Monday, August 28, 2006


I visualize the Philippine society as a large factory with assembly lines starting with a large tagging system, which classifies and marks individuals with either “fresh or rotten.”

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Discrimination, inequality and biases are such words that could never quite describe how the Philippine educational system demarcates individuals even before they could even learn how to spell the word Philippines. Before we even start with the blamestorming, which Filipinos are very fond of, let me detail to you the things that our educators must have “overlooked” for decades.

When a child enters the first grade, these little young fellows are already shown how unfair the society can become. He or she undergoes the educational system’s “tagging process” which classifies him or her to the school’s numerical sections (i.e. section 1, 2 and so on). If his or her grades from pre-school are exemplary, chances are, they get to belong to the first section. Otherwise, he or she is placed in the lower sections. At first look, this system does not pose any problem among the students. However, as the regard to the “star” section as the section where the “bright” students are collected, the second section as the section where you find the moderately bright ones, and the description degrades as the section goes further; these young “individuals” are already taught how to “limit” their capabilities at a very young age.

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Let us go up to another level, say, during grade 3. Try comparing the lesson plans of teachers from section 1 with that of section 10, the lesson of the latter would definitely lag behind by a couple of chapters. Teachers would reason out that they just “fit” the lessons with the “ability” of their students to grasp the subjects. Even worse, we give the teachers a reason not to be good in teaching since they consider their students as “slow-learners”. Can we really blame the students belonging to the lower sections with how they comprehend the topics? When at first, by classifying them as the “not-so-bright” ones, they already consider themselves as such; like it’s an acceptable fact when they fail. Thus, they put no effort to become better than they are because of the “belief” that they are the feeble-minded ones.

All right, a teacher may easily oppose to this theory and defend that they give the same quality of education to the lower sections but let me illustrate you a more obvious instance that we could all agree on even without a formal study.

For instance, a public school has 10 sections. The school implements a basic computer education program. Normally, resources are limited so only 20 computers are available. To whom to do you think will the computer subject be taught?

In a Boy or Girl Scout activity, which requires a limited number of delegates, say 10, from which section does the school administrators get their delegates?

In a math or science competition, have you ever encountered a school competitor coming from lower sections?

Finally, in getting the top students for a year level, where do they get the top ten students?

Sadly, the children are already tagged either fast or slow learners; thus, limiting their potentials. Are we really in the position to dictate the capabilities of an individual? After all these time, why did we tolerate our educational system to classify and marginalize individuals, especially the children?

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Isn’t this a basic violation of our liberal advocacy? Shouldn’t we stop this culture of educational inequalities among our youth? I still believe that the children have the most malleable brains. If you teach them how to maximize their potentials, tell them that they are worth more than they think they are, and give them the same quality of education regardless of which section they belong, we can illustrate economy in the simplest terms possible at the early stage of an individual’s life.

Equality – a word every liberal so proudly wears off his or her sleeves. A liberal economy, as they often say, is defined by a society providing equal opportunities and maximizing the potentials of individuals. Yes, with an emphasis on the individual, whether young or old.

Let us break the system of tagging ourselves. Let us discontinue marginalizing our own capabilities. Let us stop delimiting the youth. Let this become every young liberal’s fight for inequality. Let this be the start of an advocacy for equal allocation of educational resources. Let us put an end to the tagging factory.

Photo by: www.kidland.org

Donnabee :: 5:15 PM :: 4 Comments:

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