The proposed additional 2-yr to the current school curriculum of Elementary and High School is simply absurd. Even 10 years is added, the quality of education our students will still be far below the standard. A high school graduate of the early 50’s is about 10 times better than a college graduate today in terms of academic preparation.
More than 50% of the student population fails to pass the Board Examination given by PRC simply because of VERY POOR READING COMPREHENSION and lacking knowledge in the principle of BASIC MATHEMATICS. The ONLY SOLUTION to our education problem is to return to the BASICS AND FUNDAMENTALS.
Teach our students the basic principle and fundamentals of the 3-Rs: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Elementary students should learned these principles in their 6 years. At the 4-year secondary level, students should master and apply these fundamentals in their studies of literature, history, mathematics, geometry, physics, physical science and biology.
Our teachers must have the mastery to teach effectively these fundamentals otherwise we shall go nowhere even 20 years is added to the current curriculum. And please DONOT TEACH our young students the use of computers. It damage their ability to think analytically. I am a product of public schools in Tondo, Manila. Elementary at Lakan Dula and High school at Torres High School. In the elementary level, at grade 5, students were taught sentence diagramming, basic arithmetic and science. Reading comprehension is one aspect of our English class. We were taught to summarize in two short sentences immediately after reading a story from a book.
In science, we were taught the principle of astronomy such as the solar eclipse phenomena, planetary motion, etc. In social science, we were taught ethics and good manners from the book of Camilio Osias “Good Manners and Right Conduct”. We learned the geography of the Philippines and other places of the world. We spent 3.5 hours daily in school and carried few books.
Our teachers were well disciplined. We fear and respect them – faithfully doing our assignments daily and help cleaning the school room. During my high school days, there were 4 famous public high schools in Manila. Arellano, Araullo, Roxas and Torres High School. Graduates of these schools mostly landed to the campus of the University of the Philippines.
They could write and speak well of English, know the basic mathematics and physics. They could find work while continuing to college education. Vocational subjects are offered during the high school years such as carpentry, metal works, electricity, music and theater, and secretarial (stenography and typing).
The only beneficiary adding more years to the school curriculum are the book publishers and their cohorts with the DepEd, the private schools who charged with exorbitant fees as much as =P= 50,000 per semester excluding books, uniforms and school contributions. In the meantime, the poor parents suffer and still the students cannot get the quality of education they deserve.
DANTE B. YGLOPAZ
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