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On the quality of math and science education in our country

Hello pipol!

I've just heard in a survey that the quality of math and science education in the Philippines is one of the worst in Asia (Japan ranked 2nd, and our country placed second to the last in the survey of 40 or so countries. It is said that the Japanese government protested to the results of the survey and made necessary steps to lift its rank). I could have agreed with the survey too, as math and science education in our country is really poor particularly in the provinces. I would like to ask your opinion on this and suggest on how we can solve this problem. I believe education is more essential than the economy, since a country's economy is dependent on its citizens' level of literacy.


  • IraIra PEx Rookie ⭐
    I think the quality of math and science education in this country sucks. We're very capable of technology transfer in education, but most of us don't seem to truly understand the concepts of math and science. While college students in other countries taking up even just bachelor's degrees in math and science are capable of coming out with beautiful research papers, most of our PhD's can't even come up with a decent one. Research and development is almost non-existent, considering that there are so many people here holding doctorate degrees.

    I think the first step to improving math and science is to support the math and science teachers with a wage hike, so they will not think of shifting out of their fields for greener pastures. Encouraging research and development, and opening up opportunities for going abroad to pursue further studies is a positive step forward, too.
  • there's just no govt support enough to sustain a good program & to serve as incentive for those who exhibit interest & talent in the fields of science & math ... when two pisay alumni earned honors in the int'l physics olympiad, what did they get? a citation from pisay ... there wasn't even an offer of a scholarship [in mit sana] ... kunsabagay, dapat nga 3 silang participants sa padua ... but what can we expect? nag-budget cut na nga sa education ... makes the priorities of the erap admin even clearer ... :(
  • From personal experience, I would have to agree with the survey mentioned. I took up my undergrad in the states and the lowest level of math offered was Calculus which many of us already took up in High School. As far as I know, Calculus doesn't even get taken up until the latter years in college here if at all.

    I think the main difference really is funding. The best minds in math and science will always troop to where there is money to support whatever it is they are researching. Our universities here have a difficult time competing because we don't have the money to fund research and development by the best teachers from certain fields. I think UP does this to a certain extent but we really have to go beyond the basic math and sciences to even think about competing with the world.

  • I'd have to agree with you guys.

    Aside from funds (as you've all mentioned), the other big problem in our science and math programs are the curricula, and the pedagogical approach.

    I have to former co-teachers who've gotten teaching jobs in the states, (they're both math teachers) and their news was astounding. The US actually have paid substitute teachers who are on call everyday. They also have paid teaching assistants, research grants, high-tech equipment and complete learning materials. Not to mention they're also wired to the web. Dito pa lang, lamang na lamang na sila.

    Another big difference, they said, was the general use of the inductive method in teaching Math and Science. Very hands on, with practical problem-solving exercises and class interaction, before proceeding to derive the general principles and rules. Here, science and math education generally consists of pounding rules and principles into the students' heads before making them apply it in impractical problems. Perhaps the only ones not exempt from this are the top science (MaSci and PhiSci, for example) and public/private schools in the country.
  • batang uliranbatang uliran PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Obviously funding has a lot to do with this and so in our particular situation, novel solutions have to be thought off.

    1. There are the Science High Schools - PSHS, Manila Science and QC Science which provide top class science and math education especially compared to other schools around the country. I know many graduates from these schools and I am convinced of this. The sad thing is that many graduates of these schools end up working overseas.

    2. Innovative set-ups like the recent Ayala Land funded Center for Excellence School (CENTEX) in Manila where poor but deserving students are provided free elementary education by capable teachers. Perhaps other corporations should imitate this example.

    3. Universities esp. UP should help set up consultancies with private sector corporations for deserving faculty. This way, they continue to teach at UP while enjoying the challenges and financial rewards of working in industry. A good friend of mine is now 3 months into such a set-up and his horizons have been broadened considerably because of it. Last I heard, one or two others are following his example.

    4. The government should make it easier to repatriate overseas pinoys - especially those interested in teaching at least part time. For instance in my field which is medicine, the powers that be should recognize U.S. baord certifications as valid substitutes for certain local requirements. That way, those on the fence will be encouraged to return. In my particular case, I will be turning down a job that earns me the equivalent of a top level executive in Manila here in the U.S. for uncertainty and unemployment back home. The least they can offer people like myself is to acknowledge the 3 specialty boards I worked hard to pass here in the US but they won't even do that as they will make me start from scratch. No surprise that many in my situation don't even consider returning about 50% of my batch at UP Med is in the US for good.

