Being courageous and being worried are complimentary. As you stand up courageously to speak up what you really want to say, fear is still on your back; you fear of being condemned and punished by those who does not agree and are affected with every words you say. This time, I will try to be courageous enough to say what many of us in our batch might want to say for the past years.
For the past four years we have spent our lives studying in our dear alma mater, we did not dare to go on streets and be rebellious to the administration. We tried to be the most obedient batch ever and we did not go against any of their decision, may it be a simple issue, or an issue with most of us involved. We did not dare to stand up and point out every detail of wrong doings and misbehavior the faculty does, may it be libelous, scandalous, or whatsoever. We remained to shut our mouths up and everything we know just remained within our vicinity. We were touted as the “pinakamabait” among others, and that tag remained to be one of the most treasured.
As we go on and face the next stage of our schooling life, we cannot leave the institution without telling the administration the things we really want to tell that for the past four years we have remained silent.
Being one of the victims of our crumbling and old grading system, we appeal for an improvement. We are aware that not only us, but many of us, may they be still studying on this institution or already on roads making a living, demand for the improvement or should I say modification of this stinking grading system. The grading system favors early bloomers and removes the chance for late bloomers to attain academic awards. The best performers on the first years often emerge the best performer in the last year, and those who didn’t perform well on the first year does not have any chance to have academic awards later in their high school life because of grade requirements.
More on grading system is the deteriorating curricula the school has been keeping for thirty years. It is observable that quality of education has indeed incomparable with other science-based high school. Courses, which should have been removed earlier, remain. It is also evident that the school’s performance in competition is declining. For this year, the school failed to get first place on any major competition and the national public high school dominated most competition. Our intelligence was almost wasted with the old and rotting curricula we have today. Though we know that the school is on the process of revolutionizing the curriculum, we still wished that this change could have been implemented earlier.
Recently, the faculty held their academic council to find out which students should attain academic awards to be given on the recognition day. Sad to say, but not every award was given because of certain “requirements” that should not be there. For example, the Math Award, this included a requirement to have a grade no less than 83 ON ANY SUBJECT. I still ask the heavens if the Math Award was formerly called Math Et Al. Award.
Plus the Campus Journalism award was not given to my friend because (as far as I know, on what I’ve heard from my friend and from other people) of his so called” trouble-making” inclination. He was qualified for the award, but the decision of the administration is final. Those people who voted not to give the award does not know my friend’s dedication and love for the school paper. They did not know his sufferings; he developed bronchitis because of a series of sleepless cold nights trying to publish the school paper on time. They did not think of the awards and recognition Mark won for the school’s honor.
We hate it when teachers go on digging our personal matters. Some of them try to be mother and father-like that even personal issues about friends, family problems and the like are asked for us to reveal. We love them when they care, but we hate them when they are asking us too much information to reveal. Huwag daw masamain. Oh, I see.
Some of the teachers should develop better teaching strategies. A friend said: “Bawal kang sumweldo nang hindi nagtuturo”. Is asking students to report lessons all throughout the grading period then asking them to submit summaries of TEXTBOOKS considered teaching? Is reading visual aids also considered teaching? Yes, it is teaching in a sense that it develops patience, self-reliance, confidence and other moral values, but hey, isn’t a teacher should stand at the classes front doing some spontaneous discussion on the topic? I know that the idea of a good teacher for me seems too typical, but sometimes being archetypal is better than modern yet untested. A good teacher also should make a so-boring subject an exciting subject and lessons in it to be looked forward to.
We hate it when they accuse us of misconduct we never really did. We are often accused to stay late at night on dark areas of the campus doing malevolent actions. In addition, we hate it when they regard us as “stupid.”
Teachers should also reach out to the hands of the children and should not be on “gods and goddesses” status. We do not mean that we want an equal treatment between students and teachers, and we still believe that there should still be a barrier between them, but teachers should not act as royalties and dictators. They are rightful to be respected: they are our mentors and masters. Nevertheless, I believe that respect is only given to those who deserve it, to those persons who live their life as a role model to students like us.
The thing I really hate about the school, particularly the administration is that they often do not consider parents and students comments in fastidious issues like grading system revolution and curriculum improvement. I heard one saying, “Your opinions are just opinions. We rule, and you cannot penetrate our decisions.” That is of becoming too dictatorial. Although we are still young, but still, we know what is right and we know what is best. Our minds were fixed to believe that democratic and free governance is still the best way to hold people, to make them follow, and to lead everyone in a systematic and good future. However, this ideology taught often in social science and values class was never applied in their own administration. The decisions made are only between the principal and the faculty, then only relayed to us students.
We have many things to say, many things we wished we had raised and questioned for the past years we’ve transformed our school as our second residence. Alam naming huli na. We cannot do anything about it now. Nevertheless, we wish that later batches would realize someday that the alma mater we loved and treasured has also its bag of unscrupulous and deceiving lies.