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Article of Zeus Salazar in Freundschaft / Pagkakaibigan

Petisyon

Not again! CHED resurrects a vampire.

http://criticplaywright.blogspot.com/2005/11/quality-assurance.html

Time to repeat myself, because CHED today is in danger of falling deeper into exactly the same ridiculous hole they fell into in 2005.

The Randall Scandal (The Philippine Star, 3 March 2005)

Once upon a time, a false god rose in the British isles. His name was John Randall.

He started the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), an accrediting body established in 1997 whose mission, according to its website, is “to safeguard the public interest in sound standards of higher education qualifications and to encourage continuous improvement in the management of the quality of higher education.” As the first teacher to raise the alarm against the Randall idolatry put it, however, “the QAA is part of the UK government’s bureaucracy for controlling education.”

Randall had a gospel that he tried to ram down the throats of all British academics. He had a very strange idea that he did not want to sell to the academics, probably because he knew deep inside him that intelligent people would never buy it. Instead, he wanted everyone merely to follow blindly what he said just because he said it. He did not want consultations. He did not want to listen to anyone; he wanted everyone to listen to him. To his disciples at QAA, he was an angel sent from above, a god walking among mere academic mortals.

He thought that government should control – not support nor encourage – higher education. He wanted government inspectors to enter university classrooms, to check on teachers and students, to look at textbooks. He wanted all universities to document every department meeting and every class session, to follow standardized curricula, to adopt only one method of teaching – that sort of thing. In a country that prides itself on its academic freedom, this was, of course, anathema. Randall knew that nobody would agree with him, but using his position to full advantage, he was able to fool some of the people some of the time, but not most.

Being bright, most of the British were not fooled by Randall’s bull-headedness. The Association of University Teachers (AUT), the academic trade union and professional association of almost fifty thousand British teachers, launched a revolt against the dictatorship of Randall. The revolt was led by the heads of Oxford and Cambridge, the top universities not just in the UK, but probably even in the world.

The revolt spread not just like wildfire, but like fish and chips (or in these days, like Big Macs). Before anyone knew it, Parliament got into the act. On Jan. 17, 2001, Randall was summoned by the Select Committee on Education and Employment of the House of Commons. At the investigation, he was confronted by comments such as this: “You are part of the problem. University teachers are so worried about the time and expense and disruption caused by the QAA that they have hardly got time to provide quality education for their first year students.” He was warned about the QAA becoming “the great prescriptor.” (You can read the minutes of the entire interrogation at parliament.co.uk.)

The problem was really quite simple. Randall was no god, and his ideas were far from divine. In fact, he was dead wrong on many, if not most, issues. When the teachers demanded that they be consulted on his ideas before he did anything, Randall decided to resign. Consultation was the last thing he wanted. He did not want anyone questioning his ideas, for the simple reason that he had no answers to any questions, except to say that he felt he was right.

Upon his resignation on Aug. 21, 2001, he said to the press: “The Agency is moving to a new phase of its development, with consultation on the way in which the framework we have built will be used in external reviews and by institutions themselves. It is an appropriate time for me to consider the future direction of my career. There are challenges and opportunities that I would like to pursue outside the Agency.”

Randall, nevertheless, was unrepentant to the end. His last public comment was to compare universities to meat factories (Daily Telegraph, Aug. 22, 2001). Clearly, his desire to control universities was based on a deep disrespect and even disdain for teachers and students.

The AUT immediately released a statement: “John Randall’s resignation marks the end of an era of overly-bureaucratic and prescriptive regulation in higher education. The last five years have seen a hugely unsuccessful and morale-sapping experiment in higher education. The QAA failed to deliver a sensible balance between bureaucracy and accountability. The development of overly-bureaucratic regulation has antagonised those who work in the sector but has plainly failed to deliver a quality assurance regime that has the confidence of staff, students and the wider public.”

For intelligent teachers, students, and parents in the UK, Randall was dead. The false god had been unmasked and ridiculed out of office.

What opportunities did Randall pursue after his disastrous career in the UK? Lo and behold, Randall resurrected in the Philippines and became, in the eyes of our own Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the white god of education. CHED recently ordered all Philippine schools to follow the gospel according to Randall. Heaven help us!

The Randall Proposal (The Philippine Star, 6 October 2005)

This is a long-delayed sequel to “The Randall Scandal.”

On June 18, 2004, John Randall submitted to the Commission on Higher Education a proposal entitled “Quality Assurance of Higher Education in the Philippines.” Although CHED’s Commissioners have assured me that they are not going to implement the proposal in full but will remove impractical and inapplicable components, Randall’s final report to CHED (and to ADB and the British Council, which brought him to the country) remains the key document being used today to compel universities to toe his line.

As in any other government or consultant’s report, there are good and bad points in Randall’s proposal.

The best point in the proposal is Randall’s insistence on an “outcomes-based” assessment of universities. The jargon may be confusing, but Randall’s point may be illustrated by an example he does not use. When teachers apply for employment in a university, they are usually asked what their degrees are, how many years they have been teaching, and what research they have undertaken. In Randall’s terms, these data would be “inputs.”

“There is an assumption,” says Randall, “that, if adequate resources are present, quality will be guaranteed. This, of course, is not true, as much will depend on the effectiveness with which resources are deployed.” In our example, degrees, years of teaching experience, and publications may be irrelevant to teachers that face, let us say, a class of basketball players accepted primarily on the basis of their height.

Randall points out that universities are also evaluated in terms of their “processes (particularly the processes of teaching and learning).” In our example, teachers are usually judged by what their syllabi contain, what teaching strategies they use, how they fare in student evaluations, how they look to other teachers that observe their classes. Randall argues that evaluating inputs and processes is an immature act.

“Mature evaluation systems,” he writes, “are based upon outcomes, and in particular the learning outcomes that it is intended that students should achieve.” In our example, teachers applying for employment should be asked what percentage of their former students passed board examinations or found jobs. I myself often provoke literature teachers by telling them that they are bad teachers if their students do not, after high school or college, go on their own to a bookstore or library to read a new novel. As that often-misquoted Biblical verse puts it, by their fruits you shall know them. (Of course, during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was referring only to false prophets and not necessarily to everyone else; see Matthew 5:15-20.)

The problem occurs when Randall tries to apply the principle of outcomes-based assessment to the Philippine situation. Although he admits that “CHED, as the regulator of higher education, should be less prescriptive,” he actually ends up urging CHED to be more prescriptive. Randall submits, together with his general statements about the Philippine educational system, a very detailed “Operating Handbook” that is about as prescriptive as you can get. An example: “Formal meetings should always involve at least two members of the [visiting] team.”

In fact, it is not just the prescriptive portions, but the whole Randall proposal that is wrong, because it falls into the trap of self-contradiction. He starts off by saying, in effect, that Filipinos are doing the wrong thing when it comes to quality assessment. Then, when asked what we should be doing instead, he ends up saying that we should be doing exactly what we have been doing all along.

Since I belong to PAASCU, as well as to a CHED Technical Panel, I may be accused of bias when it comes to the Randall proposal. But I still have to find in his proposal anything that either PAASCU or CHED is not yet doing. In simpler terms, what Randall is saying is this: you are doing everything wrong, but everything you are doing is right.

In more intellectual terms, what Randall has done is to assume that he has a monopoly of wisdom. When asked what wisdom that is, he has done nothing else but to point to the wisdom that we already had decades before he arrived in the Philippines.

I am reminded of a similar argument I used to have with Americans not too long ago. They would tease me about always having a cellphone, saying that in the United States, since everybody had a landline at home and there was a pay phone everywhere you looked, Americans would never buy cellphones. Today, there are affluent homes in the United States without landlines and practically everybody there now has a cellphone. In short, we were (and still are) much more advanced than Americans when it comes to telecommunications. (If you don’t believe that we are more advanced than them, go to any cellphone shop in New York and see how primitive their units there are.) No American can teach us anything when it comes to cellphones.

Randall came into our country thinking that he knew better than we did about higher education. When he realized that we knew a lot more than he did, he had no choice but to recommend back to us everything that we had already been doing. In effect, he was a false prophet, and the fruit of his labor – his proposal – proves that that both the ADB and the British Council wasted their money on him.

Hello Again, Randall (The Philippine Star, 6 October 2005)

Once again, the Randall Scandal rears its ugly head.

First, a flashback. Since it was established in 1994, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has been quietly and effectively fulfilling its mandate to promote quality assurance among the 1,605 (as of latest count) higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country.

Soon after its establishment, CHED created regional Quality Assurance Teams (RQATs, called NQAT in NCR), which included volunteer experts in every discipline. These experts usually belonged to the CHED Technical Panels, which were the private sector’s contribution to the governance of higher education in the country. Among the projects of the Technical Panels was the selection of Centers of Excellence (COEs) and Centers of Development (CODs), which were then given funds by CHED to help develop teaching and research in the Philippines.

On Sept. 25, 2001, CHED granted autonomy to 30 private colleges and universities and deregulated status to 22 others. The criteria for selecting these HEIs were explicit: They were “established as Centers of Excellence or Centers of Development and or private higher education institutions with FAAP Level III Accredited programs; [they showed] outstanding overall performance of graduates in the licensure examinations under the Professional Regulation Commission; [and they had a] long tradition of integrity and untarnished reputation” (CMO 32, s. 2001).

The reference to accredited programs is important. The Philippines has a long tradition of accreditation, which is another name for quality assurance. Accreditation was first proposed by Congress in 1949, first implemented in 1951, and repeatedly endorsed in laws and memos relating to education (such as the Educational Development Decree of 1972, the Education Act of 1982, and CMO 1, s. 2005).

This commendable tradition of quality assurance or accreditation was radically disturbed when a certain John Randall came into the country and claimed that the Philippines had never heard of the term “quality assurance.” For some strange reason, CHED forgot that it had been using the term for years and agreed with Randall!

When I first wrote about what I called the Randall Scandal, I was asked by then CHED Chair Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., and then CHED Commissioner Cristina Padolina to meet with them. They told me that they were not taking Randall hook, line, and sinker, and that they would definitely take a second look at the so-called Quality Assurance Program that he had proposed. I wrote a second column giving fair time to the two commissioners.

Strange as it may seem, although I head the CHED Technical Panel on Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication and am an ex-officio member of the CHED University Status team, I was not told that Randall had been resurrected in a memo entitled “Institutional Monitoring and Evaluation for Quality Assurance of All Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines,” shortened to IQuAME (CMO 15, s. 2005) and in a subsequent memo entitled “Evaluation of Higher Education Institutions Granted Autonomous and Deregulated Status in 2001” (CMO 18, s. 2005). Since I do not regard myself as someone that important in CHED, I kept quiet when I found out that autonomous and deregulated universities were beside themselves trying to figure out how to prove that they had quality when they had already been pronounced to have quality.

