Where's the Chiz?


Retrogressing Education

Consider this pronouncement from Chiz Whiz:

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, we should and we propose that the curriculum be restudied. Mr. Speaker, I know that this will generate a lot of debate but I hope that our colleagues will listen for awhile. Sa ngayon, umaabot sa nine to eleven ang subjects ng ating mga estudyante sa elementary at high school. Nakukuba na ang ating mga estudyante sa kakabitbit ng napakaraming libro. Subalit ang tanong ko ho: Ito ba ay angkop pa rin sa pangangailangan ng ating bansa sa ngayon? Ang kanila po bang pinag-aralan ay nagagamit nila sa kanilang buhay sa labas ng paaralan at magagamit kapagka sila ay naghanap ng trabaho?

I can only cite myself as an example, Mr. Speaker, but mula po nung natapos ako nung high school hindi ko pa nagamit ang Calculus, hindi ko pa ho nagamit and Trigonometry, hindi ko pa ho nagamit and Algebra, IYUNG GEOMETRY, SA BILYAR KO LANG NAGAMIT. At iyong mga ibang itinuturo ay marapat sigurong ituro sa kolehiyo kung nais maging inhinyero ng isang bata. Iyong mga ibang itinuturo, marapat sigurong ibigay na lamang nating sa kanila sa kolehiyo o bilang elective pagdating ng high school.

He couldn’t grasp the necessity of mathematics, therefore he’d rather keep math out of the elementary and high school curriculum, during a time when the rest of the world is upgrading its mathematics curriculum. For example, this is what the Londonderry School District of New Hampshire has to say on the importance of math in the curriculum

The Importance of Mathematics

At all levels grades preK-12, the Londonderry School District has placed mathematics as a top priority along with reading. Why mathematics? Mathematics is the foundation for success in a variety of content areas during a child’s educational experience. According to a U.S. Department of Education’s Mathematics Equals Opportunity White Paper – October 1997, the authors concluded the following:

  • Students who take a rigorous K-12 mathematics sequence are more likely to go to college than those who do not.
  • Students of all income levels who take rigorous math courses in high school are more likely to go to college.
  • In the job market, students who have strong mathematics backgrounds are more likely to be employed and earn 38% more per hour than those with insufficient skills in algebra, geometry, measurement, and probability.

Mathematics is crucial not only for success in school, but in being an informed citizen, being productive in one’s chosen career, and in personal fulfillment. In today’s technology driven society, greater demands have been placed on individuals to interpret and use mathematics to make sense of information and complex situations. As a result, the Londonderry School District places the understanding, application of numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis, problem-solving, and reasoning skills as a top priority.

During the students’ primary years, our focus is on learning number and operations, basic measurement, and basic understanding of data. As students move into the intermediate and middle school years, a greater emphasis is placed on the practice and reinforcement of basic math facts and operations while at the same time increasing the depth of understanding of skills in algebra and geometry.

At the high school level, while our focus remains on fundamental mathematical concepts and skills to prepare all students to be productive members of society, students encounter new perspectives in algebra and geometry as well as new ways of analyzing data within formal mathematics courses and other high school courses in science, social studies, business, and other electives.

Our high school academic expectations are clear:

  • Students will be able to formulate, critically analyze, and solve a variety of problems.
  • Students will be able to use various forms of communication to accurately receive, process, and deliver information.

Through their experiences at Londonderry High School, students are expected to have a strong understanding of mathematical computation, concepts and processes, problem-solving, reasoning and analysis while using mathematics to make sense of, and to solve complex problems in a variety of applications.

Here’s Chiz asking us to allow the retrogression of our youth – to lessen their ability to “formulate, critically analyze, and solve a variety of problems”. Seriously, do you really want this? Do you really want more dumb Filipinos? Then by all means, vote for Chiz Escudero.

An Indictment of  Party Politics or Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

As generally defined,

A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain and maintain political power within government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision bolstered by a written platform with specific goals, forming a coalition among disparate interests.

Here comes Chiz again,

Una, sino man po ang nagpapaplanong tumakbo bilang pangulo, dapat wala pong partidong kinabibilangan –NPC, LP , NP, Lakas o ano pa man. Ang dapat na partidong kinabibilangan ng sino mang nagpaplanong tumakbo, dapat po Pilipinas. At lahat ng mga kapartido niya, dapat lahat din ng Pilipino.

The statement shows Chiz’ grasp party politics, it shows that:

  • Chiz concept of a political party is limited to his experience with parties such as LP, NP, NPC, Lakas-Kampi – trad-pol parties. These are trapo parties, of course there will be horsetrading, what do you expect? He misses the fact that there are other political parties which have ideologically motivated members – for instance, Kapatiran, Bayan Muna, and Akbayan.
  • Whoever runs for the presidency is a citizen of the Philippines – in a manner of speaking, the candidate is already a member of the party called Philippines – and his party mates are all the Philippine citizens. Chiz sure knows how to pander to a vacuous crowd!
  • However, lets consider the proposition of the Philippines as THE Party, and citizens as Party members – sounds like a one party state like China, Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea. Are the people cheering Chiz ready for a one party state? Remember, even one party states have factions within the party, which if there were no prohibitions against political parties other than the state party, these factions will evolve into political parties.

