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.

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 – they 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 – they gave Chiz another F.

The question then is what are these reforms he wants to accomplish? He needs to organize his thoughts and articulate his policy goals and prescriptions into a platform. In doing so, he rises above the demagoguery – or prove that he is one helluva demagogue.

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