Current Status of Education Indicators in Philrights' ESCR Project; EDUCATORS SPEAK.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)
Byline: Eric D. Torres
IN line with its objectives, Philrights has undertaken a project to obtain education indicators to measure progress in human rights awareness.
First the indicators for education were grouped into three major headings: access, content and bureaucracy or governance.
The Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) were held in four areas: Metro Manila, Nueva Vizcaya, Samar and North Cotabato. The quantification of each of the indicators was clarified and discussed. The FGDs also attempted to define access, content and bureaucracy governance based on research and extend of understanding.
Access refers to the mechanisms established to insure that opportunities to obtain education are within the reach of every citizen. These mechanisms help to distribute the life chances of the individuals. They are explained in such catch calls as "Quality Education for All at All Levels." Related to this, it is the task of the state through the schools to democratize the school's admission requirements grading system, and to provide a network of schools nationwide with facilities, infrastructures and the needed number of teachers and personnel.
What would adequate materials and facilities mean? Quantitatively, the FGDs listed: one classroom per section in each grade or year one library for each school; one toilet each for girls and boys; one faculty room; laboratories for high school; water in the school; two lights per classroom with two electric fans; one blackboard per classroom; one teacher's table with chalk and eraser; one table and chair for each student inside the classroom; and the presence of a playground. Qualitatively, the toilets must have running water, and the canteen must be managed by the teacher's cooperative.
An adequate number of teachers would translate into one teacher per grade (evidently, this is at primary levels). Current school situations have seen increasingly larger classes (sometimes as many as eight students per section) with commensurate number of teachers. Of particular concern is the existence of multigrade classes, especially in rural areas.
Free and adequate number of books at both elementary and high school levels means that each student must have his/her own book, or a 1:1 ratio. This is not the reality even in the public school's system in highly urbanized areas such as Metro Manila.
Based on the number of students graduating from the elementary, quantitatively, there should be at least one high school per municipality, with six to seven section per level of each barangay. The size of each class should be determined in such a way that the teacher can attend to his/her students well. Hence, what is suggested is from 25-35 students only per section.
Free elementary education, a situation not yet found nationwide, has elicited a recommendation for a Kagawadsponsored Education program for poor children: free tuition fees as well as a reduction, if not total abolition, of such other supplemental fees as those for ParentTeacher Associations (PTA), Boy and Girl Scouts, and anti-tuberculosis injections.
The indicator of one elementary school per barangay comes with a caveat that the number of public elementary schools should be commensurate to the number of elementary students in each locale.
For lowered matriculation fees in high school and college, 20% of the national budget should be allotted to education. Repeal of the Education Act of 1982 as well as the regulation of tuition fees of private schools are the qualitative aspects of this indicator.
Free vocational education nationwide translates into the presence of a vocational high school at the municipal level, a vocational college at the district level, and vocational training in the barangays. These should be accessible to all and should contain enough facilities and materials for the students enrolled. …