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The Role of USAID in Massive Educational Reform

posted Jul 10, 2017, 1:24 AM by Jose Dasig

         

by: MICHAEL JUNE P. ALEGRE

         USAID has identified the poor quality of education service delivery across the country as a primary challenge to human capital formation.  The basic education sector has been noted to be beset with systemic hindrances to functional literacy resulting from poor quality of teaching instruction, lack of high-quality relevant learning materials, and sporadically used reading diagnostic tools.  On the other hand, poor regulatory environment and a lack of transparent information on labor market demands and university performance pose significant challenges to the higher education sector.

In addressing the above-mentioned problems, USAID is working closely with the Department of Education, thru active support for the Philippine Government’s Every-Child-A-Reader Program, a program aimed primarily to improve reading skills of millions of children.  In so doing, however, it strengthens the teaching capacity of basic education teachers thru improved instructional quality for early grade teachers who are given access to reading recovery and development of reading materials and institutionalization of world-class reading diagnostic tools.  Furthermore, USAID continues to work with the local government units, school boards and school governing councils to improve transparency and accountability in education governance and increase community engagement. For example, Basa Pilipinas, a program supported by USAID, has trained 12,854 Grades 1 to 3 teachers on effective reading instruction and 3,465 Department of Education supervisors and school heads on Learning Action Cells facilitation and teacher training support for reading and distributed over four million teaching and learning materials, including teacher’s guides, read alouds, and leveled readers, and supplementary English books and reading materials for use in USAID-assisted schools. 

            The rapid technological advancements have highlighted the need for the higher education to develop its role as an engine for innovation, productivity, competitiveness, and inclusive growth. Recognizing the weakness of the higher education sector in facing these challenges, the USAID extends support for strengthening the faculty research and innovation capacity through partnerships with U.S. universities; giving special focus  to science, technology, and innovation disciplines that are relevant to high-growth and high value-added sectors, such as information technology and manufacturing.  Highlighted in the process are the needs for string links between the academia and industry to ensure the workforce is trained to provide the necessary human capital for economic growth.

THE REALITY OF EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

posted Jul 10, 2017, 1:21 AM by Jose Dasig

by: MICHAEL JUNE P. ALEGRE

Compared to education systems in other Southeast Asian countries, access to higher education in the Philippine education system has traditionally been widely available. However, at the primary and secondary school levels, access and completion rates have been declining significantly in recent years. The universal primary enrollment achieved in 1970 has been on a long-term deterioration in quality, with the national figures obscuring wide regional differences.  In Manila, close to 100 percent of students finish primary school, whereas in Mindanao and Eastern Visayas less than 30 percent of students do.

The United Nations’ The Millennium Development Goals Report 2006 reported that the Philippines was the only country in the Southeast Asian region for which the youth literacy rate decreased between 1990 and 2004, from 97.3 percent to 95.1 percent.  Meanwhile, between 1992 and 2009, the nation’s net primary enrollment rate dropped by a significant margin from nearly 96 percent to just over 88 percent. Although the 2013 level of 95% signaled a rise to its near 1992 levels, the elementary completion rate was less than 74% in 2013, indicating a significant drop-out at the elementary level.

To help address these issues, the country began the implementation of major structural and curricular reforms with the Kindergarten Act of 2012 and the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, extending formal education from just 10 years to 13 years (K-12, or mandatory year of kindergarten and two years of senior high school).  Designed to stem the high dropout rates that have plagued the system for decades, the reforms address the need to make students better ready for postsecondary training.

            The transition period began with the enrollment in 2012-13 of the first cohort of grade 1 students who will graduate, after 13 years, from the entirely overhauled education system. In 2017–2018 the first cohort graduates from the new primary and junior high cycles. Those graduating from the four-year junior high cycle will be the first in the nation to undertake the new two-year senior high school curriculum.