Nonpartisan politics would be fine with a highly educated, relatively affluent responsible voters who are not beholden to patrons, who will take the time to discern and vet candidates. It might seems that Chiz was innovative when he floated the idea of nonpartisan elections. If he had done his homework, he would have found that unless there are legal prohibitions against political parties, factions within nonpartisan systems often evolve into political parties.

Dumb and Dumber?

Chiz indictment of party politics because it does not serve him is consistent with his thinking process when he indicted of Calculus, Algebra, and Geometry because he wasn’t able to use it in his profession as a lawyer.

Though Chiz recent policy recommendations provide a glimpse:

  • Provide passing grades to the students who weren’t able to come to class due to Ondoy. We know how the teachers reacted to this prescription – the teachers gave Chiz an F.
  • Remove math from the elementary and high school curriculum and make it an elective. We also know how the teachers reacted to this prescription – the teachers gave Chiz another F.

The question then is what are these reforms Chiz wants to accomplish?

He needs to organize his thoughts and articulate his policy goals and prescriptions into a platform.

In doing so, Chiz rises above the demagoguery – or proves beyond reasonable doubt, that he is one helluva demagogue.

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  1. HusengBatute · ·

    In a time when we need to raise the standard of our science and technology, which relies heavily on mathematics, here comes a politician of the worse kind trying to send our kids woefully unequipped to meet the demands of a steeply competitive future.

  2. uncle pinoy · ·

    This is typical of any politician. Sitting on his ass in Congress or in the Senate with nothing to do, he has to come up with some idea or scheme to “make things easy for the Filipino people.” Because he is an elected official, he has to make himself relevant, or at least make waves and be quoted in the papers. So he comes up with, I don’t know . . . maybe adding another sunray to the flag, or renaming the airport in Sorsogon after a dead relative. Or maybe doing something for the children. Like making their schoolbags lighter by eliminating math from the curriculum. It’s not his fault. He HAS to think of a program.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: This should not be so surprising when you have 200+ legislators doing nothing all day but try to rationalize their existence. Congress makes laws even if we already have too many laws but not enough enforcement. It wouldn’t be too bad if we just paid congressmen their salary, but these congressmen and senators actually cost us billions of pesos more in maintenance (their staff, privileges, benefits and pork barrels). Even if we elected 200+ saints and angelswith great platforms they will still cost us billions of pesos.

    The issue is the size and function of government. It has to be reorganized and its responsibilities redefined. It has to be emasculated. So much so that even if we elect the dumbest and most corrupt politician to the Presidency he would not be able to do much damage anyway. Government office should not be something to aspire for; it should be a real job.

    Name me the President of Switzerland. Name me an ex-president of Switzerland. Exactly.

  3. Perhaps we can call this the Chiz Doctrine: “When you are to run for President, you must not be part of a political party”… And then remind him about it everytime he runs with a party!

  4. Hyden Toro · ·

    There are parts in our life, where we can use the subjects we studied in schools. I am a technical man
    but; I studied history, lterature, poetry and philosophy. I self studied them. I just dont want to be
    technically educated. If you love knowledge, then you wont mind putting knowlege into your brain.
    Where on the byways of life. You can dig them into the pockets of your mind, and use them.

    It depends what a person wants. To be half educated. Or to be fully educated.

  5. Where does this Chiz guy get all his hare-brained ideas? He probably hated mathematics when he was a kid.

    I was never good at maths when I was still in school. I kept looking forward to the day when school would be out and when I could say goodbye to all things related to mathematics. It’s a miracle I passed all the math subjects. Students like me kept saying “We don’t need mathematics in life, we just need common sense!” Oh, we were so dead wrong in saying this. For one, I would have understood the lessons better in algebra for example, if I had a professor who could teach it well as I found out in later years after school, that I can actually get it when there was someone patient enough who zeroed in on what I didn’t understand. To someone average in math like me, I just needed to practice harder.

    Second, we cannot escape mathematics. All the jobs that I ever had involved mathematics. It didn’t matter if I ended up in the marketing department because I still needed to show my clients some figures to convince them to hire our company. As someone who used to hate maths, I am now actually working within the finance department (thanks to computers for their help!). If I had concentrated more on the math lessons at school, I could well be running the department.

    Math is very important in life, it is in even the simplest things we do. When I go to the gym to attend my step class, I find it easier to follow the routine when I count the moves. When I took up sewing lessons, I needed math skills to measure the cloth. More importantly, I need math to be in financial control of our daily budget at home.

    The financial world would not have experienced collapse if everyone practiced mathematics. People would not have over borrowed money from the bank and the banks would have foreseen that some people could not pay their over priced mortgages eventually.

