Got a heads up about ABS-CBN winding up its taping of another episode of “Maalaala mo kaya” featuring “karitonkid”.
Obviously, it’s another source of content to bolster its ratings – no different from CNN allowing multiple votes per person in its Heroes program.
My first reaction was here we go again. Another opportunity for oligarch-owned media to dumb people down with the melodrama and tearjerkers.
Clearly another ABS-CBN wise guy saw that da Pinoy loves the dramatic effect of rags to fame (never mind that it gloosses over Villars rags-to-riches story in favor of its darling AbNoy born with a silver spoon). I have yet to hear of an episode featuring an enterprising person who put up a computer school and educated people properly. To me this is another example of how Philippine media has perverted priorities and continues to set the bar for sloppy programming – really, really LOW.
The Efren story is not about Efren, rather it is about the pathetic state of the Philippine educational system. So pathetic that someone has to take the initiative of bringing out a kariton in order to provide kids with a learning experience. I can run the numbers and present it here, however, I would rather quote a recent article from the Pinoy Herald:
The present state of Philippine education is in turmoil. Several factors have led to this very sad reality, which has truly affected the quality of education being offered to Filipino children.
The root cause of all these is the evil called “corruption”. Many anomalies have surfaced re the budget for classrooms, textbooks, tables, chairs and desks. The money supposed to be used for these projects does not go to where it is intended to be used but rather to the pockets of corrupt government officials. The Department of Education, a government agency tasked to mold the minds of the young ranks very high in corruption. Quite ironic, isn’t it? Yet, it is a fact that we have to face.
As a result of misappropriation of funds, many problems related to this arise. There is an exodus of teachers abroad. Teachers opt to become domestic helpers or caregivers in order to earn more. They accept doing menial jobs and are demoted from their former status to seek greener pastures. Thus, who are left to teach Filipino children if the good mentors have decided to leave the Philippines? Of course, the not-so-good or rotten ones.
Those who are left behind do not anymore do their work well, but, instead, sell different types of merchandise to students in order to augment their meager income. They adhere to this practice at the expense of their students.
Thus, what kind of students do we produce? Students who could hardly express themselves both in verbal or written means. They hate to study because they are not properly motivated to do so. Students graduate from schools without the needed skills and competencies to be able to join the world of profession. According to a recent survey, the Philippines ranked 41st in Science and 42nd in Math around the world. Our Ivy League schools namely: University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas occupy the lower strata in world education. How sad indeed! We cater to students who do not study at all, neglect subjects such as Math, Science and English, which could truly help them in the future.
A great problem also lies in our ever-changing curriculum, system and aims for education. Unlike in the United States by which all these are specific, here, in the Philippines, they come in general or vague ways, which are quite difficult to implement.
All these contribute to the continuing decadence of Philippine education.
Given this sorry state, all ABS-CBN can muster is a soppy telenovela series called “Maalaala Mo Kaya” that features Efren? I expected something better. An upright media corporation would have seen the gap and opted for programming that fills in the gap. ABS-CBN could address the disparity by developing more kiddie-oriented educational programs with Efren as the poster boy, or do a documentary on corruption in the DECS, but no, ABS-CBN just has to do a soppy soap opera.
The Philippine media is quick to blame demand – that there is no demand for quality movies. That sure says a lot about the quality of our viewing preferences as a nation – totally poor. Poor preferences, poor choices, poor role models, a poor country, where the vast majority of people are poor. Indeed, the poverty of our collective internal intellectual environment reflects itself in the poverty of our country. We can also reverse the statement – the poverty of our country is reflected in our poor role models, poor choices, and poor preferences.
What can we do then to get out of this seeming endless loop? We have always know the answer – give lip-service to it, but we don’t do anything to promote it – yes.. Education provides the knowledge to break out the chain. Education is a continuous process for people of all ages. Philippine media is a critical component which allows society to break the endless loop or remain trapped within it.
In a study conducted by the University of Minnesota on the Role of Television Viewing in the Development of Reading Comprehension, the researchers were excited with the implications of their results:
First, although both groups of children perform better on the television memory and comprehension test than on the test of aural story memory and comprehension, individual differences are highly consistent across media. The correlation between recall for the TV story and that for the aural story is .81. This indicates that children that are good (poor) at comprehending and remembering materials presented via TV also are good (poor) at comprehending and remembering materials presented aurally.
Second, PPVT vocabulary scores are not related to memory scores. The correlation is .06. This is surprising because the PPVT often is taken as an indicator of intelligence and hence might be expected to be strongly related to comprehension/memory. The current result suggests that comprehension processes are rather separate from low-level processes/skills such as vocabulary.
Third, performances on the memory and recall tasks were very strongly related, with a correlation of .97. This indicates that memory and comprehension, at least for these materials, are indeed intertwined skills.
