K+12: A Stronger Foundation for the Next Generation

This coming school year 2012-2013, the K+12 Basic Education Program by the Department of Education will be implemented in all public schools nationwide, aiming for “a stronger foundation for the next generation” according to President Aquino who led the launch last April 24 at the Malacanang Palace. The new program requires kindergarten education, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school, and another two years for senior high school. It is said that the new program seeks to elevate the quality of education in the Philippines, and thus will empower Filipinos to become more competent and be well-trained. Moreover, the said program enables high school graduates who don’t wish to continue college land in a decent job, and it would be easier for both high school and college graduates to get hired for work because of the adeptness they have acquired during their schooling.

I agree that this program is a step for us Filipinos to become highly proficient in whatever field we choose. It is also a move for us Filipinos not to be left behind by other countries who have adapted this educational advancement long ago. Having this new program, I think is more than enough to hone young minds and become professionals.

But, are we all ready for this big change?

Aside from the financial burden it would inflict to the parents, is our government prepared enough in imposing this new education system? Note that during the previous system, there were already various and never-ending problems such as the lack of classrooms, teachers, reading materials, and even chairs where students can sit and listen comfortably. It’s been an ordinary scene in public schools where a number of seventy students or more struggle inside the four corners of the room. Some share in a single seat and some even just sit on the floor or at the top of their lockers or near the platforms, and some two or more students share a single book. All of these occur even if the education concerns have the biggest share in the national budget over the years. Now that there are additional years added in the new program, could these problems be resolved especially in isolated areas where resources are barely delivered? Is our educators prepared enough to teach and adapt the new curriculum? I hope yes. Because how can we successfully attain “a stronger foundation for the next generation” if all we could provide are limited classrooms, reading materials, chairs, and even skilled educators.

 

Note: These photos were taken in a private school in our city. I think it reflects the different problems  of our country’s education today which all boils down to scarcity of everything.

Vim Amorio

The simple things you do will make great impacts. Every decision you make will go a long way.

 

To begin this with figures you might already know, you might just simply shrug this off. Nevertheless, I’ll keep this thing going to save open minds who choose to read this and perhaps, make a change.

Year two thousand and twelve started with repeated reports that the global population has already reached an escalating number of 7 billion. And by year 2043, it is expected that the world population will reach a jaw-dropping number of 9 billion, according to the United Nations Population Division. But despite of knowing this worrying statistic that bears undesirable possibilities, many of us still turn a blind eye and continue living our way that in effect, will surely worsen the problems that we are already facing today, and may even create new problems that would make the future generation suffer. To say that overpopulation as a root problem is dealt only by those who were stricken by poverty is a wrong thing. It is a core problem that all of us, young, old, rich, poor, men, and women, share and must be mindful about.

Many of us may be unaware of this. The moment we open our eyes from a deep slumber until the moment we close it again to take rest, we start and end our day by consuming different items that all came from our world’s scarce resources. The energy we use in cooking and in using our appliances, the food we eat and even the utensils we use to eat, the water we drink and use to bathe, the fuel and the vehicles we use to get to our destinations, the pleasure we get from our gadgets and from sleeping on our beds, and even the smallest piece of clothing we wear—all these that we enjoy every single day of our lives came from our planet’s diminishing resources.

Water as man’s basic necessity seems to be very abundant, considering that over 70% of our earth’s surface is covered with water. But note that only 2.5% of this is fresh, and the rest 97.5% are salt water. We do not just simply drink water to satisfy our thirst, but we also use this in different ways and most of the time, in a very careless way. Today, there are already billions of people in the world. And some of these billion people do not even have the access to fresh and clean water. If this large number will continue to grow, do you think our earth’s water supply still enough to support a rapidly growing population—to think that this amount of fresh water may have become even smaller because of pollution, human wastes, and sudden contamination?

Fish, which is a staple food in almost every corners of the world has decreased gradually due to excessive consumption by humans. I remember in international documentaries I’ve watched, it was surprising that even sharks, whales, dolphins, and other huge aquatic creatures are illegally captured to be sold in the market. Forests trees are being cut both legally and illegally (most of the time having no initiative to replace those trees and check if they have successfully grown) to satisfy human needs. If all these human activities continue without doing efforts of conserving, preserving, and rehabilitating, would there still be left for the future generation? Would there still be a friendly environment available for them, and resources that would guarantee their survival? It may be absurd to think this way, but we never know it would be possible that time will come when all people would fight for this-and-that in order to stay alive.

With our world’s ever-increasing population, it all boils down to an increasing demand and consumption of food, water, and all other natural resources. To have a bigger population means more green lands will be converted to housing zones, more trees will be logged to build needed structures, more health and other services to provide, there will be more human wastes that will worsen our already unhealthy surroundings, and there will be more and more hungry mouths to be fed. In short, to have a bigger population means there will be MORE demands—unending demands that will continue to injure earth. But how long can earth’s resources sustain the incessant demands of the human race?

To think that great thinkers and scientists may have a remedy for human’s increasing population and diminishing resources may be in the cards. But hey, that would be another thing taken from our planet’s depleting supply. Everything we have and everything we do all came from exploited resources, remember?

Now, look around you and think about it.

The simple things you do will make great impacts. Every decision you make will go a long way.

So, will you just sit there and ignore this reminder, or you will stand up and do what you think will help the world?

Vim Amorio

Be Aware. Be Active. Make A Change..

Education is a basic need for everyone. It is considered as the key to success, and a lifetime treasure a man can possess. It is also the best gear a man could have against the world’s cruelty, and a means to bring positive change in the society. Sadly, for a country that is rich in natural resources yet populous like the Philippines, not everyone has the opportunity to go to school. Even if a lot of urban areas are already highly developed, many still lack the learning that is usually acquired in educational institutions, particularly in remote areas of the country where some families often regard education as a worrying responsibility rather than a need to give their children a chance to become better individuals. Instead of sending their children to school and learn the things they must know, these children are sent to a hostile environment to work and help provide the basic needs of their family. 

Here in the Philippines and in some other countries, it is indubitable that the rapid population growth and unemployment has brought poverty. To be more explicit, if there are more members in a family, there’s more difficulty in providing the needs of everyone especially for families with low income or having no income at all. Overpopulation, poverty, and government’s insufficient support in providing and strengthening our country’s education are just some of the factors that affect each other and are the reasons why many children are unable to go to school. 

 

For us who has the ability and capability, we can do an action. Population and Development issues are big things we, the youth should be mindful about. After all, we are the agents of hope in the society. We can still change and lead the way to the betterment of our nation and not let the future generation suffer from our decisions and negligence.

Be aware. Be active. Make a Change.

Staying awake with caffeine in the other hand,

 

Vim Amorio
PS – Photos by Vim Amorio