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1 THE CURRENT PROBLEMS IN PHILIPPINE EDUCATION Anecito Zito Gorduiz Galdo, MA An almost barren tree, with rotten fruits.

That is how the Philippine educational system is often described. On the roots of the tree are the many factors and forces that shape the Philippine Educational system including but not limited to colonization history, corrupt political system, and poverty. On the branches are the problems besetting our educational system: lack of teachers, lack of resources, lack of standards, etc. Indeed, the Philippines educational system is besieged with so many problems; however, there is hope in reforming the system. And there is a clamor for reforms within the education bureaucracy, its culture and its leadership; there is also the call to reform the curriculum and set standards; and there is the call to improve teacher education and training. There have been many reforms, there have been many programs but they seem to be inadequate in curing the ails of Philippine educational system (Balmores, n.d.). In this paper, the major problems that are considered besetting the Philippine education are discussed. These are presented in the matrix below: Common Problem Actions Taken by Government Declining Quality of CHED, TESDA, DepEd created Education Quality and Proficiency of Teachers granted scholarships for advanced Teachers studies Lack of School Facilities Procurement of some important facilities in laboratories Rising Cost of Education Granting free education to elementary and secondary levels The quality of education is declining (EDCOM, 1992). It is for this reason that CHED, TESDA, and DepEd were created and mandated to focus on the different levels of education. Many felt that the curriculum set by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is not enough for a more competitive in the modern world. Some said that some subjects are lacking in substance like Mathematics and Science, both are the bulk of most of the educational institution in different countries. Here in the Philippines, many said that these subjects should be taught comprehensively and intensively because it will be the backbone of the countrys development in the near future. This is why Thailand, Malaysia and China outpaced the Philippines in terms of economical and industrial growth because these countries invested in the fields of Mathematics and Sciences. In fact, the best institution in the South-East Asian region is the National University of Singapore (NUS) and their course offerings are in these fields that the Philippines should need to develop.

Another problem pestering the quality of Philippine education is the quality and proficiency of the teachers. According to a recent article (Gerochi, 2002), Filipino teachers lack proficiency in English, Science and Mathematics. Many said that these areas should have been trained comprehensively since as teachers, they should be able to teach the students with a more quality for future growth. But with what I see, the teachers have problems of their own. One example, and the most obvious, is the low salary and terrible working condition. Many public school teachers opt to have sidelines during class that sometimes the teacher simply forgets to teach. But who can blame them if their salaries of around 8000-10,000 pesos, plus deductible, who can a teacher provide for his/her family? And with the rising cost of living, these figures are not enough. Others cannot teach well in class because of the ratio of students to a teacher. In a typical public school, in every one teacher there are 50-60 students in a class! The school facilities can also be a factor of the problem. The Philippines, both in private and public, lacks sophisticated laboratories and facilities to cater the needs of the students. For example, many public schools are still lacking the basic computer laboratories and it is so ironic that computer nowadays, computer education is crucial for future Computer Studies student. Without proper training in computer, how can a student be competitive and computer literate? Jose Rizal reminds us how modern and latest technologies are important in a students development in his novel El Filibusterismo. Like in the novel, the laboratory equipment are stored shut in a cabinet and never to be used in class because of the insufficient number of equipment. And when it is shown in class, it is presented like a monstrance of a priest! And prophetic as it seems, Rizals time is happening all over again in our contemporary times. Lastly, a common problem of our Philippine education is the rising cost of sending a child to school. Private schools charges skyrocketing tuition and miscellaneous fees to a student that parents are having a hard time to cope with the rising cost of education. Even sending a child in a public school doesnt fare better since even the poorest of the poor cannot afford to send a child in school. I remember vividly a story of a public school teacher with a pupil of him. He said that this student was so poor that teachers pay for everything so she can go to school. The teachers dont mind this sacrifice because the student is so bright and intelligent. She never went to college after high school since she cannot really afford it anymore. What saddened the teachers is that this student passed UP but with no scholarship. Right now, many see education not as necessity but a luxury they cannot afford (Reyes, 2002). The state of Philippine education is indeed sad and disheartening. We probably are all asking whos to blame for all this mess. But we cannot simply point finger since we all have responsibilities to solve these problem. The government tries its best to give the country and it seemed not enough. But we should not blame the government entirely since it is just not the

governments problems. It is the problem of each and every one of us. If we want the highest quality of education in the country, we should work together to solve this problem. As a teacher, these problems will be a big cross to bear. But if I can help solve this problem in my own little way, the cross can be lighter and easier to bear. This is the bitter cup of a teacher to bear. But we must remember that the teacher and every one of us will determine the course of our countrys development through education. Even Rizal said that for a country to progress, education is the key to that success. Solving the problems of Philippine education is a long way to go but if we work for the better, we can attain that quality education we all hope for the best.

References: Balmores, N. (n.d.) The Quality of Higher Education in the Philippines, in Manalang (ed.) Philippine Education: Promise and Performance, UP Press. Barro, R. and Sala-i-Martin (1995). Economic Growth. McGrawHill, Inc. EDCOM. 1992. Report of the Congressional Educational Commission. Gerochi, H. (2002) Rate of Return to Education in the Philippines, Preliminary estimates for PDE Paper, UP School of Economics. Reyes, C. (2002) The Poverty Fight: Have We Made An Impact? PIDS 25th Aniversary Symposium Series on Perspective Papers. Paper available in RePEc: See citation data || Full description at Econpapers