Education is paramount to a child’s future even more so in the Philippines as I find there seems to be some major issues in the education system. I don’t believe full-time home study is the solution purely because it will miss out on a lot of the social activities as well as building lifetime networks of friends and associates. At the same time I do find there are huge gaps in the education system daily when people ask me questions in the internet cafe that do make me ponder what are they being taught?
Now before people think I am beating up the Philippines here the UK system has been declining since the 60s with its more liberal way of thinking and the “anti competing” its left kids with huge problems in reading, writing and maths the joke I made about my brothers when kids though was “but they do know about the Romans!” and that’s pretty much it too much time is spent on information that isn’t as important as the basics. My own education was a lot better inside the military system and also a lot more interesting than what I found in the last year of my studies that was undertaken in the UK as I found my Iran – Iraq war and Berlin wall studies in modern history replaced by Lock gates and toll roads and they wonder why kids don’t want to learn?
Anyway back off my UK soap box and back onto my Philippines one truth is I don’t know what is going wrong in the system locally as I would have to sit and see what is done in the schools physically. What I do see though is for “homework” kids come into the internet cafe search for something online cut,paste and print and that’s it they don’t even read it themselves. Geography wise most people have no idea where places are outside of the Philippines which I know as a kid I had little interest in Geography but I did know which countries existed and what flags represented them even if I didn’t know all their locations. These days its more a definition of areas as simply civil war keeps cropping up which makes it difficult to remember what Yugoslavia is called today for example nevermind its location unless you keep up to date on the news. But I would be able to pinpoint it on a map but I would ask what about your kids do you ask them what they are learning at school to check its correct?
A discussion with a friend before Allan threw up the fact his niece was asking him questions about things that then threw the teacher out on the subject as the niece’s new found information from Allan was correct unlike what was being taught at the school. Question is how much more is being done in the same way? I don’t blame the teachers by the way as the same issues reside the world over they are set ways to teach via the education system that comes via the government. This creates a problem as schools are often based on some sort of performance in the UK its league tables in the Philippines its hard cash as the better the school is the more money they charge for tuition.
The first thing I will say though is to anyone to compare what they know on the basics with English and Maths with their children to see if they know as much as you expect or should know more because many of the methods are wrong and outdated even though the better and newer methods haven’t been introduced in most places. For a short maths test go here which also has a Dispatches video which covered the problem in the United Kingdom where a specialist came in to sort out the failing maths rates. The kids mainly failed at the test themselves but after being introduced into a real world environment where numbers meant something physical they flew through the maths problems later on and grades increased heavily. These are the things we need to be teaching our children. If your in Cebu I do have the 2 episodes if you wanted to watch them as it does show the huge difference a change in the way children are taught also hugely changes their ability to learn. Foundation maths affected myself as I personally struggled with Fractions which is also brought up in the program as it shows the link from foundation maths to what happened to me when I started electronics where learning things like I= V/R was very hard for the first year until everything started to click to what physical changes actually happened with the equation to make it easier to understand as time went on equations got more difficult and I also went into doing computer programming if the maths I learned at school was understood earlier on and the problems I had to work out in college had been covered at school I would have found it a lot easier. I passed with A++ grade but why make life difficult? Most of the problem comes down to many teachers cannot do the subjects they teach, e.g. you give the teachers a test paper the children have to do and often more than not they cannot get a passable grade (another thing covered in the Dispatches video I think the fail rate when the teachers did a test was over 70%). To deal with Fractions I would take a look at this from Teachers.TV which has a lot of information to help with not only home study but class room teaching. Bringing things to real world situations and physical objects makes things a lot easier for children to understand.
The other thing I have realised over time though as well is that kids aren’t being taught to think or question which is wrong and its an international problem. Children should be encouraged to question everything and the reason behind that is they learn from knowledge and interest. To say that the teacher is always right or that books are always correct is flawed a prime example of this is in the U.S. where books that are in schools have to be passed by each state so if you sell nationally the books have to be “state friendly” this often means FACTS are removed to give a wonderful view yet its wrong and lacks the most important bits that should be in the books. An example of a biast book came up with a Filipino currently residing in the U.S. when her child brought a book that covered Magellan’s voyage to the Philippines stating that the locals were cannibals. Totally incorrect and unfounded its done to portray Magellan as a superior to the uneducated locals yet the locals were far from uneducated and had their own complicated culture. You will find little correct information in teachings to do with the original settlers and attacking of the local natives including giving them the “common cold” that nearly killed them all as well as things like slavery. All FACTS but times the U.S. would like to forget or would like to write its own accounts of what happened. This leads to a rise in incorrect information that children are absorbing every day which is why home studying is so important to not only us but the next generations. I want my children to be able to pass on information they learn from me to future generations as things currently seem to be taking a turn for the worse especially with the way governments and media seem to be working hand in hand.
Discussions lately at home is tempting me to remove the Television if it wasn’t for Aprils cooking shows it reminds me of a building foreman I met years ago who had no TV’s anywhere in his house as he was very religious and anti swearing. He said “having a television brings violence, sexual abuse and swearing directly into your home”. Although that isn’t the reasons I want to remove it but everything revolves around products and brands with a bit of what I would call brainwashing. I have yet to see an educational show or something topical worth watc
hing only show I found of interest is on late at night and revolves around people sending in their letters explaining how hard life has been and an episode is made out of it. Every soap opera revolves round large houses, big cars and excessive lifestyles all I can say simply is why? Anyone thought about doing shows that teach people skills or something useful? Maybe some political shows to encourage a population to get involved in its politics instead of trying to vote in a corrupt ex actor as a president last year as it seems more people knew him as an actor than as an ousted previous president who was supposed to not run again.
Getting off tangent again.. But this is where I want to know what other resources people are using to help develop their children as the BBC have around 7,500 video clips if you can access the link and hopefully a few of you will add where your finding resources to teach your children. I also wonder how many people out there have clubbed together with other like minded people to setup group home study projects as this could help everyone as it encourages children to mix as well as can help with busy schedules as well as helping each others teaching methods.