Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy Teacher's Day

I am unable to present specific data on how well or how bad the Philippine education system is doing. But, taking public sentiment as platform for my propositions, I am able to preset a few reasons why our schools suck.

1. Our smart men and women have more career options now

Men and, especially, women no longer have to settle for a job that can barely pay for the coffee they need to stay awake. There is an obvious choice between a 14-hour a day job and a 40-hour work week. Only a handful of hours are spent actually teaching but a great deal is spent cutting “cartolinas” or, for the less unlucky ones, preparing power-point presentations.

2. Teachers are over-burdened

When I was in my internship, I’d spend about 12 hours at school. 6 hours of that would be spent writing lesson plans and preparing “learning” materials. 40 minutes was spent in front of 30 students who don’t care. This does not necessarily translate to actual teacher situations but I do get it right. Teachers spend most of their time babysitting their school’s bureaucracy instead of actually learning things that matter. Here’s one thing IT companies like mine get right: the need for project managers. The core talent pool only has to focus on their core functions. The paperwork goes to the project manager—whom we may love dearly or hate passionately.

3. We haven’t redefined the problem

The education of children is not the sole responsibility of teachers. But they get all the blame. Let’s cut them some slack. Teachers have been through at least 4 years of studying to become one. They even got those licensure and post-graduate blings. Parents, on the other hand, don’t go to school years to learn how to raise kids. But much of their child’s initial learning comes from them. I’m saying that we should shift the blame to parents. Also, I go beyond shifting the blame and into redefining the problem.
We spend too much time looking for solutions when we haven't even tried redefining the problem. Do we really have bad schools? Or bad teachers? A poor system? Or probably a wrong attitude towards the education of children? My questions are far from rhetorical. If I knew, I wouldn’t be asking. I blame my lousy schools.

No comments:

Bal Marsius