By: Vanessa Uy
Isn’t the working title of this article, seem so ironic? I would not be surprised that right now in a remote corner of our country, a science teacher is being burned on the steak a la Giordano Bruno. In order to formulate a viable solution, lets examine the dilemma faced by our science educators.
The problem facing science education in the Philippines is that there is an incoherence of the three levels of curricula. It is a threefold problem first caused by a lack of a concrete educational philosophy / aim / mission of our own. Second, some subjects are not in harmony to our Filipino culture. Third, some curriculum planners have more than enough resources but lack creativity in formulating brilliant solutions to mundane problems.
Maybe there will be enough brilliant people who are fed up by these second hand tragedies that they would create an educational “renaissance” here in our country. But the main obstacle is the first problem mentioned. Most of what we know (i.e. being taught in schools) about philosophy is the Western Judaeo-Christian sort. Every intellectual worth his or her salt knows that this is inferior compared to the best the East or Orient has to offer like Sun Tsu or Deepak Chopka. (Is this just a quirk of genetic memory that I’m kind of uncomfortable with most of the teachings of “The Holy Bible”, or a topic to be discussed in the near future?). We need first to grow as a society to solve problem number one. A solution whose critics say “a big waste of time that we do not have. Problem number two is being solved at present but at a pitifully slow rate. Its solution is hindered by politics, incompetent powers-that –be, and by book publishers (Attention Vibal Publishing!) who conduct their business like Arab dictators. Problem number three may be waiting to be solved by the new generation of curriculum planners, but when? Should we wait until the government’s jingoism suits our fancy? The need is immediate, and I think this is the right time that the teacher should apply their leadership skills. Teachers should also display integrity and genuine sincerity to the well being of their students / pupils so that they will be able to influence them the value of hard work and intelligence and all those teaching strategies / techniques will come naturally, like water flowing downhill.