Sunday, January 3, 2010

EDUCATION IN GENERAL (October 12, 2009)

If you enrol in Malikhaing Pagsulat 10, a General Education subject, at the end of semester, you are expected to come up with a pasyon about student life, a love story about your mom and dad, and a monologue about an unknown hero.

Two of our MP 10, or Ang Hiwaga at Hikayat ng Panulat, classes did great.
Yet they are mostly math and science majors!
Our morning batch launched their literary folio -- Espesyal Halo-halo – edited by Camille Chua, Paulina Miranda, and Ibarra Poliquit and designed by John Perry Buhat -- at the Mag:Net Gallery in Katipunan during our Open Mic Gig last September 28.
Since Ondoy made it impossible for our afternoon batch to join them, they made up last Saturday during our semestral visit to Lila Pilipina!
Although Pepeng was threatening to ruin what they did during their rehearsal at the University of the Philippines Grandstand last Friday, they pushed through with it to the delight of the lolas who did not get the message that our arrival was canceled due to that supposedly Supertyphoon.
That Saturday they were able to get off the press their collection called Maharlika edited by Ian David, Crysthel Pamintuan, Lyle Prospero, and Ava Tan and designed by Jay Fidelino. Last Monday, they were able to create a site about their efforts at!
As if on cue, Commission on Higher Education's Richie de la Rosa reminded us about the consultative conference with professional organizations and professional regulations last Wednesday at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City.
As the Technical Panel for General Education chair, Dr. Isagani R. Cruz spoke on behalf of other experts – Dr. Queena Lee Chua, Dr. Ma. Serena Diokno, and Dr. Cristina Padolina – about the so-called “Philippine Main Education Highway” wherein existing courses requiring licensure exams by the Professional Regulation Commission are proposed to last five years starting last June, supposedly, and starting 2010, even non-board courses will also be extended by one year!
Eight months ago, chairman Emmanuel Angeles promised to do this kind of consultation before CHEd could reform the college baccalaureate curriculum since “compared with other countries all over the world [except Botswana] our educational system lacks two years, we do not have Grades 11 and 12 … our four years bachelors program has two years only of professional courses because the first two years are devoted to general education courses.”
Dr. Alfredo Co, a TPGE member, had these harsh realities to share: (1) a tacit acceptance of the deficient primary and secondary education program; (2) CHEd is picking up the cudgel of the Department of Education; (3) the language competence, basic math and science must be the responsibility of the primary and secondary education; (4) taking these burdens that should prepare the students to a tertiary education can seriously affect the concerns of the tertiary education that should be preparing students to an area of expertise; (5) a consultation and comprehensive meeting between DepEd and CHEd addressing the concerns of preparedness/ unpreparedness of high school graduates for entry to tertiary education can lessen the burden now being absorbed by the CHEd; (6) the raison d’ĂȘtre of CHEd is precisely “Higher Education” but the heavy burden that it is now addressing is still “basic” and “fundamental” education, thereby stifling and consuming; (7) Technical Committees and Panels have been shelving all its completed works (regarding Center of Excellence and other Program and Standards, for example) that are supposed to be scheduled for consultation and implementation because of the unending changes that coming their way; (8) even if a new GE program is to emerge, out of simple eagerness, many things have to be seriously addressed; program review of the existing GE (reviewing the merits and demerits), methodic consultations, program development, institutional preparation, faculty development, textbook development, and financial appropriation (both from private institutions and government schools), etc. have to be seriously taken into consideration if we want our initiative (that could take years) to be put into serious implementation.
We were there, not just as a TC on Literature member but as Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas chair, a faculty member, and a father whose belt will be tightened if we agreed to follow the “10+2+3 formula,” i.e. 10 years of basic education, a two-year pre-university program, and then a final three years of specialization!
Our primary concern was simple: will Filipino and Philippine literature be a part of that “revitalized” tertiary education system that could make us at par with that of other countries?
And the relevance and significance of the said language and literature subjects came from our students' hearts and minds after taking MP 10 and Panitikan ng Pilipinas 12, among others, who admitted that those GE subjects made them more human!
During the program at the Lila Pilipina office where they learned about peace education last October 10 – the day after American President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize “because the judges found his promise of disarmament and diplomacy too good to ignore” -- what served as the ice-breaker was when they sang their own stormed version of Bahay-kubo:
Dami putik
ang pumasok doon
ay sari-sari.
Nilimas na karton,
sirang medyas at damit,
silya, basurang mapanghe.
Ondoy, parusa,
binura ang Marikina
at saka meron pa
lubog din ang Edsa,
Montalban at Pasig,
Taytay at Cainta
sa paligid-ligid
ay puno ng baha!
While we all laughed till we dropped, Maria Abulencia's surprise text reminded us of what great historian Fr. Horacio de la Costa of Mauban,Quezon once wrote about three gifts of Filipinos: LAUGHTER, MUSIC, FAITH.
Women blink nearly twice as much as men!
CONSIDER THIS: Lord, when I lose hope because my plans have come to nothing, help me to remember that your love is always greater than my dissappointments and your plans for my life are always better than my dreams.

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