Jose Carillo's Forum


Open Forum: The state of education and teaching in the Philippines

This open forum aims to help find ways to develop a better-taught, much better-educated Philippine citizenry. You are invited to freely post here your opinions, perceptions, ideas, observations, suggestions, and experiences about education and teaching in the Philippines. Of course, you are also most welcome to post a response to any of the postings.

Photo by Luis Liwanag, The International Herald Tribune

There is no firm limit to the length of postings in this open forum, but to keep the discussions manageable, a range of 100 to 1,500 words is suggested. Please confine your postings largely to your own views, knowledge, and experience. If you need to cite long references or background material on the web, just send the links to us and the Forum webmaster will take care of setting up the links with the sites you have indicated.

While openness is encouraged when giving your views, please keep the discussions in the open forum civil at all times. The open forum will be closely moderated, and postings with abusive or vituperative language will be stricken off outright.

Join me in looking forward to lively and enlightening discussions in this forum!

Joe Carillo

Should faculty hiring give more weight to research performance?

On its third week, our special forum on “The State of Education and Teaching in the Philippines” primarily saw a continuing exchange of sharply opposing views between florlaca and renzphotography on how academic reform in Philippine education should be pursued.

Florlaca contends that a major problem in faculty recruitment in universities is the strong tendency to give more weight to the teacher’s length of teaching experience rather than on his or her research track record. “Years of teaching experience does not necessarily distinguish a good from a bad teacher, whereas research performance can be reliably measured by objective indicators,” he says. He therefore strongly proposes that research be made the principal criterion for faculty recruitment, and that hiring a PhD without primary publications in peer-reviewed international journals should be avoided.

On the other hand, renzphotography strongly disagrees with florlaca’s proposal. He says a bias in faculty selection in favor of research output could institutionalize a distorted screening process that would do more harm than good to education. “The qualifications to be evaluated should match the qualifications required by the role applied for,” he contends. “Hence, research qualifications [should be required] for a research position, teaching qualifications for a teaching position, and a combination [of both] for functions that require multiple qualifications.”

Madgirl09, a Filipina teacher of English writing from Japan, agrees with what she calls florlaca’s “formula for success.” She wishes that the Philippines would emulate Japan, where as early as high school, students are already required to submit at least two theses prior to graduation. “When they reach college, more researches are expected [from them],” she says. “This is how the citizens are motivated and pushed to achieve more yearly.”

So what’s your own take on this vigorous debate on the best approach to Philippine education reform? Don’t hesitate to share your views by posting them in this special forum. They just might help us synthesize a much better solution that the current or incoming national administration could seriously consider implementing soon—and the earlier, the better for this country of ours.


Below are the postings currently being discussed in the Forum. You are most welcome to respond to any of the postings made so far or to post an entirely new topic of your own.
Do share with us your thoughts on how honest-to-goodness education and teaching reforms might be achieved in our country.

Tonybau, a medical doctor and former PTA president, paints a bleak scenario of overcrowding, teacher overload and lack of qualified teachers, lack of basic facilities like clean water and libraries, and malnutrition among pupils in his city’s public high school. He then advocates a total overhaul of the educational system that “continues to churn out students, majority of [whom] are products of an environment where teachers are there only to earn their keep.”

Florlaca, a retired university professor and department head with a master’s in zoology and a doctorate in comparative endocrinology, vigorously proposes that improving research performance is essential to real academic reform. He says that publications that meet internationally accepted criteria are the best indicator of research performance and of competence to do other academic work as well. We still have to hear a response to this from academe or from education officials.

Arvin Ortiz, a student-writer, points out that while some professors consider Wikipedia as an unreliable source for students’ research papers and theses, some PhDs in the Philippines have actually cited Wikipedia as a source for the textbooks they have written. What gives?

Penmanila, creative writing institute director and English professor at the University of the Philippines, notes that teachers of English in the Philippines have such a weak command of the English language themselves, and wonders how their English can be improved. He asks: Do seminars and things of that sort really help?

Madgirl109, who describes herself as “just another struggling Filipino worker in Japan,” gives a first-hand view of the problems and opportunities of Filipinos working in Japan. For them to improve their job and income prospects in Japan, she says, they need to become more proficient not only in English but in Nihongo as well.

Meikah, who used to be a university instructor but now works as a web education professional, believes that education and teaching in the country have gotten from bad to worse. She says college students lack comprehension skills because their teachers in grade school and high school had made no effort at all to help them understand or teach them how to understand their lessons.

Maudionisio says that to foist the myth of “one nation, one language,” the Philippine government massively brainwashed elementary pupils in the 1960s to think that the national language was Pilipino, and that the other languages spoken by Filipinos in the other regions were simply dialects. He contends that this brainwashing has not been undone, so some of those pupils—now grown up—still erroneously refer to the various Philippine languages as “dialects.”

Click to read the complete individual postings and to post your response


Copyright © 2009 by Aperture Web Development. All rights reserved.

Page best viewed with:

Mozilla FirefoxGoogle Chrome

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!

Page last modified: 25 September, 2009, 10:50 p.m.