ICT INTEGRATION TO K-12

posted Jul 10, 2017, 1:15 AM by Jose Dasig   [ updated Jul 10, 2017, 1:19 AM ]

By: MICHAEL JUNE P. ALEGRE

Research has indicated that the use of Information and Communication Technology (I.C.T.) can support new instructional approaches and make hard-to-implement instructional methods such as simulation or cooperative learning more feasible; thus, contributing to improve student learning outcomes and effectiveness. However, the breadth and complexity of ICT requires the development of a set of standards in integrating it into the curriculum for K-12 schools in the Philippines, ensuring the adoption of a common reference tool and a defined framework for national testing.

Specifically, a common set of standards for the ICT implementation would be important for the following:

  1. For schools, standards would provide a focus for developing new ways to organize curriculum content, instructional programs and assessment plans.
  2. For the teachers, standards will help them design curriculum, instruction and assessment on the basis of what is important to learn. They also enable teachers to make expectations clear to students, which improves their learning.
  3. For students, standards set clear performance expectations, helping them understand what they need to do in order to meet the standards.      

If properly designed and implemented, ICT can promote the acquisition of the knowledge and skills that will empower students for lifelong learning.  When used appropriately, ICTs, especially computers and Internet technologies, enable new ways of teaching and learning rather than simply allow teachers and students to do what they have done before in a better way.  It is therefore important that the process of integrating standards into the curriculum should emphasize learning and growth for all as the natural and desired outcome of reform in the schools.  Consisting with the above, the process should consider the following steps:

a.      Development of a curriculum framework in the context of standards-based reform;

b.      Selection of a curriculum-planning model that further articulates the standards-based reform outlined in the framework;

c.       Building a capacity at all levels of the educational system; and

d.      Continuous monitoring, Assessment and evaluation of the curriculum as teachers implement it in the classroom.    

 

TRAINED TO WIN VS. COMPETE TO WIN

posted Jul 6, 2017, 5:25 PM by Jose Dasig   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 5:59 PM ]

Frederick L. de Guzman 
T II, City of Balanga National High School

 

As a Physical Education teacher, where I personally see the real scheme of things in the battlefield, I am very much concerned about the mentality of other people wanting to win, be competitive and produce a sure-ball athlete who will bring pride and honor to the school and in the community. After much reflections, I ended up asking the following questions: “Whose responsibility really is it to produce such an athlete?”, “What should be considered and prioritized to send a top-caliber athletes?” and “How should we deal with those who were not fighting in the battlefield?” No matter how willing the parents, athletes and teachers are, there’s still other people who do not understand the interplay between exposing the athletes and learning lessons from competitions. It is a given fact that everybody’s decision is relevant but it doesn’t mean if one sector plays a big part means that theirs is final and irrevocable. It is even very paradoxical to send a very few athletes and assume them to win. Are we after honor or do we care honing athletes’ sports skills that in the long run, giving them enough experience, ample training and motivation might help them win medals and pride to themselves?

The following are just some of the factors I think will help elucidate the things that everybody should consider whether to train to win or compete to win:

1.       Fundamental training. One of my personal agonies is knowing how young athletes are trained. Lucky are those who were handled by a trainer who have a scientific knowledge and apply it in training athletes. But most of the time, I observed that trainers only teach because they are former athletes and the responsibility was left to them by the coach. I cannot vehemently blame them. But I to the athletes who are forced to do things beyond their capabilities and some are even verbally abused.in training athletes. But most of the time, I observed that trainers only teach because they are former athletes and the responsibility was left to them by the coach. I cannot vehemently blame them. But I to the athletes who are forced to do things beyond their capabilities and some are even verbally abused.

2.       Scientific Training. In order to gain more confidence, a trainer needs to employ an advance mode of training i.e. scientific training. It is a must that trainer be adept in what science can offer him to produce a quality athlete and not sticking what is just established.

3.       Goal setting. Looking beyond the athletes’ playing years is very important to hone their skills. There’s a very slim chance of consistently winning a medal given a short period of sporting experience over training them while competing and gaining experience. It is therefore goal setting should be given importance since this will serve as an anchor that will guide them to look beyond their training and sporting career.