Last Aug. 3, 26 of the 30 autonomous and 17 of the 22 deregulated HEIs wrote a strong letter to the CHED Commissioners questioning CMO 18. Here are excerpts from the long letter:

“We join the many who have expressed reservations about IQuAME as given in CMO No. 15, s. 2005, and the consultancy work on quality assurance done for CHED by Dr. John Randall. We feel that Dr. Randall’s experience and background in the British educational system are very different from our Philippine educational system and situation. As everyone knows, eighty percent of tertiary education in our country is provided by the private sector without any government assistance. We join many who have questioned Dr. Randall’s basic contention that private voluntary accreditation in the Philippines today which is ‘program-based’ does not cover ‘institutional’ concerns and looks mainly on ‘inputs’ rather than ‘outcomes.’

“We feel that more time and consultation should have been spent validating Dr. Randall’s recommendations and the instrument to be used for IQuAME visits.

“We strongly feel that making use of a new and untested IQuAME instrument is not the best way to monitor and evaluate the HEIs granted special status.

“We feel that for the review of HEIs with these special status, CHED should use the same criteria [as in CMO 32, s. 2001].”

Guess what CHED did to respond to the letter? On Sept. 28, CHED called the heads of all the autonomous and deregulated HEIs to a meeting at Richville Hotel in Mandaluyong and, wonder of wonders, distributed to all the participants a “Primer on the Quality Assurance, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Higher Education Institutions,” with this explicit note at the end of it: “This primer is based on materials prepared by Dr. John Randall, Quality Assurance Consultant, CHED Organizational Development, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Philippines 2004.”

Why CHED is allowing itself to look silly when it already looked good is something only we Filipinos living in our self-destabilizing world can understand.

Quality Assurance and CHED (The Philippine Star, 3 November 2005)

What is the difference between quality assurance and accreditation?

Nothing, if we are to listen to the vast majority of accrediting associations around the world. Here are three examples:

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation of the United States, with more than sixty American national, regional, and specialized accrediting organizations as members, uses the two terms interchangeably.

The German Akkreditierungs-, Certifizierungs- und Qualitätssicherungs-Instituts (Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute) does the same thing.

So does the Swiss L’Organe d’accréditation et d’assurance qualité des hautes écoles suisses (Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities).

Of course, a few countries make a distinction between the two.

The Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA), for example, looks at accreditation as something universities do themselves and to themselves; quality assurance is what an outside agency does.

By and large, however, universities and governments around the world treat the two terms as synonyms, whether what they are talking about is program accreditation (meaning that only certain programs, and not whole institutions, are accredited) or institutional accreditation (which means that a whole institution is accredited, even if its programs are not all on the same level of quality).

There are only two groups that still are in the dark about the two terms – students in Europe and our CHED commissioners.

The National Unions of Students in Europe (ESIB) bewailed in 2000 that “at the moment there is no common frame in which actors of higher education can discuss quality assurance and accreditation. There are quality assurance systems actually doing accreditation and the other way around. Furthermore the aims and methods of quality assurance and accreditation differ from country to country and there are obscurities in the terms being used.”

Behaving more like students than the professionals they are supposed to be, our CHED commissioners are equally confused.

In 1995, CHED recognized that Philippine accrediting associations were already doing quality assurance or accreditation, both institutional and program. It did this through CMO 31, s. 1995 (“Policies on Voluntary Accreditation in Aid of Quality and Excellence in Higher Education”), which used the terms accreditation and quality in the same breath. CHED at that time also recognized that voluntary accreditation included both programs and institutions. CHED used the term Institutions/Programs even for Level I or the starting level of accreditation.

CHED actually had no choice in 1995 but to recognize voluntary accreditation, which was first proposed by a Joint Congressional Committee in 1949. The first Philippine accrediting association was formed in 1951, and the first actual accreditations were conducted in 1957.

By the way, the initial delay was due to something very similar to what is happening to CHED today.

Francisco Dalupan and several other educators formed the Philippine Accrediting Association of Universities and Colleges (PAAUC) in 1951, preparing for voluntary accreditation done by private schools themselves, based on the objectives of each institution to be accredited. Then Education Secretary Manuel Carreon, however, following advice from a consultant named Pius Barth, wanted compulsory accreditation done by the government, based on so-called objective standards. It was only in 1957, when the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) started actual accreditation, that the impasse was broken. PAASCU’s efforts were officially recognized and endorsed by then Education Secretary Carlos P. Romulo in 1967. Since then, accreditation in the country has been private and voluntary.

Early this year, CHED issued CMO 1, s. 2005 (“Revised Policies and Guidelines on Voluntary Accreditation in Aid of Quality and Excellence in Higher Education”), which removed the word institutional from the different levels, but still recognized that quality assurance or accreditation itself was being done and should be done by the already existing accrediting associations.

CHED then famously imposed the so-called IQuAME, based on an expensive, but silly study by its consultant John Randall, in two infamous memos, “Institutional Monitoring and Evaluation for Quality Assurance of All Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines” (CMO 15, s. 2005) and “Evaluation of Higher Education Institutions Granted Autonomous and Deregulated Status in 2001” (CMO 18, s. 2005). Suddenly, despite having said that quality assurance, in the worldwide sense of program and institutional accreditation, existed in the Philippines, CHED said that there was a need for quality assurance!

How can the present CHED claim that schools should undergo quality assurance when many of them (though admittedly not all of them) have already been accredited and, especially in the case of autonomous and deregulated institutions, been recognized as having quality?

I have only two foreign words: ignorantia, as in “Ignorantia judicis est calamitas innocentis” (The ignorance of a judge is the misfortune of the innocent), and hubris, as in Oedipus and Macbeth. I could say that what we now have in CHED is pure tragedy, but if you know your Aristotle, there are no tragic figures in that otherwise rational government agency, just comic ones.

Posted by Isagani R. Cruz at 9:37 PM

 

Petition to the Philippine Ombudsman

On 24 March 2005, a hired assassin gunned down journalist Marlene Garcia-Esperat while she was having dinner with her family at home in Tacurong City. In 2003, Esperat, who was the Department of Agriculture (DA) Resident Ombudsman for Central Mindanao, had filed charges against DA officials on a P432 M fertilizer scam.

The ensuing investigation revealed a possible connection with the even bigger P728 M fertilizer fund scam, which implicated Janet Lim-Napoles, then a big supplier of liquid fertilizer.

Napoles is now reportedly at the center of the biggest scam so far that has been uncovered by investigative reporters – that of the P10 B scam that involved the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), better known as the pork barrel, of a number of former and current Senators and Representatives.

Whatever problems it was meant to address, the PDAF has proven itself a cure more destructive than the disease. No benefit can possibly justify the crimes it has spawned and the systematic corruption of public institutions and officials it has promoted.

Alleged operators like Napoles may have devised the blueprint for raiding the PDAF, but the greater accountability rests with the Senators and Representatives to whom the funds were entrusted. It was their responsibility to ensure that their PDAF went only to reputable NGOs proposing priority projects and that these projects produced the promised benefits.

The Senators and Representatives who channeled funds to fake NGOs were not political neophytes. They, and we, were not born yesterday. Patronage of fake NGOs, particularly when repeated, provides grounds for charging culpable negligence, if not complicity in corruption.

We ask the Ombudsman to investigate the grave misuse of the PDAF.

We ask the Senators and Representatives implicated in the scam to clear their names by voluntarily subjecting themselves to an impartial official investigation by the Ombudsman to determine the extent of their actual involvement in the P10 B scam.

We also ask the President to constitute a special committee composed of representatives of DBM, DOJ, and the private sector to review the PDAF process and to recommend safeguards to ensure that the PDAF is not further abused.

Our lawmakers should serve as models for compliance with the law. Only then can they have the moral authority to exercise oversight powers over the two other branches of government.

It is time for the people, with the help of the Ombudsman and the President, to prove that election to public office does not give officials a grant of impunity to plunder public funds.

For Reference:

Isagani Cruz
Former Undersecretary
Department of Education

Edilberto De Jesus
Former Secretary
Department of Education

Fulgencio Factoran, Jr.
Former Secretary
Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Vicente T. Paterno
Former Senator
Former Minister, Ministry of Industry

Jesus Estanislao
Former Secretary
Department of Finance

Publications

BOOKS

1. Beyond Futility: The Filipino as Critic (New Day Publishers, 1984) – study of Philippine literary criticism
2. Movie Times (National Book Store, 1984) – collection of essays and reviews of Philippine films
3. Josephine at iba pang Dula [Josephine and Other Plays] (De La Salle UP, 1988) – collection of five original plays in Filipino: Halimaw [Monster], Josephine, Marjorie, Kuwadro [Portrait], and Marissa
4. Tatlong Dula mula sa Southeast Asia [Three Plays from Southeast Asia] (Solidaridad Publishing House and Toyota Foundation, 1988) – translation into Filipino of three Southeast Asian plays: Utuy Sontani’s Si Kabayan, Usman Awang’s Tamu di-Bukit Kenny, and Lee Joo For’s Son of Zen
5. Once a Hunter, Always a Hunter: Jaime N. Ferrer as Public Servant (Jaime N. Ferrer Foundation, 1994) – biography of assassinated cabinet member
6. A Dictionary of Philippine English (Anvil Publishing, 1995) – with Ma. Lourdes S. Bautista; comic dictionary of Philippine english words
7. The Alfredo E. Litiatco Lectures of Isagani R. Cruz (De La Salle UP, 1996) – edited by David Jonathan Y. Bayot; collection of annual professorial chair lectures in Filipino and English
8. Building a Nation: Private Education in the Philippines (Fund for Assistance to Private Education, 1997) – coffee-table history of private schools
9. Pito-Pito (De La Salle UP, 2001) – Centennial award-winning sarswela (musical play); part of Centennial Literary Awards Series
10. Tao (De La Salle UP, 2001) – adaptation into Filipino of Everyman
11. Quest for Justice: The Testament of Anthony C. Aguirre (Anthony C. Aguirre Memorial Foundation, 2001) – biography of Banco Filipino banker
12. Bukod na Bukod (University of the Philippines Press, 2003) – collection of critical essays in Filipino; chosen as a University of the Philippines Press Centennial Publication, 2008
13. The Basic Education Curriculum in 17 Easy Lessons (Anvil Publishing, 2003) – collection of newspaper columns on the 2001 revision of the Philippine curriculum for elementary and high schools
14. The Lovely Bienvenido N. Santos (University of the Philippines, 2005) – anthology of two plays: The Lovely Bienvenido N. Santos and Bienvenido, My Brother
15. Ms. Philippines (De La Salle UP, 2005) – musical play on beauty contests
16. Tagalog-Filipino Glosari: Pantulong sa Estudyante sa Hayskul (C&E Publishing, 2009) – with Lakangiting Garcia; Tagalog-English glossary
17. The Other Other (Far Eastern University Publications, 2010) – edited by David Jonathan Y. Bayot; collection of scholarly articles
18. In Good Hands: The Metrobank Story (Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, 2010) – coffee-table history of one of the biggest Philippine banks
19. Quezon City: The Rise of Asia’s City of the Future (Studio 5, 2010) – with Paulo G. Alcazaren, Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, Manuel L. Quezon III, and Regina A. Samson; coffee-table history and state of Quezon City, Philippines
20. Father Solo and Other Stories for Adults Only (Anvil Publishing, 2011) – collection of short stories
21. The State and/of the School: An Autobiographical Academic History (De La Salle University and C&E Publishing, 2012) – fourth volume in the series The De La Salle University Story; history of the university from 1970 to 2012
22. The Pepsi Challenge: A Journey of Remarkable Resilience (Studio 5, 2012) – with Janet B. Villa; coffee-table history of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc.
23. Lucio C. Tan: A Gem of a Man (Xinhua Publishing House) – coffee-table biography with photographs of the second wealthiest Filipino (in press)

