Wednesday, June 27, 2012

K-12: Will it solve the dilemma of Filipino professionals?

School children in class.
The question as to whether quality education still persists in the Philippines? With the advent of globalization, it seems developing countries were forced to adapt to new strategies and public policies that are attuned to the needs of a globalized economy.

Under the leadership of a U.S.-educated President Benigno Aquino III, the Philippines has geared up to introduce a new educational system that may have been in the shelves for long while. And it is only now that education officials have thought about of polishing it in order to be attuned to the present economic demands.

The Philippines is left without any choice but to succumb to the calls of a globalized economy. Perhaps, government officials have thought it wise that it is about time that the present educational system be upgraded so that it could respond to the requirements of the international markets. They might have thought that Filipino professionals were left behind in so far as the standards of education are concerned.

A case in point is the dilemma being faced by country's thousands of professional nurses when they apply for work in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Most of them are still required to take the IELTS in order to gauge their English language proficiency before they are allowed to work. In other cases, most of them are required to study some more due to some deficiencies in college units. These are the problems that confront many Filipino professionals when they migrate to other countries to work.

The ball is in the hands of a host foreign governments that seek to employ foreign graduate nurses and other professionals. They alone can decide in accordance with their established policies in admitting immigrant workers. But requiring foreign graduates to enroll again to meet the educational requirements proves to be beyond anybody's comprehension. Perhaps, allowing them just to take series of examinations to qualify will be more than enough to evaluate their know-how in their own fields of endeavor. Or it could be a delaying tactic as a means to discourage foreign graduate nurses from pursuing their ambitions to land a much better paying jobs abroad?

To mitigate the situation, the Department of Education has introduced recently the K-12 education in the Philippines. Education officials believed that this could be the answer to the educational deficiencies that many of Filipino professionals right now. But the new policy was met with resistance from millions of parents and critics who said that the K-12 program would entail extra expenses to poor parents, especially those who don't have stable source of income to send their children to school.

If I'm not wrong the primary objective really is for Filipino professionals to be at par with the global educational requirements. As to how far the new educational policy can go, nobody knows yet. But at the moment, it is cruising on rough waters. Adding to the confusions are the lack of resources to fund for the recruitment of more qualified teachers, construction of additional classrooms and other infrastructures needed to keep the program going over the long term.

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