4.       Learning from the experts. There is no shortcut in the ladder of success. And most of the time, it is not that easy to climb. It takes physical training, nutrition and psychological training to work together to create a superb athlete. Whether you are an athlete or a coach, you yourself must know how to be a top-caliber. Experts are both made to be trained and vice versa.

5.       Collaboration. Consulting all the concerned parties should be considered before finalizing the goal of sending athletes to different levels of competitions. Decisions should not be dominated by anyone regardless of the role they play in the process because in the end, it is the athletes who will play for them.

At the end of the day, our decisions in training or sending athletes to compete will either make or break them. It is paramount that we consider all aspects to make sure our concerted efforts will not ruin both the management and our athletes. Let us make this a win-win solution. 

ROUTINE ACTIVITIES

posted Jul 6, 2017, 5:16 PM by Jose Dasig

by: Jerico Venedict Valdez Nazareno

 

Aside from the rules, classroom routines shall be introduced on the first few days of school.  Classroom routines are scheduled daily activities, established to ensure the smooth flow of each day.  They are predictable patterns that facilitate in making both teaching and learning viable.  With efficient classroom routines, transitions from one activity to another will be a lot easier for both the educators and the students.  Thus, valuable classroom time can be saved and that, students can have extra time to learn and can achieve more.

When routines are established, carefully taught and modeled in the classroom, the students know what is expected of them and know how to do certain things independently. On the other hand, the educators can focus on a more significant instruction.  These routines include the arriving at school, taking attendance, activities throughout the day and leaving the school.          

1.  Arriving at School

When the students arrive at the school, they need to know exactly what to do.  They suppose to know where things shall be placed like their umbrellas/raincoats, bags and lunchboxes.  They shall also be familiar with their seating arrangement, what to do with their homework and what they shall do while waiting for their classmates to arrive.  More importantly, the students shall be aware what time the class actually starts.  When the students know all these things, they can move easily through the morning routine.       

2.  Taking Attendance

After the bustle of putting things in their proper places and going to their respective seats, the educators can now easily take the attendance and discuss the learning plan of the day.  These routines can capture the attention of the students and they can therefore go straight to the lesson afterwards without any hustle.

3.  Activities Throughout the Day

Classroom activities throughout the day vary vastly based on the lesson plan prepared by the educators.  The aforementioned activities can be reading task, learning the basic mathematical operations, science experiment, computer-based activities or etc.  Moreover, one subject can have individual activities, both individual and group activities, or small group and whole group activities.  Other subjects may require going outside the classroom or even outside the school premises.  Nonetheless, all these activities shall be planned carefully to ensure efficient transitions.  Efficient transitions of activities can help the students focus into learning, and boredom and misbehaving can be avoided.      

4.  Leaving the School

As the morning started with routines, so shall the end of the day in the school too.  The class can have schedule of the students who will help each day to clean-up the classroom while others are preparing their things to leave, including homework.  This will educate the students to care for the things, the classroom itself and the things inside it, they are using whilst ensuring that the classroom will be ready for the next day.

The entire classroom routines mentioned above can make the students feel a sense of independence and that they have control over things at some level.  For this reason, students tend to be more engaged, proactive and their behavior can be manageable leading to a successful classroom management.   

OVERCROWDING: THE NEW NORM IN THE CLASSROOM SETTING

posted Jul 6, 2017, 5:13 PM by Jose Dasig

by: Jerico Venedict Valdez Nazareno

 

One of the requirements in having quality education experience is the effective classroom management.  Classroom management is the most challenging job that all educators are facing each day, let alone manage an overcrowded classroom.  Overcrowding is the sad truth that is apparent in the public schools and even some private schools, especially in developing countries like the Philippines.    In the ideal classroom setting, the class size will be limited to 15 to 20 students.  This will ensure smooth movement in the classroom, sufficient attention to each student and manageable learning activities.  However, it has always been a tight squeeze in the actual scenario for most of the schools as they regularly have 30 and above students in a single classroom.  Unfortunately, this concern is nearly impossible to eradicate, brought by continuous increase in population and underfunded schools.  Thus, overcrowding becomes the new norm in the classroom setting.