BOOKS EDITED

1. A Short History of Theater in the Philippines (Philippine Educational Theater Association and Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1971) – anthology of research studies on Philippine theater
2. Manila: History, People and Culture: The Proceedings of the Manila Studies Conference (De La Salle UP, 1989) – edited with Wilfrido V. Villacorta and Ma. Lourdes Brillantes; interdisciplinary anthology of articles on Manila
3. Love Letters of the Fifties (Bookmark, 1990) – revised edition of Love Letters that Win the Heart (Capitol Publishing House, 1953), edited by Virginia Briones and Feli. Feliciano
4. 1001 Reasons to Stay in the Philippines (Aklat Peskador, 1993) – with Lydia B. Echauz; compilation of patriotic comments from hundreds of Filipinos
5. Reading Bienvenido N. Santos (De La Salle UP, 1994) – with David Jonathan Bayot; interviews and essays
6. DLSU 2001: De La Salle University and National Development (De La Salle UP, 1995) – with Trinidad S. Osteria; essays
7. Reading Cirilo F. Bautista (De La Salle UP, 1995) – with David Jonathan Bayot; interviews and essays
8. Creative Economists: Selections from Creative Writing Classes in the College of Business and Economics, De La Salle University (De La Salle UP, 1996) – with Elyria C. Bernardino; poems, short stories, and plays by economics students
9. The J. William Fulbright Memorial Lectures 1995-1996 (Philippine Fulbright Scholars Association, 1996) – lectures and directory of Filipino Fulbrighters
10. According to Raul Roco (Roco for President Movement, 1997) – with Edna Z. Manlapaz and Wilma Vitug Lacaba; excerpts from speeches and statements of Raul S. Roco
11. The Edith Tiempo Reader (University of the Philippines Press, 1999) – with Gemino H. Abad, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Alfred Yuson, and Edna Zapanta Manlapaz; selections from the works of Edith L. Tiempo
12. The J. William Fulbright Memorial Lectures 1997-1998 (Philippine Fulbright Scholars Association, 2000) – second volume of lectures of Filipino Fulbrighters
13. The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century: An Anthology of Fiction in English (Tahanan Books, 2000) – collection of fifty best stories in English by Filipinos
14. In Our Own Words: Filipino Writers in Vernacular Languages (De La Salle UP and Toyota Foundation, 2000) – anthology of interview transcripts and texts by Filipino writers writing in vernacular languages
15. PAASCU Directory (Libro Amigo Publishers, 2008) – directory of member schools of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities
16. Remembering Brother Andrew (Libro Amigo Publishers, 2008) – album of photographs and quotations of Brother Andrew Gonzalez, FSC
17. Philippines 2006 (Libro Amigo Publishers and National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2008) – book on International Theatre Institute congress and festival held in the Philippines
18. Ageless at FEU: Lourdes R. Montinola (Far Eastern University Publications, 2009) – book in honor of Board Chair of Far Eastern University
19. Turning Back the Pages: Selected Miscellany, by Rosalinda L. Orosa (Manila Times Publishing, 2010) – personal anthology
20. The Palanca Hall of Fame Anthology (Libro Amigo Publishers, 2010) – collection of works by members of the Hall of Fame of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in Literature

JOURNAL ISSUES EDITED

1. The DLSU Graduate Journal 12/1 (1987), 12/2 (1987), 13/1 (1988), De La Salle University Graduate School of Education, Arts, and Sciences
2. CETA Journal 5/1 (1988), College English Teachers Association; with Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta
3. DLSU Dialogue: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Cultural Studies 28/1 (January 2003), De La Salle UP

TEXTBOOKS

1. Effective Communication in English (JMC Press, 1982) – with Araceli C. Hidalgo, Cesar A. Hidalgo, and Lina Picache Enriquez; first-year college English textbook
2. Ang Ating Panitikan [Our Literature] (Goodwill, 1984) – with Soledad S. Reyes; for college survey courses in Philippine literature; first textbook to include literary texts translated from regional languages and Chinese
3. Filipino para sa Pilipino [Filipino for Filipinos], 4 volumes (Phoenix Publishing House, 1989) – for high school; first textbook to use mostly canonical texts
4. Poems and Stories for College Students (De La Salle UP, 1995) – selected texts for the first course in literature on the tertiary level
5. Ang Literatura ng Filipinas / The Literatures of the Philippines (Commission on Higher Education, 1997) – handbook for teachers of the first literature course on the college level (Project Director)
6. Ang Literatura ng Mundo / The Literatures of the World (Commission on Higher Education, 1997) – handbook for teachers of the second literature course on the college level (Project Director)
7. Tekstong Patnubay sa Pag-aaral ng Florante at Laura, by Revimarc L. de Mesa (C&E Publishing, 2002); consultant
8. Chess for Filipino Children (Phoenix Publishing House, 2009) – edited; textbook for chess for Grade 3; by Rolando R. Dizon FSC and Jessie C. Sanchez
9. Mapusog na Bikolano 1: Reading and Writing in the Mother Tongue (C&E Publishing, 2012) – with Abdon M. Balde Jr. and Angelita G. Santos; textbook for Grade 1 for Bikol-speaking children
10. Baskog na Binisaya 1: Reading and Writing in the Mother Tongue (C&E Publishing, 2013) – with Grace R. Monte de Ramos and Angelita G. Santos; textbook for Grade 1 for Cebuano-speaking children
11. Nasalun-at nga Iluko 1: Reading and Writing in the Mother Tongue (C&E Publishing, 2013) – with Brenda B. Corpuz and Angelita G. Santos; textbook for Grade 1 for Ilocano-speaking children
12. Mabaskog nga Hiligaynon 1: Reading and Writing in the Mother Tongue (C&E Publishing, 2013) – with Genevieve L. Asenjo and Angelita G. Santos; textbook for Grade 1 for Hiligaynon-speaking children
13. Malusog na Tagalog 1: Reading and Writing in the Mother Tongue (C&E Publishing, 2013) – with Teresita V. Jacinto and Angelita G. Santos; textbook for Grade 1 for Tagalog-speaking children

New Curriculum

This is a graphical representation of the new curriculum for Philippine schools. The Core Learning Areas for basic education are Languages, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Health, Music, Arts, and Values Education. Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) refers to subjects that prepare students for technical or vocational work. In Senior High School (Grades 11 and 12), students will take a Core Curriculum, consisting of the Core Learning Areas, plus Philosophy, Literature, and Media and Information Literacy; they will also specialize in one of three Tracks (Technical/Vocational/Livelihood, Academic, and Sports/Arts). The acronyms in the Academic Track refer to these strands: Humanities, Education, Social Sciences (HESS), Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), and Business, Accounting, Management (BAM). Students of TVL and Sports/Arts may directly join the work force. TVL students, in particular, will earn a National Certificate II (a certificate that qualifies them for middle-level jobs). All students may opt to go directly or eventually to higher education. If they go to higher education, they will take a General Education Curriculum, which has been revised to reflect 21st century concerns. The curriculum from Kindergarten to undergraduate and graduate school has been revised with the active help of industry, in order to ensure that there is no mismatch between what the formal education system supplies and what the world of work demands.

K12 general slide

Class 2013

 

President Macapado Muslim, Chancellor Sukarno Tanggol, Chancellors, Alumni Regent Roberto Lim, Regents, General Dan Lucero, Vice Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Administrators, Faculty Members, Staff, Parents, Guests, my dear Graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

Congratulations sa Class 2013.

 

Maraming kuwento tungkol sa numerong thirteen.

 

Ayon sa marami, suwerte raw ang numerong thirteen.

 

Kapag nagiging trese na ang isang batang lalaking Hudyo, ginagawa siyang Bar Mitzvah. Ayon sa Torah ng mga Hudyo at ayon na rin pati sa ilang mga Kristiyanong simbahan, mismong ang Panginoong Diyos ay may labintatlong katangian. Labintatlo ang mga colonies sa America na lumaban sa imperyalismo ng mga Ingles. Ang mga pyramid sa Egypt ay binubuo ng labintatlong hakbang na sumasagisag sa pitong araw at anim na gabi. Sa musika, kung ang gagamitin nating paraan ng pagbibilang ay ang tinatawag na “inclusive counting,” labintatlo ang nota sa isang octave. At naririyan ang bandang heavy metal na ang Megadeth; noong 2011 inilunsad nila ang kanilang ikalabintatlong album na may labintatlong track at, natural, pinamagatang thirteen.

 

Sa kabilang banda, inaakala rin namang malas ang numerong thirteen. Friday the 13th. Apollo 13. Sa tarot, ang ikalabintatlong baraha ay ang Card of Death. Ang ilang Kristiyano ay naniniwala na ang 13th man sa Last Supper ay si Hudas, pero mali iyon, dahil labindalawa ang apostoles kaya ang 13th man ay si Hesus mismo. Mayroon pa ngang syndrome sa sikolohiya na tinatawag na Triskaidekaphobia, o irrational avoidance of the number thirteen. Kabilang sa mga sira ulo na ganito ang sakit ang maraming gumagawa ng elevator at mga matataas na gusali.

 

Sa totoo lang, kahit aling numero, hindi lamang ang numerong thirteen, ay inaakalang suwerte ng iba at malas ng iba. Halimbawa’y ang numerong four. Kapag nagpunta kayo sa bansang Tsina, mapapansin ninyo na maraming mga gusali ang walang Fourth Floor at wala ring Fourteenth Floor. Sa Mandarin kasi, at paumanhin sa mga marunong ng Mandarin sa inyo dahil isa lang ang aking tono at hindi apat, ang numerong Four o ay kahawig ang tunog sa salitang na ang ibig sabihin ay kamatayan.

 

The number 2013, I am sure, will soon have its own share of believers and unbelievers.

 

What is lucky and what is unlucky? What is good luck and what is bad luck? Sino ang suwerte? Sino ang malas? Ano ang suwerte? Ano ang malas?

 

Today, I want to talk about luck.

 

You have been very lucky so far. You once had a dream of getting a degree from MSU-IIT and you have now fulfilled it. You have worked hard. You have sacrificed a lot. Your parents have sacrificed a lot. But now that your dream has been fulfilled, you must start working on your next dream. This is where you will need a lot more luck.

 

In 1854, in a lecture at the University of Lille, the French microbiologist who first realized that germs cause disease once said, “Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.” In English, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” Sa Filipino, “Kung handa ka, siguradong suwesuwertehin ka.”

