Philippine Daily Inquirer / 08:04 PM September 24, 2011
In his book “Brigada Eskwela,” author Juan Miguel Luz identifies the five disconnects that hobble the Philippine educational system, the five reasons Jose can’t read:
1) We are a two-class education system: The private system which runs from 12 to 14 years has proven quite effective compared to the 10-year public school education, leading to a push for a 12-year basic education for all Filipino students.
2) Teachers are subsidizing public and private education with their low pay: Though we spend the most of our national budget on education, very little of this goes to the teachers themselves. The solution would be a program to gradually increase teachers’ pay.
3) Filipino children are starting school too late, leading to high dropout rates later: The best thing to do is to enroll kids at age 6 and provide in-school feeding programs.
4) We are fast becoming a nation of male underachievers: Boys are dropping out of school from grade 5 to high school 2.5 times more than girls. Schools need to intervene with programs designed to keep boys in school, sports and technical-vocation training for example.
5) Muslim-Filipino children only get half the education other Filipino children are getting: The installation of a competency-based system based on Madaris (a Muslim-oriented learning system that respects the religion) would even out these imbalances.