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Paradigm shift: A must!


Time brings changes; time changes everything. And, change is the only permanent phenomenon in this world. That’s the truth. Anything that goes against that truth is unreal. Anything unreal is illusion, a false idea or mistaken belief, or anything that fools the senses that produces a wrong impression of reality.

Yes, time changes everything, and time, indeed, brings changes.  Yet, our educational system’s deficiencies, malpractices, and its complacency to the call of change for the better are unchanged. Until this time, perennial problems like lack of classrooms, instructional facilities and materials like desks, books, and TV sets, CD players, computers with Internet connections which are basic in today’s age of modern technology for the students to cope up and with the pressures of the high tech education to level up with the demands of the global work market, or the local employment market, to say the least, are still unsatisfactorily met.

Moreover, there is something deficient in our curricula in all levels of our education. There seemed to be a mismatched between what are expected from our graduates and what have become of them after graduation of a four or five-year course. Not a few of them automatically become an addition to the NSO ever increasing data of unemployed. Either these graduates are incompetent, ill-equipped, unprepared to meet headlong the professional standard set for the job they are seeking, and/or, the job market does not need them; these graduates are not what it needs badly to fill the vacancies that have long been waiting to be filled. Or, perhaps, these graduates are very qualified in terms of technical skills and knowledge, but they don’t possess the positive values and virtues demanded by the job they have been applying. It seems our present educational system has failed to inculcate among our graduates the proper attitudes and behaviors they needed to succeed in their chosen field.  And/or, perhaps, the curriculum experts are not expert enough to prepare the most appropriate and needed curriculum for each educational level.

Take for instance, year 2002 witnessed the change of Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) curriculum of 1989 to Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) which after less than two years of implementation was changed to the Restructured Basic Education Curriculum and this RBEC was changed last 2010 to New Secondary Education Curriculum (NSEC 2010) having Understanding by Design (UbD) as its approach. And, this upcoming school year, k to 12 having seven years in the elementary including compulsory Kinder and six years in the high school having four  junior  and two  senior years is surely to be implemented. Our curriculum experts said K to 12 must be the answer to the Philippines’ long fervent quest for the best quality education for two obvious reasons: 1)Most of the countries in the world have more or less 12 to 13 years of basic education unlike the Philippines that has only ten - 6 in the elementary and 4 in the high school; 2 ) |The secondary Technology and Livelihood Education subject shall have Career Path Approach which means graduates of the six-year high school need not pursue college education because they are expected to be able to land a job and earn a living to provide for the family needs and live a comfortable life. Hopefully, our leaders could also foresee how these “technocrats“ be matched and placed in their proper places in the local and global employment markets.   

Furthermore, the rampant petty and grand malpractices unconsciously or unashamedly enjoyed by some of our educators belied the very essence of their being as educational leaders and models of untainted characters being looked up not only by their colleagues and subordinates, but also by the students under their care and the community they are serving. These unbecoming behaviors of some of our mentors may scandalize especially those who are still groping and searching who they really are; those who are still looking for leaders to follow, models to emulate, idols to worship.

And, they would surely be demoralized, frustrated, hurt to find out that their respected leaders, admired models, and worshipped idols are just as weak as or weaker than they are.  Definitely, this has negative effect/s on the wounded!
But what is more alarming is the complacent attitude some of our educators adopt to adapt to the prevailing scenario in our educational system.  These indifferent educators seemed to show that this hapless situation of low quality of education is incurable, that nothing could be done to improve it. For as long as the salary is given and is ever increasing, then, let it be.

This attitude is not only pessimist, but also opportunist, thus, defeatist. What do we expect from quitters? Well, they contaminate others faster than we think!
The effects of these deficiencies, malpractices, and complacency in our present educational system are  concretized in the general low results of the annually conducted National Achievement Tests given to both elementary and secondary students; the half-baked college graduates produced; the phlegmatic workers in our workforce; the double-standard leaders. This cause and effect chain goes on and on till something is done to break it.

Who is expected to initiate the most awaited change? Neither he/she, you, nor I would take the challenge ALONE for we all know so well that the task is gigantic tantamount to changing the perspective of EVERYONE INVOLVED in the educational process in our educational system. It  means that anyone who has a child, a brother, a sister, a niece, a nephew, a relative, and/or a friend who is in school or in any mode of education delivery is a stakeholder in this education business, and, he/she is involved whether he/she likes it or not. 

Who does not have a relative or a friend in the education business? Everyone has, I’m sure, whether he/she is the parent or the child, the auntie/uncle or the niece/nephew, the teacher or the student, the school head or the subordinate, the curriculum planner or the curriculum executive, the law maker, the judge, or the president of the Philippine Republic. And to think of changing their perspective towards the improvement of the quality of our education is indeed a Herculean job!
If this is the case, no one would take the cudgel and do the change. But EVERYONE INVOLVED is obliged and must do what he/she can in his/her own small little way to effect positive change  first and foremost in his/her own attitude towards education and its process. Together, these responsible involved ones shall journey towards the fulfillment of their cherished dream of quality education in this part of the world.

Along this journey, trials that seem to be insurmountable are expected but these trials make the journey more challenging and the result more satisfying.
This journey takes time. Nobody knows how long it shall take to reach its destination. But one thing is sure once this journey has begun it will go on despite the odds. Just like a flowing stream that seeks its way to the sea it reaches it despite the rugged terrain and the barriers along its path because the flowing water softens and breaks even the hardest of rocks, uproots even the strongest of trees and it continuously, patiently glides along the sides of the highest mountains just to arrive at its destination.
Yes, this journey involves time and time brings changes. Hopefully, these changes are advantageous to the fulfillment of our nation’s illusive dream: Best Quality Education. By that time, this dream shall have no longer been an illusion but a reality in our midst.

by: LORBINA O. MAGINDI, is from the DPLMHS, Sta.Maria, Z. C.

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