If the Senior High School students find K-12 too much to bear at this stage, the parents are even more stressed than assured.

With the way teachers seem to ram lessons down the throats of their ward everything that they thought they needed to impart, it’s not surprising that even parents are groaning at the way the students are seemingly squeezed high and dry and expected to perform.

Take this one case where a junior high school student of one of the elite private educational institutions in the city who came home crying after her teacher presumably demanded to make them write a 75-page reaction paper on a particular movie taken up in class. The students were instructed to submit the reaction paper not later than two days.

As a reaction, the poor student felt she had to work on the reaction paper the whole night and into the next morning without sleep, as she feared of flunking the subject if she will not follow the instruction. In effect, the mother was also left without sleep and was even stressed to the point that she suffered some emotional distress.

I have likewise heard about “group studies” being encouraged by teachers so that supposedly the students will learn responsibility and discipline. I have been a professor in one of the colleges in the city, and the way I handled mentoring is something that I thought would encourage students to learn and not to instill fear over failing grades.

Hence, what I am seeing in this “group work” strategy that teachers of senior high school insists would help students learn values totally defies logic. Instead of teaching them to share responsibilities, this strategy is even reinforcing dependency and irresponsibility in the sense that some students are leaving all the work to the student who knows better than the others.

When I asked some teachers to comment on this, some of them admitted that they are just following instructions from their head teachers. Though some of the teachers insisted that they understand the purposes of the Senior High School curriculum, they too are feeling “pressured”, not only because they are expected to meet required a number of hours in teaching, but that they also have to ensure that students absorb the lessons in a manner that would yield results during exams.

Which is absurd!

It is no secret that there are some teachers in both private and public schools who would rather want a hundred per cent passing rate among their students as low passing rate would negatively reflect on their performances also. This however, is also due to the requirements set by the Department of Education (DepEd) for schools’ accreditation.

A low passing rate among students does not augur well in school’s performance, and could affect the assursance of its continuing existence. Thus, most of the time, they would rather push the grades to the limits rather than do the right thing, even if students do not really understand the lessons.

It’s a vicious cycle that has been going on and on, and even aggravated by the insistence of the DepEd for schools to toe the line.

And now, not a few among the teachers are asking “where do we go from here?” Is the DepEd really sure about the direction of the “K to 12” curriculum and where it is leading this confused generation? (davaotoday.com)

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