By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
In order to achieve quality education, an association of private schools urged the government, particularly the Department of Education (DepEd), to “make us real partners” by instituting various changes both in operations and in the curriculum.
The Federation of Associations of Private Schools Administrators (FAPSA), in a statement, said that addressing the issue of quality education in the country should involve not just the public school system but also the private schools.
“The country has what it takes to educate the students as far as pedagogical content is concerned – there is not much problem there,” said FAPSA President Eleazardo Kasilag. “What we need is upgraded personal approach and the technical operation of the curriculum contents,” he added.
FAPSA issued this statement after senators pushed for the revival of the congressional committee on education (EDCOM) to help the government improve the state of education in the country. While it “favors the idea” to revive the EDCOM, it noted that changes in the curriculum and technical operation should come in first.
The FAPSA, which caters to issues on the operation of private schools as well as concerns on school management, noted that the there should be changes when it comes to the delivery of education services in bot public and private schools.
Among these changes should include tapping the private schools to address large classes by providing support to teachers from elementary up. “We have many big empty classrooms [so] make us real partners instead of choking us with regulations,” Kasilag said.
FAPSA is also pushing the utilization of technology in teaching and other classroom setting. “Let us consider using tablet in our schools; tablet is mightier than the pen and not intended only for social media,” Kasilag said.
“I insist that Deped begins to engage in tablet education for SY 2020-2021 for it shall erase poor mindset about addiction, cyber bullying, games and even depression – a simple tablet policy can cure those apprehension,” Kasilag added. He claimed that some FAPSA-member schools, such as the St. Nicholas in Marikina, has been doing this since 2012.
FAPSA is also urging the government to “get rid” of the political issues inserted in the curriculum.
“Do away with the ‘virus’ that infects the basic learning – if it is about health survey, it is for DOH [Department of Health] not DepEd; if it is about drugs, it is for DOJ [Department of Justice] not DepEd,” he added.
Kasilag also slammed some classroom routines and the clamor of public school teachers for higher salaries.
“It is passion in teaching not the peso, [teachers should] stay glued in the room not in the street, hold longer the chalk not placards and of course, encourage the students to ‘burn the eyebrows’ and not not effigies,” he said – pertaining to teachers who join rallies calling for pay hike.
Earlier, Joint Resolution 10 was filed to revive the EDCOM in an effort to improve the state of education in the country. Senators Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Sherwin Gatchalian, Grace Poe, Franklin Drilon, and Joel Villanueva are pushing to create the EDCOM.
The EDCOM will be tasked to review, assess, and evaluate the formal, non-formal, informal and alternative learning systems – which include systems of education across all levels.
The senators were pushing for the revival of EDCOM following the result of the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which showed the Philippines’ low ranking or 79th out of 79 high and middle incomes countries.
The latest PISA results, released on December 3, also revealed that the country scored 353 in mathematics, 357 in science, and 340 in reading – which are considered “below the average” of participating Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
“Should a Senate review is set, please do consider organization heads, and not limit attendance only to the high and mighty coming down from their ivory tower,” Kasilag said. “We always have the virtual reality to share,” he ended.