An interesting discussion on whether one should homeschool their children or send them to a school appeared on some blogs from the Philippines.
A Passerby's Trail writes
I am an educator and I had a lot of teaching experiences in different school levels; yet as a mom, I prefer to homeschool my child. I’m aware how much work it’s going to be, especially if I intend to create a curriculum from ground up. But I’m willing to invest all my time, my energy, my creativity and my expertise. It’s worth it, because it’s for my child.
Tito Rolly, another Filipino edu-blogger agrees with A Passerby's Trail and feels that technology may provide a good platform for home schooling
I think homeschooling is not a far-fetched scenario given the extent of what technology can do today. For example, whereas we have to buy volumes of encyclopedia before just to get an idea on a certain topic, the same can be had with just a click on your mouse.
And how it would help the kids, Tito continues
What this means is that a child no longer has to face the dangers of going to school; being run over by a vehicle while crossing the streets, the hassles of commuting to and fro’ being kidnapped, be confronted by bullies, playing hooky :-) or whatever… that also means less expenses for baon, miscillaneous expenses, grouchy teachers, etc. (No more suspension of classes during typhoons provided there is electric current) All they have to do is to log in to a site, open their lesson and learn. This may also mean that we can go global. Enrol our kids to schools anywhere in the world. Ah, the possibilities are just limitless.
Noypetes, commenting on Tito's post feels that home schooling might make class re-unions a thing of the past and the students may not develop social skills if they don't go to school and mix with other students.
Home schooling is fine. My Concern with home schooling is the lack of social interaction among peers which is very important in honing a childs independence to coexist in a society. I think some of the patterns in teaching fundamentals should be retained. I agree that the convenience of the IT or world wide web serves it's purpose well but in so many ways looses the intimate setting of learning with other kids and the full personal presence of a teacher
A Passerby's Trail, having experience in handling large classes, had anticipated this “social skills” aspect, she wrote
I am an educator but I believe that school is not the only place for children to develop socialization skills. Children don’t need to be around many people in order to be socialized because they don’t respond too well when they are in a crowd. I know that because I used to handle very large classes.
Insecurity, self-consciousness and nervousness wouldn’t be an issue if a child is not in a classroom setting. A school environment can certainly be a threatening place. For some children, it can be traumatic. It’s sad… but that is a reality.
Tito has a wish for future schools
Let me take you further. As I envision it, our concept of what a school is will dramatically change in the near future. Schools as we know it will become obsolete. While there may still be a building we call a school, we will have no more classrooms per se but several roomful of computers where a teacher is assigned to each while the learers stay at home. Instructions will be in the form of modules and will be individualized for each learner who, in turn, will be more independent. Since progress will be up to the learner, the slow learners will be spared of the humilliation of being left by his/her peers for after all, there is no direct contact with them.
Thanks for the feature. Nice blog you have here.
I would like to add my two cents concerning whether or not parents should home school their children in the Philippines. It is important to understand that my comments are from my observations here in Palawan,Philippines, well, let me narrow it down even further, Porta Princessa City.
Parents have a choice to send their child to a public school or to a private one. (probably just like the rest of the Western world.) You would think that there are differences in both, however, this is NOT the case. Each class at the elementary level, has 40 to 50 students. Who sit in plasic chair table combination. There are no books, nor do the classrooms have anything on the wall. Simply put there is nothing in there, except a run-down chalk board, (slate) to be exact. As for the lights, I will bet a 1,000 pesos, probably 4 days pay for some people at 250 pesos a day, (exchange rate 50 pesos to the United States Dollar. Although one dollar is now worth 47.20) that only one light works out of the 6 to 12 that are attached to the ceiling. 99 percent of the time, the light bulbs aren’t even screwed in.
The question is home schooling better. I think the another questions needs to be answered. Why aren’t parents, here in the Philippines taking a more active role in their childs education? As a teacher, I often see children playing on the dirt roads every day after school. If I happen to stop for a number of reasons, I will ask, “Do you go to school?” in english? They all respond, with eager, “Yes!” I will then ask, “Do you have homework?” 99 percent of the hundreds of students I have asked responded, “No!” Simply put from my observations, parents do not give a damn about the education of their children. The Children, simply exist and school seems to be a baby sitting service.
The other observation I have made here is the fact that no one reads. Well, thats not entirely true. Sometimes, I see some old timers, sitting in the local department store canteena reading the “Star” newspaper! But, that’s it! The students do not read. Well, then again, I’m not with them 24 hours straight. The only student, I saw reading was in the local vegtable market, sitting down, with a book in her hand. I noticed it from a distance, and smiled, well, at first I could not believe my eyes. I quickly made my way through the crowd until I reached her. I tapped her on the arm and shared, “You are the only person I have seen reading since I have been in your country!” I then handed her a 1,000 peso bill! (roughly 20.00)
Okay, the teachers here have the same complaint as in the West. Class size is to big, and the students do not care about school. No, parent support. No equipment and I could go on and on. Oh ya, pay is to low!
From observing the teachers in the classroom, I would NOT put my child in any school here, much less pay to send my child to school. Why for all of the reasons above. Teachers, simply put, cannot teach 50 kids, affectively! Could you?
In order to teach the children at home, you need some kind of knowledge, or determination or understandng of what needs to be taught.