Overcrowding can be frustrating, overwhelming and stressful for the educators for it causes tremendous problems.  It can bring massive discomfort to both the educators and the students, increase noise level and discipline issues, limit the access to necessary equipment, technology and study materials, inadequate attention to each student and give rise to problems concerning health and hygiene.  Since it is likely that overcrowding will stay an issue, its negative impact shall be managed well through both whole school and classroom approaches. 

 

Whole School Approach

            Since overcrowding significantly affects the education of the students, the school community shall enlist the help of the parents to find practical ways to considerably lessen the problems arising from it.  Several projects can be brought up during the parent-teacher meetings like building additional classrooms and/or room extension, acquiring additional classroom equipment and study materials, providing teacher aides, and etc.  With a collaborative effort of the school community and the parents, campaigns can be creatively put up to raise funds like recycling things and selling them, growing crops in the school garden and selling them, caroling during Christmas season, launching a school dance, cultural show or concerts, and etc.  They can also find suitable volunteers to be teacher aides and the parents can volunteer as well.  Besides the help of the parents, the school community can either ask assistance from the media for their situation to be heard or seen by the national government, Non-Profit Organizations or other developing countries that can willingly provide financial and non-financial aid to uplift their conditions or directly request from them for donations.

 

Classroom Approach

            While bringing in school-wide solutions for overcrowding related issues, the educators shall apply smart strategies to ease the burden caused by the said issues to successfully execute the lessons.  The following are helpful tips for the educators teaching in overcrowded classrooms:

1.  Exceptional Planning

- It is highly important that the educators are extremely organized when teaching in overcrowded classrooms.  Thus, educators shall exceptionally plan the daily activities including the execution and transition of those activities for them to be prepared every single day.  They shall also progressively establish efficient system in the classroom to balance their time with each student and lesson.    

2.  Energetic and Engaging Lessons

- It is very common for the students to lose focus and interest in any class setting, let alone in an overcrowded classroom.  Thus, every lesson shall be fast paced and engaging.  The educators shall provide activities that are uniquely related to the lesson and create fun atmosphere.  Such activities can surely capture the attention of the students, and boredom and misbehavior can be avoided.

3.  Suitable Seating Arrangement

- With a large class size, seats shall be strategically arranged.  Those who are academically challenged students and those who are misbehaving can be placed towards the front.  On the other hand, those who are excelling academically and those who are well-behaved can be placed towards the back.  Rotation can also be used to establish and maintain an impression of impartiality.   

 

 

4.  After School Tutoring

- One of the problems arising from overcrowded classroom is the inadequate attention for each student.  If this will not be addressed, the students who are already academically challenged will have more trouble in grasping the lessons and will be more susceptible of losing interest in learning.  Therefore, the educators shall give extra time for those students after school.  The educators shall ask permission from the Head of the Academic Department and the parents of those students so they can have after class hour tutoring.  In this way, the aforementioned students will be able to gradually catch up with the rest of the class, giving them the much-needed boost to their confidence.    

With the continuous support from the parents and other third parties, and the best effort of the school community, the negative effects of overcrowding can be lessened into a manageable level.          

IMPLEMENTATION OF SCHOOL AND CLASSROOM RULES

posted Jul 6, 2017, 5:11 PM by Jose Dasig

by: Jerico Venedict Valdez Nazareno

 

School and classroom rules are set of accepted principles or instructions that state the way things are or should be done, and provide information on what are and are not allowed to do.  They are the framework for the overall management of a school, established to create a safe and conducive to learning environment.  When the rules are in place, the success of school and classroom management greatly relies on how effective the implementation of those rules is.  Effective implementation of rules, whether school-wide rules or simply classroom rules, requires the iterative processes of PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT (PDCA).

1.  Plan

The first and foremost stage in the implementation of rules is planning.  Proper planning is the establishment of comprehensive rules, selection of strategic method to use for the execution of the said rules and deliberation for any changes or adjustments needed.  The responsibilities, power and rights of all the members of the school community – the administrative personnel, academic personnel and students (and impliedly, the parents), and the applicable consequences of any infractions are integral parts of the rules to be established.  Planning shall be done with great diligence in order to lessen, if not avoid, loopholes in the rules and maintain their objectivity upon application.   

