges. There's a real discrepancy between what the market demands and the large supply of college graduates. This large supply of college graduates is "produced" because everybody practically needs a college degree to get a shot at a job. And because of this need, lots of little schools pop up and make money out of their being educational institutions and this emphasis on profit may mean that they scrimp on standards, etc. Lots of the stuff that happens is a vicious cycle. It also doesn't help that we like to measure our standards of education vis-à-vis our more accomplished Western counterparts (take, for example, the brouhaha surrounding the results of university rankings that may or may not accurately measure the best things about our schools), using instruments and standards that may or may not be applicable to us.
I've read comments, for example, that we don't have enough Ph.D.s. The question is, do we need a lot of Ph.D.s? I am not certain if there is an incentive to go beyond a master's degree for many university and college teachers, since not all colleges can pay anyway. And if we go around requiring Ph.D.s as a qualification to teach in universities, then lots of schools will be losing some of their most talented teachers (a Ph.D., after all, is not an indicator of sheer brilliance). And when that happens, we can expect such things as, say, "student: teacher" ratios to be bad, and then we'll rank even worse vis-à-vis those schools by which we measure ourselves.
We also get to read and hear stuff that we don't seem to be at the forefront of science and technology research, for example, or research in general. What sort of research are we talking about here? We seem to rely largely on Western standards to define what "research" ought to be. And this is a country where many college students are more obsessed with getting jobs than actually contributing to the pushing of the frontiers of human knowledge and heritage. Hence the emphasis of teaching more than research.
Education reform in 2009 and beyond
When The Foundation for Worldwide People Power (FWWPP) launched the Education Revolution in 2002, we were driven by the belief that “education is the best weapon against poverty” and by the vision of an education system “that goes beyond the basics of reading, writing and ’rithmetic and empowers citizens with purpose and vision.”
A few months later, we started to turn our vision toward reality with the first FWWPP Mentoring the Mentors sessions for the Iloilo City Schools Division. Led by the indefatigable Chinit Rufino and Dr. Eve Mejillano, the Mentoring the Mentors seminars blossomed into one of the most effective—and hugely popular—professional improvement programs among public school heads.
We likewise sought to give impetus to the Adopt-A-School Act of 1998 (RA 8525) by encouraging communities to organize themselves and seriously explore ways and means to help improve education quality in their respective public schools. Under the expert guidance of Joel Pagsanghan, the FWWPP soon developed a set of replicable Community Mobilization modules for this purpose.
As the Education Revolution enters its seventh year, the FWWPP is honored that our mission statement has been repeatedly validated by newly formed private sector-led education reform groups such as the 5775 Movement and Philippine Business for Education (PBEd). These groups use the FWWPP Education Revolution’s core concepts to propel their own reform efforts.
The 5775 Movement is a coalition composed of the League of Corporate Foundations, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, PBEd, the Ateneo Center for Education, Synergeia Foundation and the FWWPP.
The PBEd meanwhile is “the business community’s response to the need for sustained consensus and advocacy in education reform.” The PBEd is made up of very influential senior executives and CEOs of the country’s major business organizations led by Ramon del Rosario Jr. of Philippine Investment Management Inc. But now, new and bigger challenges face us.
At the recent University of the Philippines Centennial Lecture titled “When Reforms Do Not Transform,” three leading educators namely, Dr. Cynthia Rose Bautista, Dr. Dina Ocampo and Dr. Allan Bernardo said that while the Philippines has gone through a succession of “seasons of education reform” for over a century, such efforts have not substantially taken root. If at all, the results have been confined to “small and separate plots.”
It is true that institutional constraints—chiefly a highly centralized Department of Education—have hampered serious efforts to initiate, scale up and sustain truly meaningful education reform. However, the real problem lies in the fact that “learning remains at the margin of reform efforts, when it should take center stage.” This means that the focus should be on building 21st-century basic competencies (i.e., functional literacy, learning how to learn and critical thinking).
Dr. Dina Ocampo strongly argues that “Language has been a major constraint to the development of thinking skills that our people need to solve our nation’s 19th and 20th century problems and to participate in the knowledge-based world of the 21st century. It is an issue that we must resolve once and for all.”
FWWPP trustee Dr. Jose V. Abueva—also a member of the Presidential Task Force on Education—says that “both Filipino and English are used as languages of instruction from the earliest years of schooling but these can become obstacles to learning if the children are unfamiliar with either, and the teachers are not proficient in them.”
Dr. Abueva recommends the use of the mother tongue or regional language in the early years of schooling “to ensure effective learning among our students that will also strengthen nation-building and democracy.” He adds that “the mother tongue facilitates the students’ learning of all subjects, including Science and Mathematics, the national language, and English as a global lingua franca.”
Incontrovertible proof exists all over the world that using the mother tongue in basic education is pedagogically sound. In fact, the widespread practice of Mother Language Education (MLE) in Philippine public schools will most assuredly lead to graduates with internationally desirable competencies in problem solving and communication, including fluency in the English language in its intellectualized form.
Clearly, the MLE is the springboard toward education reform “that transforms.” Unfortunately, most public schools and their communities do not have a clear understanding of what MLE is and what its practice entails.
Dr. Ricardo Ma. Nolasco—the FWWPP’s adviser on MLE initiatives—says that the general public needs to be better informed of MLE. As such he is inviting everyone to the lecture forum titled “How Languages in Education Still Matter” at 1 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 15 at the Benitez Theater in University of the Philippines, Diliman. The forum assesses the Gullas Bill—which mandates English as the sole medium of instruction—vis-à-vis the Gunigundo Bill, which promotes MLE in the early learning years. Both Rep. Eduardo C. Gullas and Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo will be present to expound on their respective measures. The UP College of Education, the Linguistic Society of the Philippines and the Philippine Social Science Council, in cooperation with the UP Linguistics Department, organized the forum.