 

You have heard horror tales about college graduates not being able to find jobs. This is the infamous “mismatch” that employers like to talk about and that educators worry about every day. I call it the “Fear of the Mismatch.”

 

That fear has caused the Commission on Higher Education to change the curriculums of various major programs many times. That fear started the K to 12 reform of the Department of Education, back in the days of President Erap Estrada and now fulfilled in the days of President Noynoy Aquino. That fear has made us look beyond our shores to the educational systems of other countries, such as that of Europe, with its dual-tech educational systems and the Bologna Process.

 

Just like any fear, the fear of the mismatch is a good fear. It keeps educators on their toes. It keeps employers a reason to put money into the educational system. It keeps our country from complacency.

 

Should you also fear a mismatch between what you learned at MSU-IIT and what you will face during your first job interview?

 

Ang sagot ko: suwertihan lang iyan.

 

Baka suwertehin kayo na makahanap ng kompanya na naghahanap ng taong may talino at galing na swak na swak sa inyong talino at galing. Puwede rin naman na malasin kayo at ibang klaseng talino at galing pala ang hinahanap ng kompanyang gusto ninyo sanang pasukan.

 

Tomorrow, and perhaps you have already done it, you will send out your first résumés. Before you do that, before you do anything at all, in fact, tonight, after you are done with your graduation parties, sit down quietly by yourself and ask yourself, what do you want to do with the rest of your life?

 

I will answer that for you. You want to help your family. You want to help your province or region. You want to help our country. You want to help the world.

 

Iyun lang naman talaga ang dapat na sagot sa tanong na iyan. Gusto ninyong mabuhay hindi para sa inyo sarili, kundi para sa pamilya ninyo, para sa magiging anak ninyo, para sa komunidad ninyo, para sa bansa natin, para sa mundo.

 

It is really that simple. You should spend the rest of your life helping others. Not yourself. Definitely not yourself. You know why? Because if you think only of yourself, if you want only to help yourself, no employer is ever going to hire you. Employers want you because they want you to help their companies. They will not hire you if all you want is a big or a bigger salary, if you want to have all sorts of benefits immediately, if you just want to sit down doing nothing. They are not interested in what they can do for you. They are interested in what you can do for them.

 

But if they see that you are interested not in yourself but in something bigger than yourself, they will be interested in you.

 

Let me shift abruptly to the big picture, the national picture. Kana sa gamay nga paglantaw sa mga butang, ari ta sa mas dakong paglantaw, sa national nga hulagway. Bag-o lang gikahimaya sa gobiyerno na ang nasod kay nakab-ot ang estado sa investment grade. Daghang ekonomista ang nag-ingon nga parehong maayo o dili ang pagbatud nato og investment grade. Maayo tungod kay ang nasod makahulan og kwarta sa ubos nga interest og daghan dolyares ang musulod sa nasod. Pero ang investment grade kay dili pud maayo tungod kay ang kantidad sa peso kay mubaskog og tungod ani magpaubos sa kantidad sa foreign currency na ginapadala sa mga Pilipino nga gatrabaho sa abroad diri sa ilang pamilya sa Pilipinas og nagpadako sa higayon nga makusog ang pagkawala sa call center industry tungod kay mas daghan dolyares o mas mumahal ang sweldo sa mga trabahante og tungod ani posible mobiya ang mga foreign companies nga naa diri sa Pilipinas aron mangita og nasod nga mas barato ang labor costs. Suwerte ta na investment grade nata. Malas pud ta na investment grade na ta.

 

A little bit earlier, Forbes magazine proudly announced that fifteen Filipinos are dollar billionaires. Is that good or bad? It is good because it means that we have a lot of money in our country. It is bad because it means that only fifteen people or fifteen families have money. The rest of us are, to put it simply, poor. Of course, it is not true that there are only fifteen families that have money. According to economists, there are forty. But fifteen or forty are still very, very few, compared to the millions of families that are poor. If you want numbers, look up the National Statistics Office figures on unemployment. In October 2012, the unemployment rate was 6.8%. It was only 6.4% in October 2011. In October 2011 the country gained 2.1 million jobs. In October 2012 the country lost 882,000 jobs. Suwerte ba tayo o malas?

 

Let me now abruptly return to the small picture, which turns out to be the big picture.

 

There is one economic indicator that should hit home in Iligan. According to economists and other experts, the “new growth pole” in the country is Mindanao. This is where the country will rise or fall. Mindanao has always been called the new frontier. This year, 2013, it is literally true. Manila is hopeless. Luzon is hopeless. The Visayan islands are stuck. The country will move forward only if – I should say when – Mindanao moves forward.

 

Sa madaling sabi, suwerte kayo at dito kayo nag-aral sa Mindanao. Suwerte kayo dahil ang katawan, isip, at puso ninyo ay nasa Mindanao. Nasa Mindanao kasi ang kinabukasan ng ating bansa. Wala sa Maynila. Wala sa Cebu. Wala sa Visayas. Narito, sa Mindanao.

 

You are lucky because you are in Mindanao. You are right here where the action is. You are lucky because you studied in a school that is rooted solidly in Mindanao. You are lucky because you graduated from a school that has never deviated from its tradition of academic excellence in many fields, particularly science and technology. You have been well-prepared for the task that you now face.

 

What is the task that you now face?

 

It is to propel Mindanao to its position of leadership. It is to be the pilot in the ship that is the country. It is to be the leader of the almost a hundred million Filipinos ready to become, if we will believe the foreign press, the next Asian tiger.

 

You are really riding the tiger. The Chinese say (forgive my lack of tones), Ch’i ‘hu nan hsia pei. That means, roughly, “kung nakasakay ka sa isang tigre, huwag kang bababa, dahil kakainin ka ng tigre; kailangang manatili kang nakasakay sa tigre hanggang makaabot ka sa gusto mong marating.” The Philippines is a tiger, but more precisely, it is Mindanao that is the tiger. You are riding the tiger. If you dismount, you will die; we will all die. You hold in your hands the survival of the country. Forget Manila. Forget Luzon. Forget the Visayas. Think Mindanao. Do not migrate to Luzon. Do not migrate to other countries. Hindi naman tayo kailangan sa ibang lugar at sa ibang bansa. Maraming ibang bansa na makukunan nila ng enhinyero, ng duktor, ng alila, ng yaya, ng puta, ng seaman, ng nars, ng caregiver, ng mekaniko, ng kung anuano pang uri ng OFW. Pabayaan na ninyo ang mga nasa Luzon at Visayas ang mangibang bansa. Wala kayong dahilan na lumipat sa Maynila, sa Cebu, o sa ibang bansa, dahil narito, narito sa Mindanao, ang naghihintay na yaman ng bayan at ng mundo.

 

The Philippines needs Filipinos. We need you right here, right here in Mindanao.

 

If you ask me, what exactly should you do, I will answer very simply, I don’t know, you don’t know, nobody knows. But that is why luck is very important. Louis Pasteur did not know that he would discover germs. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen did not know that he would discover X-rays. Thomas Edison did not know he could make a light bulb. They were all lucky, because they were all prepared. You will be lucky, because you have been well-prepared.

 

What is the next big thing? What is it that will make Mindanao, that will make the country, the next Asian tiger? What will make us a rich nation, richer than Singapore, richer than South Korea, richer than China? I don’t know, you don’t know, nobody knows, nobody knows right now, but you will know, you will know it the moment you suddenly, without warning, discover it, think of it, make it, do it. Chance favors the prepared mind. Kung handa ka, siguradong suwesuwertehin ka. You have been well-prepared by MSU-IIT. You have been well-prepared to become lucky. Suwerte kayo dahil nag-gradweyt kayo sa MSU-IIT. Suwerte kayo dahil dito kayo nakatira sa Mindanao. Suwerte kayo dahil kayo ang mag-iimbento, ang makatutuklas, ang makakaisip ng bagong kung anuman na magpapayaman sa wakas sa ating bayan.

 

What can you do, in the concrete? First, of course, you must thank Allah, Panginoon, God, or whatever the name is of the ultimate being that you pray to, that you have received an excellent preparation for life. Second, you must look back at what you have learned, make sure that you keep what you have learned in your head, fill in the gaps that you feel you missed when you were absent or late for class. Third, you must keep your imagination open. Do not be imprisoned in the last century, the twentieth century. Do not be afraid to venture out into the unknown. You are living in frontier land. You are leading the country. Everybody is behind you, not in front of you. You are the only ones in front. In front of you is open space, open possibilities, open everything. You are leading us, you are leading every Filipino, to places where human imagination has not been, where – as Star Trek would put it – no one has gone before. Kayo ang pag-asa ng ating bayan. Kayo ang pag-asa ng ating mundo. Kayong mga gradweyt ng Class 2013.

 

2013 is a lucky number.

 

Daghang salamat. Shukran. Maraming salamat po. Mabuhay kayo! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

(Delivered as the commencement address at the Mindanao State University Iligan Institute of Technology, 8 April 2013)

Revised General Education Curriculum

Here are the core courses in the 2013 Revised General Education Curriculum:

Understanding the Self: Nature of identity; factors and forces that affect the development and maintenance of personal identity

Readings in Philippine History: Selected primary sources on different periods of Philippine history

The Contemporary World: Globalization and its impact on individuals, communities and nations, challenges and responses

Mathematics in the Modern World: Nature of mathematics, appreciation of its practical, intellectual, and aesthetic dimensions, and application of mathematical tools in daily life

Purposive Communication: Writing, speaking and presenting to different audiences and for various purposes

Art Appreciation: Nature, function and appreciation of the arts in contemporary society

Science, Technology and Society: Interactions between science and technology and social, cultural, political and economic contexts which shape and are shaped by them; specific examples throughout human history of scientific and technological developments

Ethics: Principles of ethical behavior in modern society at the level of the person, society, and in interaction

Public Philosophers

I must confess immediately that I know nothing about Saint Hannibal Maria Di Francia, except that he is the Apostle of the Prayer for Vocations and the Father of the Orphans and the Poor. Forgive me, but I also know next to nothing about the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus, except that you were kind enough to invite me to this important occasion, when quite a number of young persons will move from one stage of life to another, and also kind enough to pick me up from my home and, hopefully, if you turn the other cheek and listen to my speech in charity, take me back home.

Similarly, I have to confess that I know nothing about Venerable Father Joseph Frassinetti, except that he founded the Sons of Holy Mary Immaculate and, like most venerables and saints that lived part of their lives outside the cloister, had his heart set on helping the youth, the sick, and the poor. I know very little about very little, but I do know that our new Pope, Pope Francis, has set the tone for the renewal of the Catholic Church by taking on the name of the saint whose prayer, to me, is the best prayer ever written by a human being, next only to the one composed by Jesus of Nazareth, of course, but He was not exactly a regular human being.