2.  Do

After planning comes the execution. In order to apply the established rules or the changes needed, they shall be communicated through the functional units/departments of the school within a hierarchical structure.  School and classroom rules and major changes on them are usually published in the school’s rules and regulations handbook and/or students’ handbook, and are generally explained during the school orientation.  On the other hand, the minor adjustments needed are commonly stated in the school memos or letters to the parents, but some classroom rules are given verbally which are mutually agreed upon by the educators and the students.   

As the school is composed of different functional units/departments, each unit/department has a leader which often refers to as the department head.  The department heads shall ensure that all the rules, whether written or verbal rules, and other related information are clearly understood at all levels.  They shall provide the right direction, sufficient motivation and tireless support to all their subordinates and any members of the school community. This however, does not give immunity to the department heads from the rules, especially when infraction is committed.  The rules shall be applied to all the members of the school community, including the department heads.  In fact, the department heads shall serve as role models to their subordinates and that they shall lead by example.  They shall also build reputations of consistency and fairness in order for them to lead their subordinates in the positive direction.   

3.  Check

Planning and execution without proper monitoring the progress is just a futile effort and a waste of resources.  Thus, checking is equally important as the other stages of the implementation of school and classroom rules. 

Among the many responsibilities of the department heads, monitoring is one of them.  The department heads shall employ strategic method to efficiently monitor the adherence to the rules of their subordinates.  They shall regularly supervise and evaluate their subordinates.    By close monitoring, problems can be easily identified and rectified before they can get out of hand.  The department heads shall also ensure that all their observations, incidents and recommendations are recorded accordingly, and they shall be communicated to the relevant persons.  It is important that the department heads maintain confidentiality.    

4.  Act

Upon evaluation, problems or issues to be addressed are identified.  Then, recommendations are presented and discussed to relevant persons.  These recommendations are the corrective actions to be done both for disobedience and ineffective rules.  In case of disobedience or any infractions, the corrective actions shall not be strictly punitive in nature, but rather more of constructive sorts.  People, especially the students, will be more willing to do the recommendations or corrective actions if positive impact on them is evident.  On the other hand, if the corrective actions are for the ineffective rules, thorough studies shall be done before any necessary adjustments to avoid the recurrence of previous problems.

Since the effective implementation of rules requires the iterative processes of PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT (PDCA), it is understandable that planning is the next step after the corrective actions are presented.  The execution of the corrective actions shall be properly planned; corrective actions shall be applied; and implementation shall be monitored.  Ultimately, PDCA should be repeatedly implemented in spirals of increasing realization of the goals of the school, each cycle closer than the previous.  This approach is based on the belief that the rules or the implementation of the said rules may have limitations and challenges, but improving continuously.   

DISCIPLINE IN THE SECONDARY STUDENTS

posted Jul 6, 2017, 1:56 AM by Jose Dasig

by: Jerico Venedict Valdez Nazareno

 

Discipline is one of the facets in having an efficient classroom management and it is the educators’ responsibility to effectively communicate and instill discipline in their students.  However, the word “discipline” has a harsh connotation to the students.  As it is written in the dictionary, discipline means the practice of training people to obey rules or code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.  Thus, most of the students think that discipline is simply about maintaining the law and order in the classroom which they usually refer to as a way to control and punish them, especially those in the secondary level.   

Instilling discipline in secondary students is a very challenging job for all the educators as it is known that secondary students, mostly teenagers, are emotionally unstable due to the hormonal and physical changes during puberty.  They are beginning to be more self-conscious, oversensitive, short-tempered, independent and secretive.  Furthermore, they are starting to cling to the idea that they can do things without the help of an adult and demand freedom when it comes to decision-making however impulsive or reckless they can be.  They usually build an invisible wall that separates themselves from the adults around them, and that only their circle of friends or peers can have access to.  This wall gives rise to peer pressure which also affects the secondary students to behave in a certain way.  And for these reasons, the educators shall carefully choose which discipline strategy to use to positively hone the behavioral aspect of the secondary students.

