Friday, May 05, 2006


'Father and sons'
Photograph by Dylan Yap Gozum
Manila Yacht Club, Manila Bay

Had a meeting with my editors yesterday regarding the Grade III Science textbook I was writing. I was prepared to be scared to death about major revisions I might be asked to do. It turned out, they just wanted me to tone down the language I used because it was far too advanced for Grade III students. Funny enough, the consultant asked his Grade III son to read the draft and asked him if he understood it. 'Not quite', says the kid. The kid is from the Ateneo.

I wouldn't pass judgment on the Ateneo Grade School education even if I was a product of the good old public school system. In fact, I spent my Grade III in an Ateneo, too. Somehow, it continues to boggle me why we haven't raised the level of language used in elementary schools. This must be due to the declining profiency of teachers in the English language. And don't even think of blaming this to text messaging!

Another thing, why is science so weak in elementary, even in High School? The fact is, DepEd's Basic Education Curriculum (BEC), supposedly a work in progress started by the now-dead Raul Roco, has practically erased all science subjects in Grades 1 and 2. The thing is, this particular BEC has failed miserably.

Why do I say this? Because ever so consistently, the profiency level of public school students in Mathematics, English, and Science have continuously dipped into dangerous levels never before seen in the system's history. I have seen this myself during provincial visits to schools, and the data gathered during the annual National Achievement Tests say the same, too.

I have nothing against the order to tone down the language of my work. I have been paid to do a good job on it and I will deliver. After all, this Grade III textbook will be the children's first formal science subject. It might pay to be a little gentle on the poor things. Unfortunately, it appears that earlier level textbooks (Grades 1 and 2) are baby talk books, so shifting to a formal language in Grade III would be a shocker. There's the problem.

But since we Pinoys just loooooove to babytalk our children, maybe we should do this in advancing levels up to Grade VI thereby rendering our graduates incompetent for High School. Believe it or not, there's now talk of revising the BEC and returning Science to Grade I.

When will we ever stop experimenting with our children's education?!


Cyber Agnes said...

My nephews say otherwise. Two of them go to Elizabeth Seton Secondary School (in Las Pinas) and the little ones will start their primary education at Manresa (in BF Homes, Sucat, Paranaque). Their parents say that the level of education in these schools is quite advanced.
I know, there should be a certain level of standardization nationwide that will enable Filipino graduates to compete globally.

By the way, I switch to a new medium for blogging via the Opera Community. I am now Cyber Agnes.

Ate Agnes (formerly the Talking Mute)

Cyber Agnes said...

Oops wrong tense. I should have said switched in my previous comment.

Redjeulle said...

Hi Dylan, I am a product of public school from elementary to high school, and I turned out ok, i guess. i still can't do fractions, but what the hey. how are you?

Citizen of the World said...

Oh, good for them. A friend teaches in Seton, by the way. I know our schools can be advanced in SOME areas, and in SOME schools but yes, a level of standardization is indeed in order. How are you, Ate Agnes? :-)

Redjeulle, I just flunked my PHQ-9 exam. I got more than 15 points, which means I have to see a shrink fast, ha ha! But do we really need to do that here sa Pinas? And how have YOU been?

Redjeulle said...

I'm good, 30 isn't that bad. I took that PHQ-9 yesterday, and I'm safe, haha. Hey, did you get in for the MPH thing at UP?

Anonymous said...

I am doing fine Dylan. I just got home after an 8-hour accounting job and a 3-hour class in Finance. My mind is fried right now, especially after bombarding it with numbers and formulas. :)

Cyber Agnes said...

Oops sorry. The anonymous person was me.
Ate Agnes

See, I told you half of my brain is gone at 11:27 pm. I still need to wake up tomorrow early enough to get in on time at 9:00am. Hay Buhay!

Citizen of the World said...

Redjeulle, i wasn't able to because Mom's breast CA went into her left lung late January and the enrolment was only until Feb.

Think Php 60,000/month in chemo costs. I think I need to get another job fast.

Citizen of the World said...

Ate Agnes, he he! kaya niyo po yan. When it becomes routine na, naku, parang wala na siya. :-)

In June, graveyard shift na ako ulit, hu hu hu!