I was told that your theme for the academic year that is now ending is “Forming Philosophers at the Service of Vocations in the Church.” That is quite a mouthful, and I am already sure, even before I try, that I will not do justice to it. You have had a whole year to think about it, and I have had only a few days. That is a bit unfair, don’t you think? But, of course, thought is not measured in hours and days, as you have learned from Henri Bergson and, to take a more recent philosopher, Martin Heidegger. The duration of a few days may or may not be equal to the duration of your years of studying for your degree of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Nevertheless, since I have to seize the moment, carpe diem, Bergson or Heidegger notwithstanding, I shall try to keep you awake for the next fifteen or so minutes.

Since Plato – or was it Aristotle? – said that all things good, true, and beautiful come in threes, I want to talk about three things.

First, I want to talk about philosophers.

Then, I want to talk about vocations.

Then, if you will allow a non-cleric and non-theologian to do it, I want to talk about the Church.

At least, even if I fail, I shall have mentioned three of the nouns in your theme. Philosophers. Vocations. Church.

When I was myself taking up philosophy – and that was admittedly a lot of years ago – I was always asking the question, What is philosophy? All the answers I read or was given never satisfied me, until one teacher, a Jesuit, probably out of exasperation rather than from his lesson plans, said, Philosophy is what philosophers do. Strangely enough, that quieted me down, and I have never asked the question since.

What, then, do philosophers do? In real life, probably everything that non-philosophers do – eat, drink, sleep, go to the bathroom, that sort of thing. In their professional life, probably also everything that all professionals do, which is to talk to their fellow professionals, to read papers by their fellow professionals, to go to meetings and conferences to meet their fellow professionals, to have Facebook pages with friends who are all professionals in philosophy.

What is wrong with that? That is not wrong, after all, when we talk about, say, medical doctors. Medical doctors do have to talk to each other. They do have to read medical journals and to attend medical conferences. They do have to have friends, on Facebook and in real life, who, like them, work in hospitals and save patients and charge a lot of money.

As a writer, I certainly go to a lot of writers’ conferences, I have a lot of friends who are writers, I read what other writers write. I love being in the company of writers.

I don’t think, however, that philosophers can afford to talk only to themselves.

I say this because I know what the world out there is like. It is a world without philosophy. It is a world without an anchor, a world without a center, a world without meaning. Everywhere, not only in our own country, people are talking about movie stars breaking up with their former loved ones, people going to war against other people, people asking people to put them in office, people doing or avoiding violence, people using other people, people in general not really connecting with other people.

That is not the world as imagined by any philosopher, except, well, perhaps the solipsists. But, in general, that is not what philosophers wish the world would be. The world needs the imagination of philosophers, because only philosophers, only philosophy, can save our world.

Sadly, the word philosophy today means something very different from what you graduates studied in school. Go to Amazon.com and search for the word philosophy.

Believe it or not, these are what you will find:

  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser
  • Philosophy Hope in a Jar Daily Moisturizer, All Skin Types
  • Philosophy Miracle Worker Anti-Aging Moisturizer
  • Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Serum
  • Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
  • Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night Treatment
  • Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Oil-Free Energizing Oxygen Gel Cream Moisturizer
  • Philosophy the Cookbook Gift Set

If you search only for books rather than beauty products, the book that tops the list is Superheroes: The Best of Philosophy and Pop Culture.

Why are we talking about whether the President shows any emotion when talking about his sister and her estranged husband? Why are we talking about whether soldiers massacred on an island have anything to do with a royal army invading a sovereign country? Why are we talking about whether a mobile phone has a better camera than a camera? Why are we talking about anything at all, in fact?

We cannot answer any question that begins with the word Why without philosophy. Between the rarely-quoted view of Socrates that “an unexamined life is not worth living” and the often-quoted line from Spiderman that “with great power comes great responsibility” is an incredibly wide chasm ranging from deep insight to flippant sound byte. Unless philosophers speak up, unless philosophers become what today are called “public intellectuals,” the human race will continue its headlong rush to – forgive the word – stupidity. The physics term entropy, which means of course a gradual decline into disorder, applies not only to energy, but also to the world’s intelligence. The longer the human race stays on earth, the sillier we become.

I challenge you, graduates of philosophy, to enlighten the world, to speak to us non-philosophers, to tell us what’s what. As you move out of this campus, move out also of your intellectual campus, join the dialogues going on outside the world of philosophy. Teach the world lessons it will never forget. But never, ever forget philosophy. You have to go out into the world to share the insights you have learned from philosophy, but you should never be just another Facebook friend. Always be, to take the words of our Lord in vain, not of this world.

I now want to talk about vocations.

You have been called, or at least many of you have been called. Do your best to be chosen, not just called, but remember that you are not doing the choosing. God is. As Cardinal Tagle likes to say, do not consider yourself privileged. God’s choosing you has nothing to do with how good you think you are. As you all have learned in school, God chooses as He pleases. Saul did absolutely nothing to deserve becoming Paul. Neither did the fishermen who were just onlookers but became apostles. I am sure you can cite dozens, hundreds more names of saints who were sinners like all of us, with no claim to heavenly fame. But God works in mysterious ways and the biggest mystery of all, as far as you are concerned today and as far as you will be concerned for the rest of your life, is why in heaven’s name did He call you and why in heaven’s name will he choose you.

Sometimes, I will already warn you, you will be disheartened. It will seem like you are alone or that your fellow religious are alone, in trying to bring the world closer to its creator. The laborers are indeed few, but do not forget that with only twelve men, one of whom even broke away, Jesus was able to change the entire world. There are so many of you. Surely, you can change this little country of ours, if not the world. That is your vocation. That is the vocation that you want others to hear. You are called and, if God wills, will be chosen, to continue the work of saving our world.

Third, I want to talk about the Church. I don’t mean just the hierarchy. I mean the Church that is the people of God. That means not just those few lucky enough to be called and chosen, not just those wearing robes, not just those in the – excuse me – CBCP. I mean the millions of Filipinos both in the country and abroad. I mean the billions of human beings on earth, dead or alive or about to be born. We are all created by God, and as the Bible says, everything God created was good, is good.

The world spends a lot of time talking about what is not good about the Church. We hardly ever talk about what is good about it. Use what you have learned in philosophy to combat this tendency, which I personally regard as evil, to see the trees and not the forest, to throw away a dozen eggs because one happens to be bad, to think only of our own time and not of eternity, to see, as Saint Augustine put it, the little hole in the sand and not look up to see the ocean.

One Jesuit priest – I talk about the Jesuits because our Pope is a Jesuit – one Jesuit priest once told me, “Do not confuse the Catholic Church with Catholics.” Or something like that. We have had bad popes; of course, we have. We have had bad bishops and priests and nuns; of course, we have. We have had bad lay Catholics, Catholics who steal millions from other people, Catholics who oppress their househelp, Catholics who do not pay taxes, Catholics who corrupt, Catholics who have more than one spouse, Catholics who never pay attention to the poor, the sick, the homeless, the imprisoned. We have had Catholics who do all these things but go to Mass every Sunday, sometimes even every day. I do not point one finger without having four fingers pointing back to me. I am one of these Catholics. I can see the beam in my own eyes while I talk about the specks in yours.

But I am not the Catholic Church. These Catholics are not the Catholic Church. Priests, nuns, bishops, even the Pope is not the Catholic Church. We are talking about the Church that Jesus founded, and He was very explicit about who are in this Church. Remember that Jesus already  spelled out for us the one and only one criterion by which we would be judged on Judgement Day. Did we feed Him when He was hungry? Did we give Him a drink when He was thirsty? Did we invite Him into our homes when He was a stranger needing shelter? Did we give Him clothes when He was naked? Did we visit Him when He was sick? Did we visit Him when He was in prison?

The hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned – in short, the poor – they are the Church. They are, to use President Aquino’s term, our Boss, the Boss of all who serve the Church. That is why we are called servants, because our masters, our bosses, are the poor. But always, we should not forget that we all have, rich and poor alike, college graduates and out of school youth alike, old and young alike, have only one real Boss, the one with a capital B, the one we all serve by serving the least of His brethren.

As philosophers, you must serve the Church through philosophy. You must use the knowledge and wisdom that you have gained to help the Church do what it is supposed to do, which is to feed the hungry and so on.

I have talked about philosophy and why you should be public intellectuals. I have talked about vocations and why you should be ready to be chosen if God suddenly chooses you. I have talked about the Church and why we need to take very seriously the admonition of Pope Francis to be a poor Church for the poor. Before I end, I want to give you graduates, and your parents, your teachers, and the other ladies and gentlemen present here today, something very fundamental to our being Catholics and, in fact, to our being human beings.

We have to thank God. Be thankful. As St. Ignatius always said, and his influence will be heavily felt in the years to come now that his own soldier has become pope, contemplate what God has done. As the Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins put it, “Glory be to God for dappled things.” Or as the non-Catholic, non-cleric, female, secular author Alice Walker puts it in the book and the movie, The Color Purple, “I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.”

Look around at your classmates. Look at your teachers. Look at your parents. Look at your school. Look at our country. Look at the environment. Look at the world. Look at the Church. You are looking at God’s creation, God’s masterpiece, the product of God’s love. It pisses God off when He took all the trouble to create all of us and we don’t realize and acknowledge how good all of us are, all of us who are made in His image and likeness. Thank God every moment of your life. Thank Him for helping you succeed. Thank Him for giving you the chance to help others succeed.

God bless us all. Thank you.

(Delivered as the Commencement Address at the Rogationist Seminary College, Paranaque City, 24 March 2013)

People Management

Unang-una’y nagkamali kayo na ako ang inanyayahan ninyong magbigay ng keynote. Ang dapat na inaanyayahan ninyo ay ang aking misis, na si Remedios Cruz, na ngayo’y dekana ng Business sa National University, dating nagtuturo ng HR sa Ateneo at La Salle, at matagal na namuno sa HR ng Far East Bank at China Bank. Naging HR consultant pa siya sa Malaysia, Germany, at England. Mabuti na lang at misis ko siya, kasi’y hindi ako kailangang magriserts tungkol sa HR dahil alam ninyo naman na wala akong alam dyan. Ginawa ko na lang siyang konsultant ko, unpaid at forced consultant, at tinanong ko siya kung ano ba ang HR.

Ang sabi sa akin ng misis ko, anim daw ang aspekto ng HR. Unang-una’y Manpower Planning, na ang ibig sabihin pala ay dapat na kasama ang namumuno sa HR sa pinakamataas na mga policy-making body ng isang kompanya, o para sa atin ngayon, ng isang kolehiyo. Naisip ko tuloy na bihira kong makita sa pulong ng mga dekano at bise-presidente sa academics ang director ng HR. Parang iba ang mundo ng mga academic na mga lider sa mundo ng HR, na karaniwang mga non-academic staff lamang ang inaalagaan.

