Philippine Education Situation菲律宾教育现况

From:Ms. Heart Dino

 

According to United Nations, education is one of the most powerful instruments to eradicate poverty, hence has a fundamental role to play in personal and social development. Right to education is basic in improving quality of life as it capacitates an individual to realize his/her full potentials and skills to become a productive member of a society, and is therefore one of the core agenda of youth activists in the Philippines.

But the realization of these objectives is subject to the recognition of proper policies and strategies for education.  The Philippine education system is in a deep crisis having problems from basic level to higher education. Implementing policies in the system are in bounds of neoliberal globalization and state strategies for education constantly change as global demand for workers changes. This results to a highly deregulated system of market-driven education.

That the state of Philippine education is dismal is an understatement. For one, there is a continuing rise in the number of out-of-school youth. Among others, shortages in classrooms, lack of adequate facilities, and overworked and underpaid teachers all paint a bitter picture which do not reflect our professed aspiration of providing quality and accessible education.

The current Aquino administration had pursued certain reforms to address the deteriorating quality of the Philippine education system, but we need a more holistic solution that will address not only a particular issue but each perennial problem of the education system.

Start of the K to 12 Basic Education Program

Academic year 2013-2014 marks the start of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, which primarily adds kindergarten and an additional two (2) years of secondary education following a K-6-4-2 model. This is the flagship reform strategy of the Department of Education [DepEd] to address the poor quality of education primarily in basic level, as shown in the low achievement scores of Filipino students in the National Achievement Test (NAT), not even have met the National Performance Standard of 75%. The strategy is also to compare to international standards of at least twelve years of basic education.

Young progressives in the Philippines welcome this development. The program seeks to introduce reforms in the basic education curriculum and enhance the transition management from basic education to employment and from basic education to higher education.

However, additional two years does not necessary result in better instruction and performance of students.  It must be made clear that this change in curriculum and structure of basic level will be useless without corresponding improvements in other aspects of the education system. In the absence of innovative ways of dealing with perennial problems such as, among others, classroom shortages, undermanned schools, decline in teaching competence, and dearth of facilities necessary for proper instruction, adding more years may only serve to worsen the Philippine education situation.

Tuition and Other Fee Increases

 Despite the call of activists for a tuition increase moratorium, the country’s Commission on Higher Education [CHED] has recently approved the application of more than 300 private higher educational institutions for tuition and other fee increase for the academic year 2013-2014. The increase would necessary be of burden to the parents and students, making tertiary level more inaccessible to millions of youth in the country, which will result to higher drop-out rates and increased number of out of school youth. This is a clear manifestation that Philippine government fails to implement policies that will ensure accessibility and affordability in higher education institutions.

The CHED memorandum no 3 series of 2012 entitled Enhanced Policies, Guidelines and Procedures governing increases in Tuition and Other school fees, introduction of new fees and for other purposes has a lot of flaws and lacks of implementation guidelines making it useless to police dubious fees and bogus consultations. The memorandum further enhances the government premise of relegating education to the private sector.

Students’ Rights as basic Human Rights

 Discrimination compromises the quality of appreciation of education of students. Even today there are recorded instances of violations against students’ rights and welfare. Students who are part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, more often than not, are bullied and discriminated inside the campus. In many private schools, students who are discovered to be pregnant and unmarried are immediately expelled. Students are also deprived of their right to participate in any decision-making process in the school, particularly, when it comes to raising tuition and other fees.

The advocacy of students’ rights and welfare has been a longstanding struggle for the Philippine student movement. Given the lack of a clear and comprehensive national policy guaranteeing the realization of the full potential of students, numerous violations against the young Filipino scholars are still continually being committed.

As students and citizens that are supposed to be protected by the Constitution, we cannot let our liberties end upon stepping into the halls of our academic institutions. Beyond the struggle for a higher budget or better facilities, we have to recognize that quality education includes fostering a conducive environment where students are free to excel without the fear of discrimination or repression.

Pending in the Philippine Congress for more than a decade now is the Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill, which is met with much opposition from conservatives and private school owners.  The passage of this bill into law would ensure the protection of students’ civil and political liberties within and outside the campuses and also ensure that academic institutions are able to mold tomorrow’s Filipinos into citizens capable of true nation building.

On Education Spending

The 2013 budget proposed by the Aquino administration paints a similar bleak picture for the education sector.  The Department of Education will get P292.7B, up by 22.6% from last year’s education budget.  This is in line with the current government’s call for improved public school education in the country.  Budget for state universities and colleges also increased, from P21.9B to P34.9B this year.

Young Filipino progressives, of course, welcome the Increases in the education budget. However, it is not debatable that Philippine government spending on education sector is still below the international standard pegged by the Delors Commission of the UNESCO at 6% of the GNP.

Education underspending is not part of a just and progressive education system. As progressives, we believe that appropriate budget for education should be allocated as this is an essential factor in ensuring better instruction, up-to-date facilities and materials, thus improved quality of education. Achievement of a quality, relevant and accessible education is not possible without sufficient support from the government.

