No command responsibility in DepEd
Victor Hugo in “Les Misérables” wrote: “Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”Government officials were literally falling all over themselves in their frantic bid to steal the thunder from the stellar achievements of Filipino athletes in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, yet blame all but themselves for the incalculable damage to our national integrity as a result of the abysmal performance of Filipino students in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) tests, where they landed last in reading literacy and second to the last in science and math literacies.
The Department of Education (DepEd) justifies our rock-bottom ranking by saying that the tests were conducted in English, that poor nutrition was the culprit, and that even bigger spending for education was needed. Who will they blame next—climate change or God? Meanwhile, the budget of the DepEd this year was increased to P654 billion. That is like rewarding the guilty and the culpable!
In an ideal world, public officials would’ve resigned en masse after a fiasco as monumental and towering as our ignominious showing in the Pisa tests. Alas, the Philippines is not an ideal world where the heads and superiors take personal responsibility for their failures and failings, express remorse, and then resign. We possess a shameless propensity to point our fingers in all directions except the one where we’re at, even if those fingers are as dirty as those of a child who’d been wallowing in mud all day. How shameless of these people to even think of asking for more money when they failed to do the job for which they were paid in the first place! Isn’t it the duty and responsibility of the DepEd to teach our children, at the very least, to read?
The President should scrutinize and monitor the DepEd budget, with special focus on the unabated and unchecked procurement of textbooks that are full of errors. Defective textbooks are directly to be blamed for the sordid and dismal academic performance of Filipino students.Philippine education is a leaning tower in danger of falling if not propped up. Someone should be made to account for this high crime against our national integrity because it impaired, damaged, and ruined our standing before the entire world. The DepEd must be held to a higher standard of accountability by being asked to answer for causing the night and the darkness in the souls of our children.
ANTONIO CALIPJO GO,
Marian School of Quezon City,
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