The Issue of the Old and the Young

It always starts with the kids. Everything depends to the kids. The future is in the hands of the kids. Rizal said that the kids are the hope of our mother land. There are special rights for kids. And the United States and the some countries in Europe have so many rights for kids. Education in other countries are specially designed and being improved especially for kids.

We are too far behind. It almost seems impossible for us now to cope with the forerunners in development. This is especially because we are too far behind in taking care that our kids will have a bright future. Our government doesn’t give much focus to education. According to the economists on television, economy in the Philippines is going up. But the masses don’t feel it. Only those who are rich and in power are enjoying the fall of the dollar rate. The Philippines is still a poor country. And our debt is growing though the government keeps saying that we are making improvements.

It is hard to be ideal in this country when you know that the best way to survive is through being practical. In every aspect of life, in every profession, most would prefer to go and work abroad because they would have more salary than what they would earn here in the Philippines. It also ensures, if hey would be lucky to find good working conditions abroad, that their family would have a better living. It means that their kids will have a better future than what they seem to have now. It also means that they will have a chance f getting higher and better education, the education which is labeled as education for those only who can afford.

Maybe what we really need now to solve this problem is practicality. We should see practical means of improving our country’s condition. If we could convince everyone to help, if we could, there might just be hope that this nation could again prosper. I just hope that we will not allow ourselves to be “raped” by the West again.

How important is education to us? Its funny how kids in school wish they weren’t there while those who can’t afford to go wish so hard that they were in it. Those kids in school realize education only when they get later in high school and start thinking about their future seriously. Some realize it later, in college maybe; some even later than later. I wonder if they even get to do all the things they want o do with so little time because of the realization of how important having a direction in life is.

Education for us Filipinos is the key to success. And we view college as an important part of it. But many of High School graduates cannot afford to go to college. We have public schools, from preparatory to college. Yet, many Filipinos still don’t get to have education. And for those who does, they don’t get quality education most of the time.

We cannot always expect to have good teachers; it is part of the reality. In the past quarter, I learned that setting ideal standard, even for people, comes after dealing with them with practicality. Or sometimes, you have to realize that idealism is just too far perfect that it doesn’t at all fit into reality. And you have to deal with what is real.

It’s not so hard to be a good teacher if there is love for teaching and that it doesn’t fade. Like falling in love, you cannot have the same drive or passion for teaching over time if some conditions are no met. There are so many good teachers in High School who scolded me and advised me to shift when I told them I’m taking up education. They were the ones from a public school. But it seems okay with my elementary school teachers. And they were from a private school.

We have biases in viewing things because of our subjectivity. The point of view in favor of the kids and well, quite against the teachers, was already presented in ABNKKBSNPLAKO?! and in Why the Filipino Kids not learning. This time I want to see the bias in the point of view of teachers before going on to what was already presented.

It just came unto me that the journey of the child in the book of Bob Ong, may also have been the journey of the teachers. And what the teachers learned and are experiencing have been repeated in history, so that public education has little, in some places, no progress at all. What is being passed on from generation to generation is he same thing. So we have the same values and the same perceptions of education and school.

A person willing and strong enough to make a difference comes only in time once in a while in his world. I do believe that if given a chance to make a good change, anyone would be willing to do so. But not everybody has the strength t endure it. Teaching is a profession wherein everyday you make a difference to the lives of students. It requires endurance and courage. It also needs skills and broad knowledge. And only a few people in this world can make a good teacher. Even the persona in the book of Ong didn’t have enough strength to be a teacher.

Teachers face a lot of challenges everyday. But even super heroes cannot survive with this kind of life wearing a smile all the time. It is a sad thing that some teachers are eaten up by this weariness and are not able to find a reason to smile again. The weariness they feel is then knocked on the students and they are left to deal with it. This weariness is one of the reasons why education here in the Philippines is deteriorating. The teachers themselves and their love for their work deteriorate.

Another reason why the condition of education in the Philippines is not improving is the never ending problem in the Department f Education and the government. Here has always been lack of resources and trainings for teachers. Even teachers need continuous education and schooling. The feeling of being stagnant may lead them to feeling worthless and this again is another emotional battle for the. And it is always the students who are the victims.

In public schools, working conditions are far from being good. Here are also good teachers in public schools, but they are not happy with the school because of poor working conditions. Based on observation, these teachers prefer to go abroad because of their desire for a better life which is fed by the appalling conditions that they have in public schools.

Who is the teacher who will feel happy to enter a room separated from a pavilion by mere blackboards? Who is the teacher who will feel enthusiastic when he or she sees that there are not enough chairs in the room and some kids are standing or sharing chairs and all aren’t listening because they haven’t taken breakfast yet? Who is the teacher who will feel good when she realizes that her students in the first grade are far from being ready and are actually in the level of kindergarten?

