Have PH schools failed in instilling patriotism?

Have PH schools failed in instilling patriotism?

Mar 5, 2024, 8:31 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


By rejecting the idea of opening basic schools to full foreign ownership through constitutional amendments, the Department of Education (DepEd) is tacitly admitting the Philippine educational system’s failure to implant nationalism and love of country among learners.

It was made clear at the recent hearing on charter change in the House of Representatives that the DepEd would not allow 100-percent ownership of foreign-operated schools in basic education because of its threat to national security and the learners’ sense of nationality.

DepEd Undersecretary Omar Romero said they strongly oppose "cha-cha" to lift foreign ownership restrictions on basic education because of “far reaching” consequences, including how DepEd can regulate what is taught inside fully-foreign owned schools.

Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 7 in the House and RBH 6 in the Senate seek to amend the fundamental law by allowing foreign nationals to fully control and own schools in the country through the insertion of the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law.”

The 1987 charter allows the establishment of international schools only if these are under religious groups and mission boards or if they will intentionally cater to foreign diplomatic personnel and their dependents, and for foreign temporary residents.

Risks to education

Romero said the proposed amendment would not just "significantly diminish" DepEd’s oversight of school supervision and curriculum offerings but would also open up the sector to security threats.

He stressed that this susceptibility to foreign influence could raise concerns about national security “as it may expose these educational institutions to infiltration and compromise,” the Philippine Star reported.

He said DepEd opposes the overall lifting of all restrictions and not the entry of foreign educators who are allowed to teach her as long as they comply with DepEd’s curriculum and supervision.

Romero also pointed out that the agency does not oppose foreign influence provided it is consistent with the Constitutional mandate of teaching students patriotism and nationalism and other similar virtues.

There it is: a virtual admission that Filipino learners are gullible to foreign influence, because like our ancestors before they are prone to embrace foreign ideologies and influences since their own sense of nationalism and sense of countryhood are not deeply rooted and can easily be shaken.

Also, DepEd is fearful that lifting foreign ownership restrictions is “due to the lack of supervision and control over aliens in our territory,” a fact that is manifested in China’s incursion over our shores since the complete embrace by the Duterte administration and the continued reluctant tolerance by the current administration of the invaders in the West Philippine Sea.

But unlike DepEd, the position of the Commission on Higher Education’s chair Prospero de Vera on the issue is: “What we have observed in other ASEAN countries over the past years is that opening up ownership and control of the educational institutions in higher education has made them more competitive in their internationalization efforts,” the Star quoted him saying.

'Commercialization' of education

The Teachers, Education Workers and Academics Against Charter Change (TEACH) said the entry of fully foreign-owned schools could attract entities/companies wanting a quick buck to invest here and the “further commercialization in education.”

In a position paper, TEACH said: “Rather than open up our schools to foreign ownership, the Philippine government should be reminded it is the state’s obligation to improve the quality of :Philippine education,” which is correctly so.

In a previous Senate hearing, former Dean Cynthia Bautista, adviser of EDCOM 2(or the second Congressional Commission on Education) warned that the country’s reputation for "diploma mills" or low-quality schools could attract lower-tier foreign universities once restrictions are lifted.

Senator Sonny Angara has vowed to maintain the restrictions but is not sure that the "cha-cha" advocates share his sentiments.

#WeTakeAStand #OpinYon #DepEd #Education

We take a stand
OpinYon News logo

Designed and developed by Simmer Studios.

© 2024 OpinYon News. All rights reserved.