Inspired by the latest A New Hope (?) post by Young Force and the K to 12 plan put to test article from inquirer news about K12 being introduced into educational system in the Philippines, I decided to ramble a bit about how school priorities should be set, especially when it comes to being ready for new technology solutions implementations.
Judging by the nature of business that my company is involved in – Educational eSolutions – you might expect me to say “Anytime is good for technology, look around you, you’re probably far behind other schools in this respect anyway”. Well, I’m even far from thinking this. As The Byrds put it in a song “To everything […] there is a season”.
The “not now, honey” of education
The blog post and article I mentioned made me wonder why DepEd (Department of Education) in the Philippines misunderstood school and educators clear shortages/needs and cares more about adjusting to foreign standards (K12, although successful in many countries and long due here, is not inherent to this country’s education tradition) in times of obvious structure and resource-based crisis. While educators continue to point out crucial problems like “lack of classrooms and overcrowding and, in some areas, learning the basics under a tree or in flooded schools”, the government answers with a blind-pick solution: a structure reform. And let’s assume it may even be implemented effectively and without major bureaucracy issues, but old problems will prevail leaving the kids even further behind compared to the rest of the world.
The truth is, although many politicians dealing with education have clear and noble intentions, sometimes their solutions turn out to be too complex or even impossible to deliver. Sometimes a crucial school decision, for example implementing new technology (like digital records, whiteboards or projectors) can be taken too early, which leaves the school with technology that’s not being used properly (or at all, in fact) and students who might benefit more from additional traditional classes but there’s no money left in the budget.
Season for change?
When talking about education one important fact seems to be missing far too often. It’s all about the kids, the students and their potential to be driven to maximum. If a school is ready for changes it should definitely change (for better, of course) but with a bulletproof strategy. And this means, among others, making sure that the learning conditions are decent – otherwise we might see bunch of K12 students cramped around a teacher with a laptop under a tree as well.
Insight on the planned reform – Smartparenting