    5. Salaries should be made at least semi-competitive with jobs in industry. One shouldn't be a total martyr to the cause of teaching.
  • In addition to what you've posted,

    1. Educational Revamp. if you may, should start from the base to the highest, that is, from kindergarten to College, in all educational institutions, simultaneously.
    This would require a change in curriculum, by perhaps making somethings harder, making them fun as well, making them logical, etc...

    2. Funds. We're a poor country, so we can't help on this problem. It's really REALLY hard to tell a teacher to work "for the sake of the country." Sigh. :(

    3. Family Teaching. Lessons shouldn't end in school, but that doesn't mean it should continue at home. Parents should at least help developing the student's ability to deal with various problems.

    4. Educational Revamp II. I can't stress this enough. We need to drastically improve the way of teaching, the materials/lessons to be taught, and the way students learn them. Students should be forced to deal with harder problems, especially since these harder problems reflect the reality we are in.

    Just my P0.02. :)
  • 1. Government funding --- I think the government encourage should encourage the youth to take up engineeering and science courses by giving financial assistance to deserving scholars and also to teachers. To impove our status, we must also improve our teachers. The government must give science aND math teachers an opportunity to grow and improve by providing financial assistance and scholarship.

    2. Invest in computers--- we must integraTE computers in our educational system so that our students will be ready for future challenges.

    3. discourage general courses --- courses like commerce must be minimize. we don't need millions of accountants or cashiers. What we need are scientists to be able to catch up technologically, economically and socially. :)
  • ...Or for that matter, we don't need millions of LAWYERS...

    * I think accountants would rank much higher than lawyers would as far as "whom we need." There is a certain level of skill needed there.
  • I agree to most of the responses posted. However, it is really difficult to balance the priorities. It is like the chicken and egg argument. As a third world, our government doesn't have enough money to fund good education. At the same time without good education, how can a country come up with a good economy?

    First of all there should be government revamp and change of heart. Instead of slashing the budget for education, Erap could have done better (or perhaps that was the best thing he could do).

    Second, a closer Industry-Academe relationship should be encouraged. While the are schools which integrate into their curriculum some industrial tie ups in terms of practicums and on-the-job trainings, more government support is needed. Let's face it, the Academe lags behind the Industry needs of the Philippines. Closing the gap by letting industry dictate and help develop the curriculum should hit two birds with one stone: Economic and Educational progress. A model of such is being done by one of the private technical schools in the country. Their college curriculum also allows students to work with a company even as they study. The students can opt to stop at a certain level and get a certificate. Should the student want to continue, he can just procede to the next level. Their is 100% employment of their graduates. This is an example of how the industry and academe educate the future engineers and scientists of our country.

    Third, Filipino students gradute a couple of years or sometimes even a lot earlier than the international counterparts. In the developed countries, highschool grads can already work. In the Philippines however, SM would not accept sales ladies who are not at least on their second year in college. Some even take college graduates for simple jobs. This just goes to show how low our elementary and high school education is. Primary and Secondary levels should be longer and more intensive.

    Fourth, a person who wants to procede with college education must go through some working experience whether during or before entering college.

    Lastly, industries should be encouraged to do their R&D operations in cooperation with the Academe. R&D, R&D, R&D! This is how our universities should produce master degree and PhD holders.

    [This message has been edited by Seele (edited 03-03-2000).]
  • :?:? PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Resources and Influence. Sana iwasan na muna ang pangungurakot sa gobyerno. Tama kayo: Funds - and lots of it.

    Walang dudang napag-iiwanan na tayo. *sigh* Nung nagtrabaho ako sa isang computer store dito sa L.A., imbes na ako ang mag-explain dun sa bata, ako ang binirahan ng explanation eh.. hehe imagine - 10 yrs. old pa lang yung bata eh Perl/C++/Oracle na ang prino-program???..... waaaaaaaaaaaa!!!
  • NewtoNNewtoN PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Sa science high schools(like Masci & PhiSci) maganda ang quality ng Math & Science education...kulang nga lang ng funding from the government.(well, siguro part na rin ng challenge 'yun para matuto)
  • Well..i have to give mad props to Philippine Science High school, especially the main campus, Diliman..because they truly give quality education. While ur there, you just think of how am i going to get passed this hell...but when you look back, it's all good. I just hope there are no more budget cuts in education because education is the future..we can't cut corners in something we count on.
  • ArnoldZArnoldZ PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Math and Science reguires logical thinking. Pinoy kids are hard put to develop such mind considering that everything around them do not seem to make sense. Corrupt officials, classroom cheating and bribed teachers looking the other way.

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