    Math is good because it measures the probability of how someone will perform during the presidential election like Chiz.

  6. Imagine life in a Philippines devoid of math if Chiz had his way.
    We would have:

    Dangerous variations in medicine ingredient quantities
    Companies that couldn’t tell how well or how badly they’re doing
    Ubiquitous palengke fights because of disagreement in measurement
    Car parts that don’t fit, even for the same model
    Phenomenally slower queues at fastfood outlets, banks, airports, government offices, supermarkets, drugstores, etc.
    Chaos in mail/courier service warehouses
    Large deviations between indicated quantity on food packaging and actual quantity
    Massive confusion during polls, even in the absence of fraud
    Zero development in technology, and tech firms hightailing out of the country
    Supermarkets constantly running out of stocks and not knowing why
    Products rotting in supplier warehouses
    Food products with wild variations in quality
    Airplanes flying into each other and marine vessels always getting lost at sea
    Sharp decline in financial transactions everywhere
    All other poor countries overtaking us completely
    Square manholes

    Perhaps he could test his “education” proposals on his own children first before suggesting its implementation on anyone else. (Of course, knowing what this guy is made of, that would only be detrimental to the Escudero kids, because he just might be crazy enough to do it. So scratch that.)

  7. let me rock the boat a bit and defend what he’s saying, for the sake of debate.

    if ur not gonna be an engineer, why learn calculus, trigonometry and (advanced) geometry?

    you should know some algebra (mathematical operations), but apart from that, if you are gonna be in business, the law, the arts, etc — you won’t really need calc, trigo and adv geometry.

    the only reason to introduce it in HS, is to determine the math aptitude of kids. how would u know if u want to be an engineer or not, if not expose him/her to advanced maths?

  8. how would u know if u want to be an engineer or not, if not expose him/her to advanced maths?

    That’s exactly why these subjects ought to be introduced in high school. It lets the students know if they have a knack for the maths and sciences that go with them, and they don’t feel severely behind when they take these up in college. Besides, skipping the fairly advanced maths of high school would further restrict future career flexibility of the youth, especially when multidisciplinary backgrounds are valued in progressive companies. Lack of options is a complete bummer.

  9. Hear, hear. We need to start them young while their brain is still developing. It’s harder to cope when you are older.

  10. That’s exactly right. The student may not have a liking or strong aptitude for higher mathematics, but he won’t know that until he receives some introduction to it; an introduction that, as Filo said, gives him sufficient background to pursue more advanced studies if he wishes. And if not, the student has at least learned something about logic and sequential thinking.

    Even in law and business and the arts, a firm background in mathematics gives one an edge over the Chizes of the world. For example, if he were president would he understand monetary policy, to an effective degree that enables him to make a productive decision, without a reasonable math background (which would involve, in that case, at least a little bit of trigonometry)? Of course he can hire someone smarter or better-educated to do the calculating, but at least Chiz should have a clear concept of what’s going on.

    By the same token, the math geniuses of the world have an edge over their peers if they have a firm background in arts and humanities. It works both ways.

    Of course, Chiz has already popped off with “the Country is the party” idea, so maybe he’s thinking more along the lines of instituting a caste system. In that case, what he says make sense; those doomed from birth to pick up dirty trays and constantly mop the same meter-square spot of floor at Jollibee need only be prepared for their place in the world and no more.

  11. HusengBatute · ·

    This is typical “masa” solution to a problem. If one has trouble untying one’s shoelaces, just use the scissors. Instead of learning how to solve it, you just get rid of it. Math is difficult, so just get rid of it, just as if a president could not wave a magic wand to solve all our problems, then just do another Edsa. Unfortunately for this approach, the problem keeps coming back and with a vengeance.

  12. His critique is based on a myopic view of PRACTICALITY. He apparently defines practicality as mere usage or direct application. The larger view of practicality accepts the reality of INDIRECT applications. While, to take one of his examples, geometry might not be directly applicable in one’s everyday activities, its concepts and the mental discipline it inculcates have practical benefits. For example, geometry’s focus on PROOFS trains the mind to think in logical steps and zero in on logical relationships between premises and conclusions. It also develops a greater appreciation for backing up assertions or at least arguing in a methodical, well thought out way.

  13. Um…Chiz? What will removing Math solve anyway? Lots of kids will be happy temporarily but I’m willing to bet all my possessions that they’ll regret it sooner or later. And so will you when you see how your kids have been reduced to the likes of mentally-deficient sheep.

    Why is this guy running, anyway??? Someone brain him with a rock, please? Anything heavy and blunt to knock some sense into this guy!

  14. […] Do you really want more dumb Filipinos? Then by all means, vote for Chiz Escudero.HusengBatute, The Anti Pinoy :), Oct […]

  15. Talk about very short-term thinking… Anyone notice how his recent ad is all about him? No mention of helping the country.

  16. Zadkiel · ·

    Another delusional PANACEA being concocted by FALSE MESSIAHs. <– A great title . Can I write an article here?

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