There are several discipline strategies that educators may apply to their students which are classified into three main approaches, namely: Preventive Discipline, Supportive Discipline and Corrective Discipline

A Preventive Discipline Approach is mainly about establishing expectations and guidelines for behavior, and making sure that it is clearly understood by all the students.  Such guidelines may include rules about speaking, language use, tests and etc.  It is essential that the educators clearly explain each rule during the first few days of class for the students to know what is expected of them, and what behaviors are and are not appropriate in any circumstances.  Providing a stimulating curriculum, involving and empowering students, and continuously emphasizing good manners, self-respect and respect for others are some of the ways that educators may use to successfully prevent misbehavior.  A preventive discipline approach also covers the consequences of misbehavior.  As such, heated argument in class can be avoided for the students understand what is to come.   

All the students, particularly the secondary students, can give in to any temptations at any time and that a preventive discipline approach may not work all the time.  This is an indication that a Supportive Discipline Approach is needed to apply.  This discipline approach helps students with self-control by guiding them back on track.  A supportive discipline provides a student with suggestions and options for correcting any undesirable behavior, and to accept or avoid further punishment.  For example, if a student is chewing gum inside the classroom after a teacher announced that chewing gum inside the classroom is prohibited, the teacher may say, “You know that chewing of gum inside the classroom is forbidden.  Spit it in the bin or I will need to hold you after class.”  The student has been given option to accept or avoid further punishment; the behavior has been redirected and the student has been guided back on track through a teacher’s supportive discipline approach.  Reminders, redirection, verbal warnings and non-verbal communications are all examples of supportive discipline.   

Even the best efforts in preventive and supportive discipline cannot manage all misbehaviors.  When a student keeps on violating rules and fails to resolve a behavioral problem, a Corrective Discipline Approach shall be employed.  This approach is the final resort where a set of consequences is given to the students.  The goal of the corrective discipline approach is to correct inappropriate behavior as it occurs, especially when there is a serious violation of rules or a major disruption.  Although corrective discipline requires educators’ intervention, this discipline shall neither intimidate students nor shall prompt power struggle to avoid hostile atmosphere in the classroom.  The educators shall take into account that not all secondary students are receptive, but humiliating and belittling students as a way of corrective discipline may make things worse.  It is known that humiliation can contribute to the psychological damage of the students, as well as fear and resentment.  Thus, it is suggested that the educators shall speak calmly, but firmly and in a matter-of-fact manner.  If it may deem necessary, the educator shall talk with the student privately about disruptive behavior and redirect it in positive directions. For a corrective discipline to be efficient, it shall be applied consistently and objectively, and that a regular follow through on promised consequences shall be carried out as well.  

In order for learning to be viable, it is imperative that classroom discipline is maintained not simply imposed.  The following are some helpful tips to maintain classroom discipline:

1. Create and Enforce Comprehensive Rules

            - Rules shall be created with due diligence.  They shall cover all the essential aspects in classroom discipline and that certain factors shall be considered to make them doable.  Moreover, each rule shall be stated and explained clearly in order for the students to easily understand and follow it.  The consequences of violating the rules shall also be presented beforehand.in classroom discipline and that certain factors shall be considered to make them doable.  Moreover, each rule shall be stated and explained clearly in order for the students to easily understand and follow it.  The consequences of violating the rules shall also be presented beforehand.

2. Establish Reputations of Uniformity, Neutrality and Consistency

            - Rules shall be implemented to all the students without bias and in a consistent manner.  The educators shall act fairly at all times.  For example, if a teacher has confiscated a mobile phone from a student who is using it during the class, the same thing shall be applied to any student who will be caught the next day.  The educators shall also serve as role models for the students.  A teacher cannot expect his/her students to behave properly if the teacher himself/herself does not act appropriately.  Remember that a great leader is also a great follower.  Respect from the students will be earned by educators who are displaying neutrality, consistency, and who are abiding the rules themselves.  With respect from the students, the educators can easily encourage the students to behave suitably under any circumstances.     

