Saturday, June 20, 2015

Kadluan? Para Guro?

In addition to Alternative Learning System (RA 9155), we also have "Open High School System" (OHSS) which is recently being institutionalized thru HB 4085. OHSS provides an additional option to our working youth/adults and non-traditional learners to obtain a high school diploma without going to school every day since there are various distance learning mechanisms available.  Learners who failed ALS-A&E test (one time big time test to cover the whole HS)  repeatedly might fare better in  OHSS (tests would only cover one particular year level).

While I rejoice for the extra push for Open HS, I feel ambivalent as I read exotic strange sounding Tagalog labels  that might cause confusion to many , especially in non-Tagalog areas -- "gurong kadluan" "gurong tagapatnubay"  "inang paaralan" and "para guro" (must be equivalent to para teacher but to Filipinos it might be misconstrued as  "parang teacher pero hindi totoong teacher" or illegitimate teacher).

Read full text of HB4085

Though Open HS has been around for a few years now, many including teachers are still confused and can't tell the difference between ALS and OHS…ngayon dadagdagan pa ng anu-anong pampagulong terms.  Sana pati Open HSS ginawa na ring Tagalog but the translation I have in mind sounds indecent  ;-)

We haven't learned from our elders in Diliman who attempted to coin all sort of Tagalog words (salipawpaw, sipnayan etc) that failed to find their way in our everyday discourse.  The best way to do it is implement the program and let local and popular titles emerge from the users. Who knows, instead of Para Guro (which is deficit-oriented by the way), the learners  will call her "Super Teacher" (since one has to be extra capable to teach such a diverse group—OSY/A, CICL, working youth, etc).

Anyway, I hope the final draft would at least include an English translation or eliminate altogether those exotic terms since the OHSS learners are just like normal HS students and they do not need to be marked differently and be further marginalized

Read news report



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Delayed ALS-A&E Results ...time to reconsider assessment practices for ALS

DepEd, bakit po super delayed ang release ng ALS A&E results? Sabi nyo nuon April...ngayon naman sabi nyo May na naman. Ano ba talaga? Nagmumukhang sinungaling na ang mga ALS teachers sa learners nila....Fyi tapos na po ang deadline ng mga college scholarship application ...pati college entrance exam patapos na rin...paano na ang mga plano at pangarap ng mga ALS learners? Sabi nyo late ang naging schedule ng exam last year, late na-process ang documents… Hindi naman kasalanan ng mga learners yun…matagal mag-check ang mga service providers? Hindi ba dapat kasama sa condition ng pagpili sa kanila ang timeliness of results? Baka naman kulang sila.

 A&E test has been conducted year after year for 15 years now. You cannot just say you lack the experience… It is a given fact that the test takers need to get their A&E results early so they can process the requirements for enrolment.

Maybe you should consider localizing the assessment process so that the test would be more contextualized – using the local language and socio-economic condition of the learners so that you do not ask essay questions about agricultural concerns to ALS students in Manila and you do not ask essay questions about technological gadgets to learners who live in places that do not even have any electricity.

Localizing A&E would also allow for more authentic assessment. A farmer for example might not be able to compute abstract math problems unrelated to his craft using paper and pencil test. But if you ask him to explain and demonstrate how he computes for farm inputs, spatial requirements for planting, you might see the most elegant naturalistic and agri-based math.

It’s been proven through research that literacy (and numeracy) is context specific. You cannot decontextualized it and represent it in highly textual abstraction, otherwise you would miss its real and dynamic (functional) meaning.



Missed opportunities

Why oh why? The other week Congressman Magi Gunigundo said in his keynote speech at Bulacan State University that the Department of Education has spent only 28% of its total allocation...Wow that's 72% unspent budget.   Now it's 33% for UP! Can you imagine the benefits in the lives of students and teachers if only the whole amount was accessed and spent properly?

Laging nagrereklamo sa kakulangan ng kagamitan sa edukasyon...yun pala iba ang kulang. It’s already given that the disbursement processes are now more stringent. If such was becoming a real formidable bottleneck, then they should have made it into an issue. But they waited for years, keeping things under the rug… and now they have to return the unused funds.

Yes there was the real risk that part of the money would end in the wrong hands. The grafters did not benefit as they did before, but so were the 25 million pupils and 500,000 teachers. Our leaders should be held accountable for such negligence, for their lack of will, courage and resourcefulness to make things happen.