Naisip ko tuloy na paano nga malalaman ng HR kung anong uri ng secretarya ang kailangan ng isang tagapangulo ng isang departamento kung walang ideya ang HR director kung ano ang balak ng departamento tungkol sa, halimbawa, accreditation o pagbubukas ng bagong major. Matagal din akong naging tagapangulo ng iba’t ibang departamentong may kinalaman sa literatura at mga publikasyon sa Pamantasang De La Salle, at lagi kong inaaway ang aming HR doon dahil kung sino-sino ang ipinadadalang sekretarya ko. Minsan lang akong pinadalhan ng sekretaryang nagbabasa ng libro o ng mga dyurnal o kahit na anong publikasyon bukod sa tabloid.

Ikalawang aspekto daw ng HR, ayon pa rin sa misis ko, ay ang Recruitment, Selection, at Placement, na para sa ating nasa kolehiyo ay may kinalaman lamang sa non-academic staff. Pero may mapupulot din tayong mga nasa bahaging academiko. Paano ba tayo nakakakuha ng titser para sa ating mga klase? Bihira naman sa atin ang ginagawa ang ginagawa ng HR, halimbawa’y nagpupunta sa mga agency o headhunter o nagpapalathala ng mga classified ads. Maraming matutuhan ang mga tagapangulo ng mga departamento at pati na rin mga dekano mula sa direktor ng HR. Sa halip ng karaniwang ginagawa natin, halimbawa’y tinatawagan lamang ang mga kaibigan natin at tinatanong kung may kilala silang marunong magturo ng ganito o ganoong sabject, ay puwede naman nating gawin ang karaniwang ginagawa ng HR. Karamihan sa mga nakukuha nilang mga empleyado ay hindi nila kaibigan.

Ikatlong aspekto daw ng HR, ayon pa rin sa misis ko, ay ang Training and Development. Dito medyo may alam kaming mga nasa bahaging akademiko. Madalas kaming nagpapadala ng mga faculty sa iba’t ibang kumperensya o workshop, kung minsan pa nga ay sa labas ng bansa. Pero teka muna, ilan sa mga dekano at pati na rin bise presidente ang may nakasulat na programa na nagsasabing kailangang magpadala tayo ng titser sa ganitong kumperensya dahil makabubuti sa atin. Makabubuti hindi lamang sa paramihan ng naipadala natin, dahil sa accreditation ay tinatanong kung ilan ang pinondohan nating pumupunta sa mga seminar. Makabubuti dahil malinaw na kailangan ng isang major program natin ang eksperto sa paksa ng isang kumperensya o workshop na alam nating magkakaroon isang taon pa bago ito mangyari.

May alam akong maliit na paaralan na laging may nananalong titser sa Metrobank Search for Outstanding Teachers. Nang usisain ko kung bakit ang daming Outstanding Teacher doon sa maliit na paaralang iyon, natuklasan ko na may long-term plan ang namamahala doon para sa mga titser niya. Ang ginagawa niya ay may sinasabihan siyang isang titser bawat taon, ikaw ang ilalaban natin sa taong ito sa Metrobank. Ang lahat ng puwedeng puntahang seminar ay pupuntahan mo. Ang mga akda mo ay ilalathala natin. Ang ibibigay ko sa iyong mga klase ay iyung kayang-kaya mo, para siguradong mataas ang student evaluation mo. Tuturuan ka naming magsalita para ma-impress sa iyo ang mga hurado sa oral interview. Ayun na nga, madalas silang manalo sa Metrobank, at kumikita pa ang paaralan, dahil may premyo din ang paaralan kung titser nila ang mapipili. Iyan ang tinatawag na Development Plan. Bihira, kung mayroon man, ang mga pamantasang may ganyang Training and Development Plan para sa mga titser. Pero laging mayroon ang HR para sa mga non-academic staff.

Ikapat na aspekto daw ng HR, ayon sa misis ko, ang Employee Relations, o sa ibang salita, ang pakikipagbalitaktakan sa unyon. Kung walang unyon, ang pagiging close sa mga empleyado at faculty. Pinag-aaralan pala iyan ng mga eksperto sa HR, pero sa mga tagapangulo ng departamento, oido lang yan. Kung masungit ka talaga, masungit ka talaga. Kung simpatiko ka, simpatiko ka. Ilang mga departamento ang nagkawatak-watak dahil hindi kaya ng tagapangulo na pagbatiin ang mga nag-iintrigahang mga titser. Marami rin tayong matutuhan sa HR tungkol sa Employee Relations.

Sa ikalimang aspekto ng HR, may utos sa akin ang misis ko. Sa aspekto ng Compensation and Benefits, kasama na ang Payroll, ang bilin sa akin ng misis ko ay ito: sabihin ko raw sa inyo na ang pinakamalaking kasalanan ng HR sa mga kolehiyo ay ang pagtrato nila sa mga titser na parang pagtrato nila sa empleyado. Halimbawa’y inoorasan nila, kapag walang pasok dahil bagyo ay hindi nila binabayaran, kahit na nagbabayad naman ang mga estudyante.

Oo nga naman, sabi ko. Iba ang titser sa non-academic. Alam nating lahat kung ano ang pagkakaiba. Unang-una’y may katungkulan ang titser na kwestyunin ang lahat ng bagay, dahil sila ang tumutupad ng katungkulan ng lahat ng unibersidad sa mundo, ang sinasabi sa Ingles na “to challenge received wisdom.” Kaya tayo may mga unibersidad sa mundo ay dahil kailangang may nag-iisip kung paano maaaring ibahin ang takbo ng mundo. Kung walang papalag sa mga tuntunin ng mundo ay hindi uunlad ang mundo. Kasama sa pagiging mapangahas, pagiging makulit, pagiging laging humihirit laban sa nakagawiang gawi, ang mga titser. Kung laging sumusunod ang isang titser sa nakagawian o sa mga batas ng eskuwela o kahit na ng lipunan ay walang mangyayari sa mundo. Napatunayan na iyan sa iba’t ibang bansa sa kasaysayan ng mundo. Ang unibersidad ang utak ng mundo.

Ngayon, kung pipilitin ang mga titser na sumunod sa mga pinasusunod ng HR sa mga empleyado, nawawala ang pagiging mapangahas ng utak ng titser. Iyan ang teyoretikal na dahilan kung bakit mali ang pagpataw sa mga titser ng mga regulasyon na pinasusunod natin sa mga non-academic.

Ang ikaanim at pinakahuling aspekto ng HR, ayon pa rin ito sa misis ko, ay ang Organizational Development. Dito ay malaki ang problema ng ating mga unibersidad. Nilalalahat ko ang ating mga unibersidad, hindi lang ang maliliit kundi pati na ang mga nangunguna nating mga HEI. Kapag inuupuan ng isang unibersidad ang kanyang Strategic Plan, sino ang karaniwang nauupo? Iyung mga administrador lamang, o iyung mga may-ari ng unibersidad. Paminsan-minsan, dahil sa accreditasyon, ay napipilitang kunwari’y kinukunsulta ang mga titser, ang mga estudyante, ang mga magulang, ang mga alumni. Hindi puwede iyan ayon sa teyoriya. Kailangang kasama lahat sa paghubog ng kinabukasan ng isang institusyon.

Ayun na. Natapos na rin ang mga bilin sa akin ng misis ko. Ngayon naman ay iisisahin ko ang mga pambansa at pandaigdigang pagbabago na nangyayari ngayon. Ang mga National at Global Educational Changes na kailangan ninyong talakayin sa kumbensyong ito.

Unahin natin ang National Educational Changes.

Pinakamalaking pagbabago ay ang K to 12 na reporma ng edukasyon. Hindi ito panayam tungkol sa K to 12, kaya ang payo ko sa inyo ay dumalo kayo sa isa sa marami kong panayam tungkol dito, o basahin ninyo ang kolum ko sa Philippine Star, o ang creative nonfiction o nobela ko sa Pilipino Mirror. Ang sasabihin ko lang dito ay hindi reporma ng DepEd ang K to 12, kundi reporma ng buong sistema ng edukasyon.

Nagdagdag tayo ng isang taon bago Grade 1. Noon naman ay may Pre-School, Nursery, Kinder 1, Kinder 2, o Prep ang marami sa ating mga pribadong paaralan. Ang pagbabago lamang ay sapilitan nang pinapag-aral ng Kindergarten ang mga pumapasok sa public school. May problema kaagad ang ating HR dito. Hindi lahat ng nanay o tatay ay puwedeng magturo sa Kindergarten, at lalo naman hindi lahat ng dalaga’t binata na hindi pa nakapagpapalaki ng bata. At mas mahalaga, hindi lahat ng titser ay puwedeng magturo ng Kindergarten. May espesyal na training ang kailangan, ang digri sa Early Childhood Education. Kaunti lamang ang may digri na ganyan. Kailangang magkaroon ng Manpower Planning ang mga adminstrador ng mga paaralan natin. Kailangang lakihan ang enrolment sa mga Teacher Education Institution o TEI ng mga nage-specialize sa Early Childhood. Halos dalawang milyon ang batang limang taon ang gulang. Dahil hindi puwedeng malalaki ang klase sa Kindergarten, i-divide ninyo ang two million ng twenty, at iyan ang bilang ng mga titser na kailangang may digri sa Early Childhood na kakailanganin ng DepEd. Training and Development iyan. Recruitment, Selection at Placement iyan. HR iyan.

Nagdagdag tayo ng dalawang tao pagkatapos ng Grade 10 o Fourth Year High School. Iyan ang Senior High School o Grade 11 at Grade 12. Naku, ang laking problema niyan sa larangan ng HR. Karamihan sa mga sabject sa General Education Curriculum ng kolehiyo ay mawawala sa kolehiyo at mapupunta sa K to 12. Magkakagulo ang mga unyon sa kolehiyo, dahil mawawalan ng load ang mga titser sa Ingles, Filipino, Matematika, Syensya, at Social Science. Pati NSTP at PE ay ililipat na lahat sa K to 12. Mawawalan din ng trabaho ang mga nagtuturo ng NSTP at PE sa kolehiyo. Patay kayo sa Employee Relations ninyo. Lagot kayo sa Compensation at Benefits, dahil kailangang may separation pay ang mga iyan, kahit na redundant na sila.

Hindi lang ang mga mawawalan ng trabaho sa mga kolehiyo ang problema ninyo. Problema din ninyo ang paghahanap ng mga titser para sa Senior High School, na itatatag sa buong bansa sa 2016. Hindi puwedeng magturo ng Senior High School ang mga nasa Junior High School o mga hayskul titser sa kasalukuyan. Bakit? Dahil wala na silang oras magturo ng dagdag na Grade 11 at Grade 12. Dahil hindi sila handang magturo ng mga sabject na galing sa kolehiyo. Sa madaling salita’y may gagawin na naman kayong Manpower Planning, Recruitment, Selection, at Placement, at Training and Development.