3.  Avoid Too Much Interruption

            - There will be several instances that misbehavior shall be addressed immediately and can cause interruption.  No matter how hard the educators try, it is sometimes impossible to avoid interruption in the class when dealing with misbehavior, especially when there is a need to act expeditiously.  The educators shall therefore use their best judgment to lessen disruption so as not to take away so much time of the learning opportunity from the students.  The educators may ask question to one of the students who are talking during discussion or they can use humor to get them back on track, but avoid using sarcasm, insults or threats.  Sarcasm, insults and threats may impair the relationship of the educators with their students and may have negative impact on the students.  In case immediate confrontation is unavoidable, the educators shall make other students occupied with exercises before talking privately to the offender so that the whole class will not be interrupted.  No matter how difficult a situation can be, the educators shall strive to maintain composure and patience.

4.  Consistently Practice Effective Follow Through

            - Effective follow through is truly the key in instilling discipline wherein the iterative processes of Plan-Do-Check-Act are carried out with utmost diligence.  Plan is setting and communicating the expectations, guidelines and rules; Do is the implementation of those rules; Check is monitoring whether rules are being followed and are efficiently implemented; and implemented; and Act is the necessary corrective actions both for disobedience and discipline approach after evaluation has been made.  It is also important that incidents and actions taken are recorded accordingly to easily track their progress.    

5.  Give Students Opportunities

            - Giving students control over certain things in the classroom will make them feel trusted and dependable.  By showing students that educators have faith in their abilities, they will feel like the overall management and flow of the classroom is up to them to uphold as well.  Also, giving students opportunities to be heard and to be understood will make them to be more trusting.  This will help the educators in building a good relationship with the students and will consequently develop them to be more engaged, confident, responsible and proactive like mature persons that they are meant to be.   to be more trusting.  This will help the educators in building a good relationship with the students and will consequently develop them to be more engaged, confident, responsible and proactive like mature persons that they are meant to be.   

6.  Increase Parental Involvement

            - The first persons to know the students well are their parents.  Thus, the parents can provide unparalleled support to the educators, especially in resolving difficult behavioral problems.  The educators shall increase parental involvement with the students’ progress – both academic and behavioral progress.  In order for the parents to get involved, regular parent-teacher meetings shall be integrated in the school policies.  This will be the perfect time for the educators and parents to exchange information about the students.  This will help the parents to be informed if there are concerns to be addressed and this will also help the educators to know any underlying issues at home that evidently affect the performance and behavior of the students in the class.  With a collaborative effort, the educators and the parents can contemplate on the best way to handle the students. 

A Cure for Terrorism

posted Jul 5, 2017, 1:56 AM by Jose Dasig

By Jaytee A. Cristobal, RN

 

Last week we witnessed how three ruffians committed a brutal terrorist attack in Paris. Also in the Philippines, and in a single week, more than 2000 people were killed by Maute. The main problem with terrorists is that they are tremendously ignorant. These people grew up under the influence of unstructured families, unfair socioeconomic environments, problematic backgrounds, and very poor or completely inexistent education – not just in terms of scholarship, but also regarding human values, beliefs and morals.

 

The terrorist´s role models find it very easy to instill a distorted picture of the world in some kids, because these kids lack key elements for any human to become wise and rational, such as a good education in human values and ethics.

 

Wisdom is the individual ability to think, understand and act using experience and insight to make rational decisions. Wisdom is NOT an inborn ability. Not every human is wise, thus wisdom relies on external factors influencing our ego. The most influential factor in this sense is education, as it is what helps understand our individual identity and develop our ego. Our ego is responsible for our unconscious mind, the part of our brain driving decisions, and mediating between personal identity and our perception of the external reality. Our ego is the mechanism defining our view of ourselves and the world around us.

 

Thus, the lessons we learn from our parents, alongside the socioeconomic environment, our background, and our education, are key external factors influencing the development of our ego, and as a result, facilitating our ability to act rationally or become a barbarian.

