Author Topic: “Philippine education seems caught in a cul-de-sac without a way out”  (Read 7265 times)

Joe Carillo

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I am posting in the Forum a letter dating back to October 28, 2012 that I had most unfortunately glossed over because it was sent to me as an attachment to an e-mail rather than in the body of the e-mail itself, which was blank—thus giving me the impression that it was spam or malware. Only much later, when I finally found the time to spare to check my e-mail box more closely, did I find out that it wasn’t. The attachment was a letter addressed to me that came from Mr. Antonio Calipjo Go, academic supervisor of Marian School of Quezon City, who has been engaged these past several years in a lone crusade against error-riddled public school textbooks.

Here’s his letter full:

28 October 2012

Dear Mr. Carillo,
Peace be with you.

The Department of Education (DepEd) is at present implementing the K to 12 Program in all public schools. Nowhere is the adage “Haste makes waste” more evident than in this, the impending disaster that the K to 12 will soon turn out to be if stopgap and corrective measures are not immediately adopted. I will concentrate on the one area that’s really close to my heart ---- the textbooks that the students are using. “Textbooks” also happen to be at the very heart of the rot that’s infecting Philippine Education and making it sick.
Last August, a group of public school teachers came to see me at Marian School and asked me to look into the teaching module that they are currently using in Grade 7. The “Learning Package for Grade 7 English, First Quarter” (First Quarter Package; Second Quarter Package; Complete Package for 4 Quarters) is the sole basis of all teaching and learning processes in the Grade 7 level of all public elementary schools in the country at present. It is the one instructional material used in lieu of the textbooks that they were supposed to have been given to use but haven’t and therefore cannot. This is anomalous, as the DepEd has created a new curriculum without bothering to prepare all the basic tools with which to implement it. So I promised the teachers I would, and I did. I discovered 658 errors, culled from just 172 pages! This is already very bad but it gets even worse. Despite the fact that the second quarter officially ended last October 12, the third and fourth quarter components of this module has not yet been written! What will the teachers use when classes resume on November 5?
I have summarized the issues I’m bringing to your attention into five areas of concern:

a. The 172-page “Learning Package for Grade 7 English” contains 658 errors, for an average of 3.8 errors per page! This is tantamount to teaching errors rather than lessons.

b. The third and fourth quarters have not been written as of this day.

c. Why are there no textbooks for use in Grade 7?

d. All textbooks presently used in all public schools are all old titles. Therefore, it follows that not one textbook used is compatible with the pedagogic prescriptions and requirements of the new K to 12 Curriculum.

e. The K to 12 Program should have undergone pilot-testing first. The tools for implementing this new curriculum—the textbook being the most important of them all—should have been made ready. The contents of these textbooks, learning packages, teaching modules or instructional materials should have been thoroughly screened for errors.

I wrote DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro about these concerns, and also the Instructional Materials Council Secretariat, the Bureau of Elementary Education and the Bureau of Secondary Education but not one of them responded. I hope I can get you to see a story in this, enough to get you to write about it. It is a story that has all the makings of a tragedy.

I do not know whom the DepEd commissioned to write this so-called “learning” package but a cursory scanning will immediately give the reader the antsy feeling of the being stuck in reverse. It’s the reign of errors all over again! You can download the whole crappy lot through and see for yourself the extent of its decrepitude. At the end of this “Learning Package” is a Q&A portion. Please read the messages sent by the teachers and I’m sure you, too, will want to cry—out of desperation. Philippine Education seems to me to have come to a cul-de-sac from which there is no escape. And nobody seems to care!

Thank you, Sir, for continuing to educate us about the proper use of the English language. You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you, given the quality of our present batch of students and teachers. Take care. God bless you.

Sincerely yours,
Antonio Calipjo Go
Academic Supervisor


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I have to definitely agree with your point here.