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From 'homework is unnecessary' to 'grades matter': Netizens voice out opinions on academic system

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Mar 21, 2023 8:42 pm

When it comes to the flaws and shortcomings of the educational system in the Philippines, netizens have a lot to say. 

In a viral thread on Twitter, which sparked an online discussion, social media users are sharing their unpopular opinions regarding the academic world, highlighting personal experiences, and areas for improvement.

Many netizens lament the stress brought on by heavy workloads and value put on high grades. Others point out that there’s more to life beyond classroom learning, when it comes to acquiring real life skills. Here are just a few opinions regarding the academic system that Filipino netizens weighed in on:

Grades and Latin honors matter

The phrase "grades don't matter" is often said either as a joke or as a way to encourage students who are not doing so well in their classes. However, one netizen stressed that in real life, your grades will make or break your career. Though luck certainly plays a factor, having a good educational background and graduating with honors can cement your future.

"Grades matter. Where you graduated matters. Latin honors matter. Iba ang nagagawang boost nito. I know because I just spent the past seven years for my dream job pero hindi nakukuha because of my grades na wala na akong magagawa because past is past," she tweeted.

Teachers shouldn't brag about failing students

One of life's unavoidable moments is for you to end up stuck in a subject with a "terror" teacher who frequently threatens students about how they could fail in the class, even bragging about the vast number of students they gave a failing mark to before. According to one netizen who is also an educator, this action shouldn't be encouraged.

"As an educator, failing students shouldn’t be something to brag about nor should it be the basis for being an excellent teacher. If your students dont understand the lesson, even the most hardworking students will fail, which means you've failed to do ur job: to teach," she wrote.

"Terror teachers are a**holes who are pathetic because they use their power to bully their students. Teachers can be tough and demand students to step up, but not to the point that they would wreak their self-esteem/mental health," wrote another.

Output should be finished during class hours, not beyond

As class hours in the Philippines typically range from an hour to three hours at most, students often lack enough time to finish hefty their work before the subject ends, which leads to teachers giving more tasks beyond the allotted time. One netizen argued that this practice is "physically and mentally exhausting" for the students.

"Masyadong lengthy ang project? Hindi kayang tapusin ang output during class hours? Then allot the next session for it. How are we expected to submit quality outputs and get good scores if we don't have enough time to rest and take care of ourselves?" he wrote.

He continued, "Masasabihan ka pa ng 'moving deadlines won't be the norm' and 'more submissions will be coming in the next weeks.' Like, what do you want us to do? Endure the stockpile of requirements like nothing's wrong? Please talk among yourselves and evaluate the total workload that we have."

Homework is unnecessary

Homework assignments are an inevitable part of a students’ academic journey, and have long been the bane of their existence. Just imagine: the school bell has sounded its alarm, signaling the end of classes. You head home, ready to kick back and relax, maybe watch your favorite TV show when all of a sudden you remember that your teacher gave you a 2,000 word essay as homework due tomorrow.

One netizen underscored, "Homework is unnecessary unless the student purposely puts off class work. Students are in school for eight hours a day, let them go home and spend time however they want to."

Entrance exams should be abolished

Even though education is considered a basic human right, some students are still deprived of it if they fail the school's entrance exam, which tests different skills such as math, language, and science, among others.

This is what one netizen tries to point out in their tweet: "Call for the abolishment of all entrance exams! Maraming progressive ways of admission. Mainam na hakbang rin mag-call for the abolishment of entrance exams as a tipping point to further the education fight. Karapatan ang edukasyon, hindi natin kailangan patunayan na deserve natin ito."

"Kung baga, 'Unless you passed our absurdly hard entrance exam, folks with pipitsugin educational background must continue to be pipitsugin forever. While folks who have elite education continue to be an elite forever'," they added.

On the other hand, a study in students with low socioeconomic background in the Philippines revealed that there is a "strong correlation between entrance exam and academic performance of program beneficiaries."

It argues that a downside of waiving entrance exams "will allow admission of beneficiaries that may not be college-ready and hence has a lower probability of completing the program."

The netizens opinions reflect the deterioration of the quality of learning in the Philippines. According to the Basic Education Report (BER) 2023 report, low academic proficiency of Filipino students, lack of school infrastructure, and lack of resources to support the ideal teaching process, are among key issues that plague the country’s education system.

The study showed that 81 percent of participating Filipino learners could not deal with basic math problems, 81 percent had trouble understanding texts of moderate length, while 78 percent could not recognize correct explanations for scientific phenomena / or draw valid conclusions from given data.