Education is a right

There is a need for the government to go back to the premise that education is first and foremost a state responsibility. The role of young progressives in the country is to make sure that this point is not muddled in the on-going crises within the education system, which could lead to desperation and compromise.

 

—-

Ms. Heart Dino

HEART DINO is the current Chairperson of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines [SCAP], the largest student council and student political party formation in the country. SCAP is an activist and feminist organization that has been pushing for reforms in the education sector. Ms. Dino is also immediate past and first transgender student council Chairperson of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

 

菲律宾教育现况

文:菲律宾学生议会联盟总协调    翻译:王佳骏

 

依据联合国人权宣言,教育是消除贫困最有力的工具,所以教育扮演了个人与社会发展最基本的角色。受教育的权利是成就一个人成为社会一分子的途径,也是青年与学生运动最注重的一环。

但是,实现这些目标必须先认清教育本身的目的与政策。菲律宾教育系统从基础至高等教育都陷入深深地危机。新自由主义的落实改变了全球劳工市场的流动,导致教育的高度松绑,转至市场导向。

菲律宾的教育是令人沮丧的,首先,辍学的青年人数逐日增加,其中的原因在于,课室不足、设备缺乏和老师的薪资福利被压榨,都造成菲律宾无法提供有素质的教育。

目前,阿奎诺三世政府已经追求一定的改革,解决教育体系的恶化,可是学生议会需要更全面的解决方案,而不仅解决一个特定的问题,而是每一个常年的教育体系问题。

国民教育

从2013年开始,菲律宾开始推行从幼儿园至中学的国民教育,即K-6-4-2 模式。这么做除了除了解决的基层教育问题,也解决菲律宾全国评估测验(NAT)的成绩过于低落,甚至未达75巴仙的问题。此外,这也是为了让菲律宾的教育与国际的教育接轨。

菲律宾的进步青年当然乐见如此的发展。该计划旨在引进基础教育课程改革,加强从基础教育到就业的教育。

然而,额外的两年并不一定促成更好的教学和学生的学习表现。我们必须了解,如果教育体系没有相应改革,课程和教育体制的改革是无用的。缺乏创新的思维,以正确的政策解决长期累积的问题,例如教室短缺,人员不足的学校,教学能力下降,及缺乏必要的设施,长年下来这只会使菲律宾的教育情况更加严重而已。

补习费及其他费用增加

 尽管学运分子呼吁暂停增加学费,菲律宾的高等教育委员会近日还是批准300多家私立高等教育机构增加2013-2014学年的学费及其他费用。这次的学费增加措施势必增加家长及学生们的负担,全国数以百万计的青年更无法受惠于大专教育,进而导致更高的辍学率。明显地,菲律宾政府未能确保人民获得可负担的高等教育。

学生权益是基本人权

此外,歧视损害了学生的教育质量,特别是越来越多记录显示,校园内的LGBT群体常常在校园内面临霸凌问题。在私立学校,学生一旦被发现未婚先孕将立即被开除。学生参与校园事物如增加学费等事务的决策权也被褫夺。

由于没有一套完整的教育政策,菲律宾的学生抗争将是一场持久战。菲律宾许多年轻的学者也持续提出许多说法,质疑国家的教育政策无法公平及妥善地发掘学生的潜能。

作为学生和公民都应该受宪法保护的,我们不能让我们的自由断送在我们的学术机构。通过学费过高的抗争,我们必须认识到,素质教育必须包括有一个有利于培养人才的环境,让学生自由地活在一个没有歧视或压迫的环境之中。

菲律宾学生议会联盟目前正在推动菲律宾国会立法保障学生权利与福利法案,但是遭到私人学校的拥有者及保守分子的反对。立定这项法案的目的在于保障学生的作为公民,在校园内及校园外的权利,同时保障学校能够塑造明天的菲律宾人成为建设国家的公民。

菲律宾总统阿奎诺三世的2013年财政预算案规划了教育蓝图的雏形。教育部将比起去年多花费22.6巴仙,即292.7亿菲律宾比索(约21.9亿令吉)。这是目前政府号称提升公共教育的政策,而州立大专院校的预算今年也从21.9亿菲律宾比索(约1.6亿令吉)增加至34.9亿菲律宾比索(约2.6亿令吉)。

菲律宾学运分子当然乐见菲律宾增加对于教育的预算,但是针对菲律宾政府仍旧把给予教育的预算低于联合国的德洛尔委员会中国际标准所建议的6巴仙,这点还是值得商确的。

高昂的教育花费不是一个正义及进步的教育体系。作为一个进步青年,我们相信适当的花费、良好的政策和适当的分配才能提升教育素质。这之中,没有政府的支持是不太可能做到的。

现在最重要的是,政府回到教育的本质,了解这是国家的责任。而青年进步分子扮演的角色是不让危机持续,防止国家走向绝望的深渊。 

赫迪诺是菲律宾最大的学生议会和学生政治联盟,学生议会联盟总协调。学生议会联盟是一个进步与女权主义组织,主要推动教育转型议题。赫迪诺来自蒂利曼大学,也是学生议会联盟第一位当任总协调的跨性别者。

 

本文同时刊登学运报

Sept,2013: AUKU, who has been oppressed?

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