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More than 22 Million Filipino Students Headed back to Public Schools Today to Start the 2023-2024 School Year. The Education System Faces Many Challenges, Particularly Following Mass Education Loss
during the pandemic years. The future of the students of the nation will determine the future of the nation. Innovative solutions and catchup will be required for full potential to be reclaimed.
A heartbreaking article from anonymous teachers about what they face when Filipino students start back at public schools today. Please click the link to read in full. The article describes a system which has failed students and teachers. Students are promoted out of pity regardless of their grasp of grade core knowledge, and teachers are working in a system where failure to pass a student creates a massive additional workload, and requirement to explain.
On passing student regardless of their competence:-
Of course, the pandemic and nearly 3 years of missed face to face schooling has made everything far worse.
A better understanding of the Philippines State of Education System can be gleaned from the 2023 report.
Report presentation, here.
DEPED Working to Improve Curriculum and Student Outcomes
To help assist a refocus on education, the DEPED will begin trialing a slashed by 70% curriculum in pilot schools, after a few more weeks of preparation. The revised curriculum will focus on key essential subjects to try to build core competencies including Language, Reading and Literacy, Maths, Makabansa (allegiance to country), and Good Manners and Right Conduct.
Teachers are also raising concerns about teaching conditions, and their workload. Of course teachers need to be supported with training, facilities, resources, and reasonable, manageable workloads.
The future of the nation depends on its learners reaching their full potential. Continuing to do what has already failed, is unlikely to bear results. Mass intervention and skills/knowledge learning, not based on age but based on current capability is required. Such streaming would require assessment of each core subject, and streaming (perhaps different levels for different subjects) by competence. Promotion only following demonstrated mastery. Children who do not master mathematics, reading and literacy, science, etc at appropriate ages may be disadvantaged for life, let alone missing out on higher education and professional training, as these are essential modern skills. Catching up once skills are missed, requires fast greater inputs and resources than if learning had occurred earlier.
A poorly educated people will face limited job prospects and have poor earning capacity, often limited to manual labor. Not only affecting quality of life of the of individuals and their ability to navigate their world and to thrive, this will affect the wealth (and tax basis) of the nation.
A poorly educated people will be poorly educated voters. Poorly educated citizens of the nation who will not have the knowledge, confidence and skills to hold their leaders to account.
Sarah Duterte, head of DEPED, holds the most important post in the nation. She is responsible for nurturing the future.
Footnote: Philippines is not alone in educational challenges. Australia and other nations also have failing education systems.