Together, these results suggest that children’s comprehension and memory abilities–the hallmarks of meaningful reading–are not contingent upon their vocabulary skills (it should be noted that none of the tested children had specific reading difficulties; it may be that vocabulary is more strongly related to reading proficiency in low-performing children) and, most importantly, that comprehension and memory skills are constant across media by which children encounter information. If the latter finding holds up for the entire data–and if it will be found to be related to later reading comprehension–then this would be very encouraging vis-á-vis the possibility to foster the development of comprehension skills in the domain of television viewing well before children are exposed to reading instruction and practice and, besides, in a domain that is inherently interesting and does not require decoding skills. This is an important implication because it means that while children are developing decoding skills they can already be developing comprehension skills.
As mentioned above, preschool and elementary school children spend more of their waking hours watching television than in any other activity. By laying out the ways in which these experiences may prepare children for reading comprehension, and the ways in which one can actively select and use TV programs, this project will have considerable benefits for educators, parents, as well as anyone concerned with having children attain proficient reading levels. The byproducts of this study are expected to include workshops for educators and parents on the potential impact of TV viewing on the development of reading comprehension, and specific guidelines for the optimal selection and production of television programs for educational benefits.
In a world where proficiency in science, math, languages unlocks the keys to personal fulfillment and collective success, da Pinoy and da Pinoy Media have chosen slapstick, buffonry, melodrama, and mendicancy. Sooner or later, somethings gotta give. We cannot be beggars forever. That’s not Pinoy pride for me. Media has a role in promoting progress through education. Apparently, this has been lost in the shuffle. Philippine media highlights and promotes the melodrama, splashing it on the boob tube on the dot in a continuous barrage of vomit. How about covering solutions to the melodrama for a change? Feature people who are problem-solvers not emo-laden problem stumped wimps. Show more entrepreneurs, inventors, positive role models, how they went about it, what made them come up with idea, their sacrifices and preparations for success.
The screens of Philippine TV have been so full of scenes of poverty, glorifying it, affirming it positively. With this kind of mindset how can we expect to get our people to embrace prosperity? How can we learn to be responsible and willing to deal with money and grow it when we are brought up to look at money and wealth as being evil. Money in itself is not evil or good – it’s how we use it which is evil or good. We need a Suze Ormond who can tell da Pinoy not to spend beyond his means, to put money into savings instead of the videoke joint, how to invest and grow their money and prepare for eventual retirement. Instead of showing a senior citizen who has to rely on a bullying in-law because he didn’t save up for retirement. Our people can do more, we expect better of the Philippine media.
Lots would point to the presence of Jerry Springer show as proof that US can be as trashy. What’s being missed though is, what proportion of the population watches trashy shows. Given equally sleazy shows – Jerry Springer averages 3.5 million viewers per telecast – that’s 0.90% of the US popoulation of 304M.
In contrast based on the AGB Nielsen ratings – The largest television market is at Mega Manila; in AGB-Nielsen’s case, Mega Manila consists of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna. Mega Manila is represented by 400 panel homes. Other areas are North and Central Luzon with 300 homes; South Luzon, 300 homes; Visayas, 300 homes; and Mindanao, 200 homes. These 1,500 panel homes comprise the National Urban Television Audience Measurement (NUTAM) and are scattered throughout the country. The NUTAM, which includes 7,260,723 national urban TV homes, does not comprise the entire Philippines, but only the urban centers. The survey encompasses 34 million individuals or 95% of urban Philippines, which comprises about 38% of the entire country.During non-primetime wowowee averages 21.9% of the NUTAM, and 38.9% at primetime. (source: Wikipedia)
Given the trend in NCR, the country’s trendsetter, it will be logical to assume a national viewership of 21.9% nationwide (based on low-end of non-primetime) for Wowowee – that’s a long way off from the 0.90% who watch Jerry Srpinger. As commenter Ma Xianding says – Even if there is a greater percentage of poor people in Pinas, the number of people who love trash are disproportionately high compared to other countries.
The strings behind Philippine media which look at profitabilty are quick to point at the bottom line. Tell you what buster – let me show you the face of the Filipino in education, given a level playing field and all the opportunities to move forward. Carlos Mencia shows the face of the competitive Asian – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esKwU3BrUfM.
I digress. Sorry, I got carried away. =)
The producer would probably say that the purpose of the Maalaala Mo Kaya episode is to inspire people to be a hero like Efren. Well, at the rate the educational system is imploding – you will need more “heroes”. But is this really the right thing to do? Shouldn’t we instead address the disparities in education, beef up our investments in schools, teachers, books – instead of fielding more karitonkids? I guess it is easier to have kariton kids than to vote for candidates at the local and national level, who support greater investment in education.
It’s no longer about education – it’s now about instant gratification, ratings, advertising revenue – and ensuring a steady revenue.
Efren has sold his soul to the princes of the air – ABS-CBN and its new ‘ho Efren are both disgusting! Excuse me, I gotta puke!
Okay, okay, that was gross. Straight up, Philippine media and its bankrollers really need to review their value proposition. Dumbing down the audience provides revenue. However, they can get more bang for their buck if they had a smarter audience with higher disposable income. Grow the audience, be an enabler of knowledge and prosperity instead of poverty and mendicancy. You get my drift?
Wanna help out? Here’s how – every time Philippine media puts on a crappy show, save your brain cells – Vote with your remote!