Wanted: Music Teachers

Manila Bulletin, February 10, 2011 | Go to article overview

Wanted: Music Teachers


MANILA, Philippines - For some lawmakers and musicians, it's not the catchy tunes or the cute KPop and JPop icons that are luring the youth away from Philippine music. Rather, it's the consolidation of the MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health) curriculum, the lack of teachers who are experts on each of these four disciplines, and the very limited time for teaching.But Department of Education (DepEd) officials belie these notions and urge critics to look instead at the reasons why MAPEH was consolidated and the efforts they have been doing to address the needs in these areas.Decongesting the subjectsJose Tuginayo, Jr., DepEd senior education program specialist and officer-in-charge of the Curriculum Development Division, Bureau of Secondary Education, says consolidation of P.E. and Music began in the '80s with PEHM (P.E. Health and Music) in high school, and Musika, Sining at Edukasyong Pangkatawan in elementary in the '90s. Later on, it evolved into MAPEH in 2002."The four components were consolidated into one because DepEd had to decongest the subjects in high school. It was too crowded, too heavy for the children. Second reason is we don't have enough teachers. Ang dami na nga nating kailangang teachers for the regular subjects tapos kukuha pa tayo para sa separate components ng MAPEH when it is not being offered everyday. If you offer MAPEH separately everyday, classes will be longer and the children will suffer. Third, there is a huge shortage in teachers who are experts in all the specific disciplines of MAPEH," explains Tuginayo, a former professor who taught PEHM.Lack of music teachersTuginayo blames the teacher education courses which do not offer music and arts. This is the reason why most MAPEH teachers lack the skills and knowledge necessary to teach music and the arts."Pinakamahirap sa amin yung magtuturo ng music and arts. Kasi most of the teachers who are teaching MAPEH specialize in P.E. Bihira kasi sa mga teacher education program courses ang nag-ooffer ng Music in Education at bihira din ang magpunta dun kasi skill yan eh, talent. Hindi naman basta puwede ka pumunta na lang diyan. These days though, while most teacher education courses offer a major in MAPEH, still it offers only a few subjects in Music and Health. Most subjects are on P.E. Dapat talaga sa pre-service pa lang ipasok na yung major in music and the arts," he says.Ideally, Tuginayo says, there should be four teachers who specialize in each discipline. But with the lack of teachers, most high schools end up with only one teacher for MAPEH.Hence, Tuginayo says, DepEd, in its revised 2010 Secondary Education Curriculum, has decided to separate the four components into Music and the Arts, and P.E. and Health so that all components can be addressed comprehensively. Lessons are delivered in this order with ideally two teachers tackling two components that are close to their field of specialization."My specialization is P.E. and Math so when I was still teaching PEHM, there were skills and competencies that I could not teach in Music. Paano ka magtuturo ng gitara kung hindi ka marunong humawak ng gitara. So I did some team teaching with experts on music. You have to employ certain strategies to make up for what you don't know," stresses Tuginayo.ImprovisingMelsa Pagatpatan, MAPEH department head and professor at the Angono National High School, says their problem really is finding music teachers for the MAPEH program.She reveals that most teachers who apply with them teach academic subjects, and not MAPEH. But since they lack MAPEH teachers, the principal still accepts those who are willing to teach it even if they don't have a background in it."We learned in college only the basic knowledge in Music like note reading. But when it comes to sharps and flats, mahirap ituro yun eh, hindi na namin naituturo ng kumpleto sa bata, kasi dapat eksakto yun eh. …

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