There are alot of issues here, no doubt about it. Of course, I would like to see more done. I want to help. I’ve even made suggestions to two members one in the city government and the other an ex council man who sat on the Governers Council. What more can I do?
We know that education is the key to a countries success and it starts with the parents. At the moment, parents, are content with putting rice on the table, and work hard to do so. Education is still on the back burner.
Would I teach my child at home if I lived in Puerto Princessa City, YES!
Filipino children should undergo the process of going to school, it is because it is better to achieve education thru school. Ordinary children should experience that so that If they will grown they have an experience to tell with each other. A lot of learning and experience can be achieve in school not in homeschooling. As myself encounter the process of going to school and basically I’ve learned a lot of things. I have known some people who encountered homeschooling they are not happy because they’ve have missed good things in their life. The fact that they have not mingled with other fellow students they’ve also undeveloped their social life and maturity as a person.
Student class sizes in many public schools and private schools in the Philippines are overcrowded and too noisy. Let’s support Homeschooling and the further development of high-quality distance education in the Philippines.
Well, this is the second time I’m writing this post…the first one never made it to the “wall” so here I go again….
I’m not going to share about Home schooling, but instead just talk about the Educational system in general. Let me be clear, our educational system, in the USA many will share, needs a big overhall.
If I were in charge of the Philippine educational system, I would study what works in every developed country, Then, apply them to the Philippine educational system…
The Education system needs a hudge overhall, while I do not pretend to know everything, I will make compelling arguments which would benifit the students.
The skills learned at the Elementary level, are NOT helping Filipinos. The Administration needs to look at the “Job” that the students will be getting…and teach the skills so that they can get this job. For example: If there are Filipinos that want to be HRM majors, then the skills in the elementary years may include, learning two and three foreign languages, so that the Filipinos are more than qualified to get any job that comes up in the HRM field, in any country. What ever the elementary students are learning now, doesn’thelp them one bit.
Nurses, who have been successful, in getting jobs in the USA… Well Spanish is the largest ethnic group in the USA, and guess what, I’ll bet the hospitals are very interesting in hiring spanish speaking nurses. Do you think Filipino nurses are learning Spanish? Nope! Why not?
I’m wondering who is in charge of the Educational system in the Philippines.
Further, Why is it everyone passes at the University level… I don’t care how they get in, but, right now, 99 percent of the students in the colleges in the Province should NOT be there. They come to class with out paper and pencil, can’t by books, yet they pass. How can the President of the College, or University place their name on the diploma, realizing that the students, are NOT ready for the “real-world” I would be ashamed toplace my name on it.
Students in the Elementay years, need to have the expectations raised 1,000 percent. Not 100 but 1,000 percent. This is done by holding the students accountable. No longer canparents say, the teacher gives to many assignments, or complains to the Principal. Either you push the students, to learn, study, and return assignments with out making up excuses, or your country will continue to be the worst country in the Far East in education.
Start raising the bar…another way is to bring the teachers in the city, with a little more education, to the Provinces. Allow them to teach, and work it out that they MUST do 5 years there, part of the New Educational program.
Allow the students to undertake languages, both reading and writing. Make the Filipino students the best in the Far East in stead of last in the Far East. Understand that all students will not succeed. Many will fail, and it is okay to fail. School is NOT for everyone.
What then, teach them, fishing skills, planting skills, raising live stock skills, carpentry skills, allow them to do something else. But, don’t pass everyone… Your waisting the teachers time.
Make the class sizes smaller. You can’t pretent to teach 50 students affectively. YOU CAN’T.
Learn from the Advanced nations. Your teachers are not much smarter than the students. Teach them to “take control” of the classroom. I visit the schools and there is NO learning going on. Every second counts in school, every second. Keep the students an task.
What causes the attitude “who cares” as is seen in every school. Well, it is the government themselves. The coruption at all levels, ther is the fact that the Police do not police, and the traffic enforcers do not enforce, no one follows the rules. You only have to look at the traffic, and the way people drive, and see if anyone is enforcing the rules of the roads. If not, then this attitude trickles down into the classrooms, and if the Federal government is corupt, police don’t care, and the traffic enforcers don’t care, and those that drive don’t care about the rules of the road, then why in hell shoudl the teachers care? Why? No one gives a damn. And because of this attitude, the educational system is a mess.
Now, having shared this, do I believe for one moment that all 100 percent of the teachers don’t care. Nope. Out of 100 probably 1 or 2 do care, do hold the stuents accountable, do expect assignments, do fail them, do take the heat from the parents, and the Principal for failing students.
I have a story to share. I was sitting in a work shop at Fullbright College where teachers from the college and the Elementary school were there. They had a chance to ask me questions about the American system, and I answered them. The Prinicpal, female, asked me to respond to a math teacher she has that is failing 80 percent of the stdents in her classroom. I paused longer than normal, because pausing is a powerful tool when your talking to a group of people. I asked the Principal her name, because I knew what I wanted to do, she responded. I shared with her that you give her a raise in salary, and those teachers who are not raising the bar, or those that do not have high expectations, should be fired. I also shared I want to meet this person, and shake her hand. (I did, the next day, I was at the elementary school and I knocked on her door and told her what happened the day before, and told her, keep up the good work, and shook her hand.
The Philippines need more techers like her. What happened to her I do not know…but, why, can’t all teachers have “High” expectations, why can’t Principals support them, why can’t the Philppines, be number one in the Far East instead of LAST? Why?