 

Education is the most powerful weapon to combat terrorism; It is our responsibility to work together and act wisely against terrorism. The best way to prevent terrorism is to invest and promote global education. Education is a global responsibility, and access to it should not be monetized or restricted to any human being.

 

Terrorism is not a religious problem; Terrorism is clearly a politic and socioeconomic problem, so let´s stop stereotyping. Labelling is a clear sign of ignorance, and we must act jointly and intelligently if we want to resolve this problem. Most Muslims repudiate terrorism as much as any of us does.

 

Jihadist terrorists kill more Muslims than Christians. Their terror acts are not only committed in Paris, Madrid, London or NYC, but in Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, every day. In their own countries. Paradoxically, one of the policemen killed in Paris last Wednesday was a Muslim. In the past decades, hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been killed by terrorists in the Middle East and Africa.

 

Thus, the dominant conflict is not between Islam and the West, but within the Islamic world, between Sunnis and Shiites, Kurds and Turks, authoritarian and democratic, rich and dispossessed, which proves that this is not exclusively a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. This is a conflict between fanatics and rational people, beyond religion. Our political leaders must realize that the current educational model does not help building a peaceful society, it only expands the gap between the wise and the ignorant.

 

If only a 10% of the money spent in combating terrorism with weapons, would be dedicated to the education – including human values, ethics and empathy – of those more likely to fall into the terrorism trap, I firmly believe the results would be much more substantial. Remember what Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.

ILLUMINE NOT SHINE

posted Jul 5, 2017, 12:46 AM by Jose Dasig   [ updated Jul 5, 2017, 1:37 AM ]

By: Arvic O. Baldoza, BNHS-SHS

 

                It was practically the longest summer for me. It was not a vacation at all. Nineteen days, including Day Zero of Regional Mass Training for Teachers in HUMSS (Humanities and Social Sciences), three days straight for Training of Teachers in Research Capabilities plus other concurrent commitments were perfect combinations for a stressful and grinding summer. Staying positive in the midst of all these was indeed a challenge.  So I nourished myself with reflections, which I had a chance to share to all of the participants and facilitators of the research training held at Crown Royale last….. I decided to put them into writing and in three main points, here they go:

                1. COURAGE. I have drawn such an insight from the brave presentation of the research topic that has something to do with the sexual experiences of students. It attracted many comments taken from conservative perspectives but nonetheless, the method proposed was technically correct. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, gathering data will be difficult, but it is not impossible. From this exchange, research, I believe, is a courageous act. While it can bring us to new heights, research topics and results can be counter-cultural. Such is a necessity to explore new horizons. Without courageous researchers, arriving at destinations is impossible.

                2. “IRON SHARPENS IRON, ONE MAN SHARPENS THE OTHER”(Prov.27:17). I do believe I was with the best people in their respective fields during these training days. And best people will only learn from fellow best people. The presentations, critiquing, and exchanging of thoughts is the whole sharpening process. Because of the differences, clashing of personalities, perspectives, practices and disciplines arose. Some went too personal and some remained professional over these differences. But that is part of the whole process. The differences and even the conflicts, after the process, made us better persons than we ever were. After the trainings, teachers can confidently walk through the streets of Balanga…, of Bataan…, of Region III…, of the Philippines…, of the World…or the universe rather, with more intelligent minds and more nurturing hearts.

3. “IT IS BETTER TO ILLUMINE THAN TO SHINE”. With all of these processes, one should not be succumbed to the brightness of knowledge received and fall into the temptation of outshining others. For St. Thomas Aquinas, ignorance is darkness, education is light. As educators, we are bearers and sharers of the light. But as we bear and share the light, let our motivation be is to illumine others so as not to outshine them.  In Filipino terms, “MAS MAINAM MAGLIWANAG KAYSA ANG SUMIKAT”. Contrary to the common notion “It is time to shine”, as teachers, I prefer that “It is our time to illumine“.

Indeed, it takes courage to allow ourselves to be sharpened. However, one should not forget that our purpose is to illumine, not to shine.

Nawa, sa ating pagiging LIWANAG SA DILIM, huwag nating kalimutang maging BITUING WALANG NINGNING.

 

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