Sa mga administrador, problema ng Organizational Development ang Senior High School. Bakit? Dahil kailangang kumita ang isang eskuwela, nonprofit man siya. Kung hindi ay walang isusuweldo sa mga titser at empleyado, hindi mababayaran ang kuryente at iba pa. Kailangang upuan ng mga may-ari ng lahat ng HEI ngayon, lalo na ang mga HEI na may kakabit na Basic Education, ang Senior High School. Magtatayo ba kayo ng sarili ninyong Senior High School? Saan ninyo kukunin ang perang pagpapatayo ng dagdag na klasrum at pambayad sa dagdag na titser? Kung may mga sobrang klasrum kayo, suwerte kayo, pero problema pa rin ninyo ang suweldo ng mga titser. Paano ninyo kukumbinsihin ang mga titser sa kolehiyo na kailangang lumiit ang suweldo nila ngayong titser na sila sa hayskul? Kung hindi ninyo naman liliiitan ang suweldo nila, kailangan ninyong harapin ang mga kasalukuyang titser sa hayskul na siguradong aalma. Problema iyan ng Compensation and Benefits at ng Employee Relations.

At nariyan ang bagong General Education Curriculum o GEC, na magiging sapilitan sa 2018. Ibang-iba ang bagong GEC sa kasalukuyang GEC. Multidisciplinary ang lahat ng sabject sa bagong GEC. Walang titser sa kasalukuyan ang may training sa multidisciplinary na pagtuturo. Problema ninyo iyan sa Training and Development, dahil kailangan ninyong pag-aralin muli ang mga kasalukuyang nagtuturo sa kolehiyo.

Ikalawang malaking pagbabago sa ating sistema ng edukasyon ang Daang Matuwid. Aminin na natin na sangkot din tayong mga nasa academya sa korupsyon na umiiral sa ating bansa. Ilan ang mga kamag-anak na kinukuha nating titser o empleyado sa ating mga institusyon? Nepotism iyan, korupsyon iyan. Ilan sa mga textbook natin ang ginagamit lamang natin dahil binigyan tayo ng airconditioner ng pablisher? Suhol iyan, baluktot iyan. Ilan sa mga estudyante natin ang pinapasa lamang natin dahil kasama sila sa basketball team? O dahil iniiyakan tayo ng mga magulang nila? O kung minsan pa nga ay dahil type natin sila? Foul iyan, hindi matuwid na daan iyan. At sa mga dumadaan sa accreditation at quality assessment, ilan sa ating mga administrador ang nagpapalinis ng kampus, nagpapapinta ng mga building, nagkakaroon ng Fire Drill, dahil lamang darating na ang mga taga PAASCU, PACUCOA, o IQuAME? Bad iyan, pagsisinungaling iyan. Sa Organizational Development ay problema iyan ng Core Values ng ating mga paaralan.

Ang ikatlong malaking pagbabago sa ating bansa ay ang pagiging madalas at malupit ng ulan, baha, habagat, at bagyo. Madalas na napipilitan tayong huwag magkaroon ng klase dahil baha sa kampus o baha sa tinitirhan ng mga titser at mga estudyante o may mga mahihirap na sa kampus natin muna tumitira. Hindi puwede ang nakagawian na nating patakaran ng kailangang mga make-up classes. Kailangang gamitin natin ang teknolohiya, na isa pang malaking pagbabago.

Hindi na twentieth century ngayon. Twenty-first century na. Halos lahat tayo’y noong nakaraang century ipinanganak. Nineteen forgotten na tayo. Matanda na tayo. Laos na tayo. Ang mga estudyante natin ay ipinanganak na may kompyuter sa kuwarto o sa kamay mismo nila. Sanay ang mga estudyante natin sa cellphone, sa smart phone, sa Facebook, sa Twitter. Marami nang mga lecture ng Harvard, Yale, Stanford, at iba pang mga mahuhusay na unibersidad sa mundo na libreng makukuha sa Web. Hindi na kailangan masyado ang face-to-face, ang eyeball-to-eyeball, ang totoong taong titser na nasa harap ng klasrum. Hindi na kailangang pumasok araw-araw o linggo-linggo ang mga estudyante. Marami na silang puwedeng gawin na kasinghusay at mas bagay sa kanila na mga liksyon. Tama na iyang mga make-up class. Ituloy natin ang klase kahit na nasa bubong sila ng mga bahay nila dahil baha sa lugar nila. Isiipin ninyo iyan. Organizational Development iyan.

Balingan naman natin ang mga pagbabago sa buong daigdig. Una pa rin ang teknolohiya. Dahil nga sa Web, na ngayon ay Cloud na, na ngayon ay puno na ng lahat na kailangang matutuhan ng mga estudyante, ay hindi na puwede ang nakagawian nating mga paraan ng pagtuturo. Halimbawa’y wala nang kabuluhan ang lower-order questions, ang tinatawag nating Who What When Where na mga tanong. Halimbawa, kapag tinanong natin ang estudyante kung kailan nagsimula ang World War II, pipindutin lamang nila ang kanilang smartphone, pupunta sa Google, at malalaman ang sagot. Magmumukhang tanga pa nga ang titser kung tatanungin niya ang tanong na iyon, dahil ipapanood sa kanya ng mga estudyante ang isang documentary na nasa YouTube na may mga litrato ng totoong mga nangyari noong World War II. Ipapanood ng estudyante iyan sa titser sa cellphone lamang. Sa madaling salita’y kailangang magbago ang ating pedagogy. Sa jargon nating mga titser, hindi na puwede ang transmissive, kailangang transformative na. Dahil hindi tinuruan ang mga kasalukyang titser ng Transformative Education noong sila ay nag-B-BSE pa, problema natin iyan sa Training and Development.

Noon pang 2010 ay mas marami nang e-books ang nabenta sa mundo kaysa printed books. Malapit nang mawala ang printed books. Pati nga Powerbooks na noon ay pulos libro lamang ang ibinebenta ay nagbebenta na ngayon ng lapis at papel, at hindi lang lapis at papel kundi mga gamit sa kompyuter. Kailangang baguhin na natin ang ating pananaw sa ating mga textbook. Hindi na puwede ang printed textbook. Ilang taon na lang at mawawala na ang mga iyan. Masakit sa loob ko iyan, dahil publisher ako at awtor pa nga ng mga textbook, pero ganyan na ngayon sa mundo. Ebooks na lahat. Sinimulan na ng DepEd ang paggamit ng mga tablet sa halip na printed textbook. Sa mga pribabong eskuwelahan naman ay sinimulan na ng La Salle Greenhills ang pagtanggal sa mga printed textbook; lahat ng estudyante doon ay nagbabasa na lang sa tablet. Sa Recruitment, Selection at Placement ay kailangang tanungin ang mga aplikante kung may tablet sila. Kung wala ay puwede ba, huwag na ninyong kuning titser. Paiikutan lang sila ng mga estudyante.

Isa pang malaking pagbabago sa mundo na may kinalaman sa edukasyon ay ang Bologna Process at iba pang dambuhalang kilusan sa mundo. Alam na naman ninyo siguro ang Bologna Process, Washington Accord, ASEAN 2015, APEC Register, ISO, at iba pang mga global na kasunduan. Ang kabuuan ng mga ito ay parepareho na ang istandard ng lahat ng unibersidad at paaralan sa mundo. Hindi na UP lamang ang kailangan natin pantayan o talunin kung gusto nating umunlad ang ating unibersidad. Kailangang benchmark natin ang Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, at iba pang nangungunang unibersidad sa mundo. Hindi na puwedeng kurikulum lamang natin ng nursing, pharmacy, accountancy, at iba pa ang iisipin natin. Kailangang pareho na ang kurikulum natin sa kurikulum ng mga major na ito sa mga unibersidad sa America, Europa at iba pang lugar sa mundo. Global na ang mga learning competencies, ang mga rubrics, ang mga istandards. Paano tayo kukuha ng mga titser na sanay magturo na tulad ng mga propesor sa NUS sa Singapore o Yale sa America? Recruitment, Selection, Placement, Training at Development na naman. At Compensation and Benefits din, dahil sa 2015 ay mag-aaplay na sa atin ang mga taga ASEAN at puwede na ring mag-applay ang mga titser natin na magturo sa Singapore, Brunei, at iba pang mga kapitbansa natin. Mas malalaki ang suweldo doon, kaya kailangang lakihan na rin natin ang suweldo ng mga titser natin. At kung gusto talaga nating maging world-class, at wala naman tayong choice kundi maging world-class, kailangang competitive ang sahod natin para makakuha tayo ng mga eksperto mula sa Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, at iba pa.

Isa pang malaking pagbabago ang Online Education. Noong panahon natin, noong nakaraang century, kapag ang digri mo ay galing sa distance education, na ang tawag pa nga natin ay Correspondence Course, ay mahinang klase ka. Mababa ang tingin natin sa mga hindi talaga pumasok sa klasrum. Ngayon ay lahat ng mga sikat na unibersidad by may mga Online Course na, kasama na riyan ang Harvard, MIT, at iba pa. Hindi na second-class citizen ang mga nag-gradweyt sa Online Course. Sa katunayan ay pati na nga mga istandard na test, tulad ng TOEFL at GRE, ay sa kompyuter na lang kinukuha. Panahon na para magkaroon ng totohanang mga online major offerings ang ating mga unibersidad. Ipagyayabang ko ang aking sariling eskuwelahan. Sa The Manila Times College ay may kampus kami sa Subic sa Olongapo. Ang isa sa mga English na klase doon ay tinuturo ng isang titser ko dito sa kampus sa Intramuros. Paano? Sa Skype. Maliit na eskuwelahan lamang kami. Small-time, pero napilitan kaming gumamit ng teknolohiya para maging mas epektibo ang pagtuturo namin sa dalawa naming kampus. Ganyan ang wave of the future. Isa pa, sa totoong online course, halimbawa ang ginagawa ng UP Open University, ang mga estudyante ay hindi lamang Filipino, kundi mga banyaga na nakatira sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng mundo. Malaking problema iyan sa Manpower Planning, dahil ibang klaseng tao ang puwedeng magturo online. Problema rin ng Training and Development.

At nariyan ang Outcomes-Based Education, na ipinipilit ng Tagapangulo ng CHED na dapat ay hindi capitalized, para hindi maging parang UBD o sapilitang paggamit ng iisang uri ng pedagogy. Outcomes-based na kasi sa maraming unibersidad at paaralan sa mundo, dahil nga ang tinitingnan ngayon ay ang mga global standards na nakikita lamang natin pagkatapos at hindi bago pumasok ang estudyante sa klase. Malaking pagbabago iyan. Sanay kasi tayo na tanungin kung ano ang mga qualification ng titser, kung ano ang teaching strategy, kung ano ang textbook o instructional materials na ginagamit, at iba pang maaari nating tingnan bago mag-graduate ang estudyante. Pero ang hinahanap ng mga nagbibigay ng trabaho sa mundo ay kung ano ang kayang gawin ng estudyante pagkatapos ng pag-aaral niya. Sa totoo lang ay ganoon nga ang gusto sanang gawin ng UBD, na ang dapat isipin muna ay kung saan ba pupunta ang edukasyon at hindi kung paano tayo darating doon, pero kaya lang, medyo mali ang dating sa madla ng UBD kaya hindi naintindihan kung bakit okey sana siya. At medyo mali rin ang dating sa madla ngayon ng OBE at pati na rin ang Typology, kaya nawawala ang galing nito dahil sa galit ng hindi naman nakakaintindi.

