DepEd advised to focus on students to improve educatio

Post date: Sep 28, 2010 6:41:42 AM

Written by Frank Climatu

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

BAGUIO CITY—Now that the Department of Education has admitted that the country’s level of education is at its ebb, the best thing it must do, according to local educators and parents, is to sit and gaze at its navel.

“You cannot improve the level of education if you do not have a scientific basis on how children want you to teach them and how they learn,” said educator Henry Tenedero during a recent parents-teachers’ conference here.

“We need to know the environment conducive to each student before we can teach them,” he said. “It may sound expensive but knowing this actually saves money.”

Bridging the gap

Tenedero, parents and educators from Bataan and Tarlac and the cities of Balanga in Bataan, San Fernando in Pampanga, and Baguio are set to test 50,000 pupils on the International Learning Styles (ILS).

The ILS, which reviews the learning environments conducive to individual learners, is already being used in Brunei, New Zealand and some European countries to test the learning styles of their students, Tenedero said.

Joel Guileb, an education supervisor in Tarlac, said it was about time that DepEd shifted its focus on the students.

“We have been espousing child-centered education and we have been talking about it for so long but in reality, we are still teacher-centered,” he said.

“There is a gap between the way we teach and how the students learn. Learning styles appear to close the gap,” he said.

Tenedero said the four-page ILS questionnaire would determine what kind of sound, light, temperature and design or setting environments each student finds conducive for learning. The questionnaire would also consider emotional, social and physiological factors.

It was designed by Letty Asuzano, former director of the Center of Educational Measurements, and was suited for Asian norms, he said.

First survey

The survey will be the biggest of its kind in the Philippines. It will assess the individual learning style profile as well as the class, year level and school profiles.

Manolo Ibanez, a DepEd educational supervisor in San Fernando, said the survey would help teachers because it would give them the type of training they really needed.

DepEd officials and administrators of provincial schools, colleges and universities, in a meeting last month with President Macapagal-Arroyo here, said the educational system was in a very bad shape and needed an overhaul.

Foremost among the problem, they said, were the very low reading, writing and comprehension skills of students.

Ms Arroyo promised to set aside P500 million to retrain teachers in English proficiency to address the declining quality of education.

Tenedero said learning styles assessment was crucial before such improvements were introduced.

He said the educators planned to tap the congressional educational funds of the pilot areas (Tarlac and Bataan, and the cities of Balanga, San Fernando and Baguio) so there would be no cost for the students and schools.

Noel de la Rosa, president of the Federation of Parents-Teachers’ Associations in Bataan, described the survey as “revolutionary.”

“Knowing the learning styles of their children, the parents are no longer just observers but stakeholders in their education,” he said.