Teachers are human beings. And most of the time, they are misunderstood. A teacher’s enthusiasm comes for most, only in their first years of teaching. Bu as they become worn out in their profession, it also fades away. As a student, I do try to understand my teachers. I know that each teacher is unique from the others. Each one of them has different walks in life. They have different expectations and different styles in dealing with students. And each teacher has needs different from the others.

The students are not the only ones that benefit from the Teaching Learning Experiences in the classroom. The teachers do as well. And so, the students must do their part of the job and one is giving what is due to the teacher. First of this is respect.

Although things may sometimes go out of hand, as long as the students don’t leave the teacher in the room, it means that there I still the bond that the students feel towards the teacher. The student still wants to learn from he teacher.

The only time I left a class because I didn’t like the teacher was when we were given a religion class in first year high school. The subject was not being graded. It was only an additional to our daily load and because of that subject we get to be dismissed at around six in the evening.

Although I say we’re guilty, I do not regret not being in that class. The teacher wasn’t very inviting. She just lets us out whenever we want to. She was too flexible. I do not even remember myself being in that class. I don’t want t be like her, and I know I will not be.

Given the load that we have this college, I think we’re going to kill our future students without really much feeling that it is what we’re doing already. This comes with being expected too much of and being used to having too many requirements and knowledge put in our heads. In the future, I may find myself expecting too much, and being disappointed.

So as early as now, I am trying o condition myself that everything that is happening to me now is not supposed to be exactly what will happen to my students. I don’t want them to wish themselves dead like I do. I will try o look on their levels and needs and pay close attention to their performance so that I will know when I overdo things. Giving some consideration doesn’t kill a teacher, right?

Finding ideal teachers is as hard as finding ideal students. Only a few of them exists. And it is quite painful when teachers expect students to be ideal and when they find out their inadequacy, they draw away. Or worse, some teachers hurt the students’ feelings as part of reinforcement.

I do empathize with the persona in the book of Ong. Although I was in a private school in my early education, I also experienced being embarrassed by the teacher. I experienced how it is to be given attention and praise then be left out the other day. In high school, I realized the importance of books because in some subjects we have one book for five people or sometimes no book at all. I’ve seen teachers harassing students and thank God I wasn’t one of them.

I thought about not going to college directly after high school because of financial constraints. But my instincts told me to take every scholarship exam I could. And now I end up here in Ateneo.

It’s really hard being a student. I can see myself now as that child from Woolf Creek. Just lately, I see myself becoming too careful about things, especially accepting responsibilities. I am beginning to be apathetic and it’s not because I love the feeling of it like the others, but it’s because I’m scared of being sued off and failing. But unlike the moon child, I know what is in for me in school. It’s just that right now, I’m scared to face it.

The blaming syndrome is one of those that most people have. I do have I also. But I try hard in stopping myself before I even give a thought about it. So I will not be pointing fingers to anyone or to anything why I’m like this now.

I am a very emotional person and it’s hard for me to handle pain. It’s harder because I tend to keep it with me and intend to keep it for always. I guess there are those like me too, students who feel the same way. I know some of them, my co-English majors.

Just how important are the kids really in our country? How important is educating them? According to the National Statistics Office, as of 2003, 33.9% of the youth population ages 6-24 are not attending school. This means that 11,626 youth are out of school. This may also mean that this 11,626 youth may be hose not to have a bright future. Their future is the future of the Philippines.

What can we do to help them? This question is not that easy t answer, especially if practicality would be considered. There are just not enough resources that can be used to help them. And there is not so many people who are willing o give their full help and support for these young people. I myself don’t know what I could do about it.

While this 33.9% is having the problem of not being into school, not all of those in the remaining percent are enjoying in school. The first problem is the inadequacy of most public schools because of lack of fund and other resources. And another problem that students encounter in schools is the lack of enjoyment.

It’s hard to deal with painful experiences in the classroom. It is especially traumatic in the eyes of a child who is still innocent to have unpleasant experiences in school. And I do know that it is hard to motivate a traumatized child to go to school or to study. I was one of them. And one of my closest friend in high school too. It was more of a pity for her because she was really intelligent. Because of a traumatic experience when she was in elementary, she didn’t want to enter her classroom anymore. She would leave their house everyday but she would stay outside the gates of Naga Central School and come in only when it’s time to play.

As a future teacher, who has quite a strong personality, I will try to be a little gentler. And as an aspiring future administrator, I would make sure hat my teaching staff would be content with their profession and follow proper teaching etiquette.

It is hard to promise too much when you know that these things tat you say are still too far in the future. We old the future, but it’s ironic that nature has a way of changing all our plans. I don’t want t feel awkward with myself for not being able to do all the things that I realized I could do in the future. As of now, I will wait and see what God has for me, then I’ll work on it.

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