Ang pinakamalaking pagbabago ay hindi na bago, dahil noon pang nakaraaang century sinimulan ito – ang Education for All. Malaki itong pagbabago dahil noong araw, ang edukasyon ay para lamang sa iilan, kundi sa mga may pera ay sa mga may utak. Pero hindi na maaaring iilan lamang sa mundo ang may kaalaman. Kailangang empowered ang lahat. Hindi uunlad ang mundo kung iilan lamang sa atin ang nagbubukod o nagse-segregate ng basura. Hindi uunlad ang mundo kung iilan lamang sa atin ang nagtatayo ng bahay natin sa mga lugar na walang earthquake fault line o hindi malapit sa ilog na aapaw kung bagyo o hindi masyadong gumagamit ng fossil fuel at sa halip ay environment-friendly. Kailangang lahat ng tao sa mundo ay may alam tungkol sa mga panganib na hinaharap ng sangkatauhan. Kaya nga Education for All. Sa ating bansa, ang sagot natin diyan ay K to 12, dahil kung magiging tagumpay ang repormang ito, ang lahat ng limang taong gulang ay papasok sa Kindergarten, ang halos lahat ng pumasok sa Kindergarten ay magpapatuloy hanggang Grade 12, samakatwid ay bababa ang drop-out rate dahil mas relevant ang kurikulum at mas trained ang mga titser, at magkakaroon ng trabaho kaagad ang karamihan sa ating mga kababayan dahil nakaabang na sa kanila ang mga kompanya at mas madali silang makapagtayo ng kanilang sariling negosyo kung gusto nila dahil may magbibigay sa kanila ng kapital o pondo. Sa madaling salita, dahil sa K to 12, ay matutupad ang pangako natin sa UNESCO na tuturuan natin ang lahat ng Filipino.

Napakalaki ng papel ng HR, ng Manpower Planning, Recruitment, Selection, at Placement, Training and Development, Employee Relations, Compensation and Benefits, at Organizational Development, napakalaki ng papel ng mga administrador, titser, non-academic, at pati na mga estudyante, magulang, at alumni, napakalaki ng papel ng mga namamahala sa DepEd, CHED, at TESDA, sa pag-unlad ng ating edukasyon para makasabay tayo sa takbo ng panahon sa labas ng ating bansa.

Sa loob ng dalawang araw ay tatalakayin ninyo ang mga aspekto ng HR at ang mga pagbabago sa ating bansa at sa buong mundo. Maraming mga dalubhasa ang magbibigay sa inyo ng mahahalagang impormasyon at estratehiya para makaahon, sa wakas, ang sistem ng edukasyon sa ating minamahal na Filipinas. Mabuhay po kayong lahat!

(Delivered as the Keynote Address at the 13th National Convention of the Asian Association of School Human Resource Management and Development Practitioners, Inc., Diamond Hotel, Manila, on 23 August 2012)

On Academic Excellence

Nais kong batiin kayong lahat sa pagtatapos ninyo ng Flagship Course on Academic Excellence ng Development Academy of the Philippines. Hinubog kayo bilang ethical servant leaders, effective curriculum designers, skilled marketers, at competent knowledge managers.

Natapos na ang teknikal na bahagi ng inyong training. Handa na kayong bumalik sa sarili ninyong mga kolehiyo at unibersidad para ibahagi ang inyong natutuhan at para maipatupad ang mga tuntunin at teoryang naibigay sa inyo ng DAP.

Bilang pabalot ko sa inyo bago kayo maglakbay pauwi, pahintulutan ninyo akong banggitin ang ilang prinsipiyo na makatutulong sa inyo sa paggunita ninyo ng mga masasayang araw dito sa DAP.

Unang-una’y dapat tayong matuwa at mayroon tayong isang pangulo na nakatutok sa edukasyon. Nang nangangampanya pa lamang siya, sinabi na niya na gusto niyang maging isang Education President. Sa simula pa lamang ng kanyang panunungkulan, inutos na niya kaagad ang pagpapatupad ng isang programang matagal nang hangaring matupad ng ating pamahalaan, mula pa sa panahon ni Pangulong Quezon hanggang sa panahon ng Pangulong Arroyo. Ang tinutukoy ko ay ang programang K to 12.

Malaki ang gulong nangyayari ngayon sa ating mga kolehiyo at unibersidad dahil sa K to 12. Kaunaunahan nang problemang haharapin ninyo ang kawalan ng trabaho ng ilang mga titser ninyo simula 2016, ang taong magpupunta ang mga estudyante sa Senior High School sa halip na magpatuloy sa kolehiyo. Dahil mawawalan ng estudyante hindi lamang sa 2016 kundi sa 2017 pa rin dahil walang Second Year, at hanggang 2018 na walang Third Year at 2019 na walang Fourth Year, mawawalan ng load ng maraming titser ninyo. Malaking sakit ng ulo iyan para sa inyo.

Pero dahil nagsanay nga kayo dito sa Flagship Program ng DAP, sisiw lang ang problemang iyan. Gamitin ninyo ang lahat ng natutuhan ninyo dito at sigurado akong may mahahanap kayong paraan para malutas ang problema ng 2016. Kakailangan ninyo ang mga kakayahan bilang skilled marketers na natutuhan ninyo dito. Magkakaroon kayo ng internal marketing, dahil kailangan ninyo ibenta sa inyong mga titser ang maiisip ninyong solusyon sa problema ng K to 12.

Malaki rin ang gulong mangyayari kapag ipinatupad na ang bagong General Education Curriculum ng CHED sa 2018. Sa halip na dalawang taon ay isang taon na lamang ang GEC. Sa halip na sa unang taon ng pagpasok ng estudyante sa kolehiyo ituturo ang mga sabjek sa GEC ay sa iba’t ibang taon ng kolehiyo. At mawawala na ang mga karaniwang load ng mga titser sa GEC, dahil wala nang Filipino, Ingles, Social Sciences, NSTP, Rizal, at iba pang nakagawian na natin. Sakit ng ulo rin ninyo iyan.

Pero dahil nagsanay na kayo dito sa DAP, sisiw din ang problemang iyan. Madali na para sa inyo ang pagbago ng inyong kurikulum para matupad ang nais ipatupad ng CHED. Kayang-kaya na ninyong pamahalaan ang maraming komite na siguradong kailangan ninyong itayo para mabago hindi lamang ang kurikulum kundi pati na rin ang hangarin o layunin ng bawat major ninyo. Para que pa kayo nag-aral ng curriculum design o curriculum development kung hindi ninyo pala idedevelop ang inyong kurikulum?

Bukod pa rito ang gusto ng CHED na magsamasama ang mga SUC para hindi naman masyadong marami kayo. Kakailanganin ninyo ang galing sa negosasyon na natutuhan ninyo dito sa DAP. Kailangang win-win ang bawat merger o amalgamation. Kailangan ninyong alalahanin na kayo ay servant leaders at hindi lamang leaders. Hindi maaaring lahat kayo ay heneral kung magiging iisa lamang ang kanya-kanya ninyong batalyon.

Higit sa lahat, naririyan ang problema ng budget. Paliit nang paliit ang perang maaasahan ninyo sa ating gobyerno, dahil sa totoo lang, maraming mga OFW natin ang napipilitang umuwi dahil sa mga rebolusyon o digmaan sa ibang bansa. Dahil ang malaking bahagi ng ating kita bilang bansa ay galing sa kanila, darating ang araw na mauubusan ang gobyerno ng pera para ibigay sa inyo.

Dito papasok ang galing ninyo bilang knowledge managers. Hindi na ang mga trabaho na ginagampanan ng ating mga OFW ngayon ang pagkakikitaan ng ating bansa sa darating na panahon. Hindi na pagiging yaya o atsay, piyon o seaman, hotel staff o waiter o musikero, duktor, nars, o enhinyero ng ating mga kamag-anak ang maasahan natin sa kinabukasan, kundi sarili nating utak, kaalaman, knowledge.

Isinisigaw ng ating Business Processing Association of the Philippines na mas malaki ang magagampanan nating papel sa mundo kung ang papasukan natin ay ang mga hard processing o backroom processing, hindi call center na boses lamang ang kailangan, kundi medical billing na kailangan ng galing bilang nars, backroom accounting na kailangan ng mga accountant, computer software design, animation, at game design, na kailangan ng imahinasyon ng creative writers at ng teknikal na galing ng mga computer programmers. Sinasabi pa nga ng IBM na dapat maging sentro ng Analytics ang ating bansa, dahil magaling tayo sa kompyuter.

Kailangang itutok ninyo ang inyong mga programa sa mga major na nangangailangan ng galing sa pag-iisip, galing sa matematika, sa agham, sa kompyuter, sa malikhaing panulat. Hindi sa business management o HRM nakasalalay ang kinabukasan ng ating bansa, kundi sa teknolohiya at humanidades, sa tinatawag na creative industries, sa knowledge economy, sa intangibles.

Kakailanganin ninyo ng inyong bagong galing sa marketing para makumbinse ang mga estudyante, magulang, at titser na hindi madaling trabaho ang dapat ambisyunan, tulad ng hotel o business, kundi ang mga trabahong kailangan ng tindi ng utak at lalim ng pang-unawa.

Napatunayan na ng mga namumuno sa atin, ang ating Pangulo at ang ating mga Senador at Kongresista, na kaya nating mag-isip nang malalim tungkol sa pilosopiya, teyolohiya, futuristics, human rights, women’s rights. Ito ay mga intangibles, mga hindi madaling makita nang dalawa nating mata, hindi mga materyal na bagay. Sin tax, RH bill, source code, K to 12 – ang mga ito na ang ating pinagdedebatihan, kontra man o kampi. Matino na ang ating bayan. Tumaas na ang antas ng ating kamalayan.

Mapalad kayo at kayo ang namumuno sa ating mga kolehiyo at unibersidad sa panahong ito. Kayo ang magbubukas ng landas para sa ating mga kabataan. Kayo ang magliligtas sa mundo sa climate change, sa crisis of spirituality, sa materyalismo, sa makalumang pag-iisip, sa bulag na pagtingala sa mga mayayamang bansa.

Sa madaling sabi, hinahamon ko kayong akuhin ninyo hindi lamang ang mga problema ng edukasyon kundi ang mga problema ng buong bansa. Sumali kayo sa pagbuo ng K to 12, sa pagsasanay sa bagong General Education Curriculum, sa amalgamasyon, sa pamamahala sa pagbabago ng kurikulum at uri ng pagtuturo na bibigyang-halaga ang mga larangang nangangailangan ng utak.

Kayo ang mauuna sa pagbabagong hinihingi ng panahon at ng ating bayan. Kung hindi kayo, sino pa?

Congratulations!

(Delivered as the Keynote Message at the Flagship Course on Academic Excellence of the Development Academy of the Philippines in Pasig City on 19 December 2012)