I have not left the house today. I blame the consecutive games that have been going on. This morning, I watched the NBA Lakers vs. Celtics finals. I wanted the Celtics to win, but I felt Kobe (take note, Kobe. Not the Lakers as a team) deserved this win, since he put most heart in it. At around lunch time, up until dinner time, I watched the two FIFA games, Germany vs. Serbia and Slovenia vs. USA. Hot guys. 🙂
Anyway, I was watching the news this afternoon (while I was taking a break between watching FIFA matches) and I was able to catch the news report on P.Noy’s advocacy for a 12-year education cycle, which will unfortunately cost the Philippines a staggering amount of 100B across 5 years (Link). Sadly, many educators and parents disagree with this proposal. Most of the reasons for disagreeing was first it was an additional cost for the parents, since even if public education would be funded by government, the costs of books, miscellaneous fees, uniforms, and allowances are not. Also, educators argued that there are not enough teachers and that there are other problems that should be solved first, such as teacher salaries and lack of teachers for the current 10 year curriculum.
Yet, I personally feel that the Philippines needs the 12 year curriculum. I graduated High School at the age of 15, and honestly I had issues as to what major I wanted to pursue. At 15, we are tasked to make one of the biggest decisions in our life, and that is our specialization. This eventually would lead to the career we would take up after we have finished our degrees. Tell me, when you were 15, how sure were you about what you wanted to do, or wanted to be. At 15, we want to explore, we want to know more, but at 15, we are automatically locked in the walls of our courses.
Starting first year colleges, most universities already box you into your specific field, which blocks us from scoping for what we really want to do. I was lucky enough to go to a university which does not automatically sort us into courses the moment we set foot in the university. When I first applied, I was set to take up Communications, but as I took up subjects during my two years of Liberal Arts such as Political Governance and Institutions, Philippine Society, Philippine History, Political Thought, I realized that my interest lies not in Communication, but in Political Economy. I was given the chance to choose my major after two years of Liberal Education. But not all students are given that opportunity.
And sure, you may be one of those who, since grade school, has already set their hearts on a specific major. Well good for you, but that’s not the case with many of the fresh graduates. At the age of 15, or 16, sometimes, that decision is something they are not ready to make. This is not to say that adding two more years into the curriculum would make them decide what major to take up, but it gives them more time to make that decision. Their interests will be revealed, and it would be a more well-thought of decision. In addition, their preparedness for college would be increased.
But adding 12 years to the curriculum is not merely on the maturity of the students who graduate from high school. In the United States as well as in other countries, basic education is already set in the 12 year curriculum. The quality of education can be said to be better, because not only do you have more time to teach subjects, you have time to teach more on that subject. There have been complaints by society that the output of the educational system of the Philippines is not as competent as that from other countries. If other countries have already adapted the 12 year model, what’s there to stop us?
They say it’s the budget. Well, in 2010, only 12% of the budget was allocated to education. Adding a good 20B to that amount would bring it up to 13.9, 14% of the budget. What is 2% of the budget? If the 13B supplemental budget for the automated elections was allocated in such a fast time, what more if the necessary 20B for education was allocated in the proper time, so as to account for the possible deficits. In addition, in Thailand, no less than 20% is allocated for public education spending. Why is it so hard for us to allocate 14%?
Anyway, that’s my take on the whole 12 year education cycle. I know some people don’t like it because they will be in school longer than expected, but quality is always better than quantity (cliche as it is).
Tomorrow I embark on a mission and that is to start on my dream to be a published scholar, which will help me get a scholarship in the future. I hope I follow through this time. I call it Project: Be Published. At least now I am doing something with my life. I do really need to polish my writing skills now, since I haven’t really written anything serious aside from my thesis. So wish me luck!