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More Humanities for Everyone


Sassy has a recent take on Prince Charles' attack on education policies over at Education GuardianThe article calls into question the state of Humanities and classical education courses, and seeming shift of focus to technical courses in the Philippine Educational System.

It brings back to mind memories of my university life.

Years back at the Ateneo de Manila University, our batch has been the last to enjoy the original core curriculum which for generations the jesuits have molded Ateneans. We are the last batch to receive a hefty dose of Philosophy, and far more English, Theology, and Humanities units. It was widely debated that the shift of focus had to be toward more technical skills and industry-and-course-specific courses to combat the statistical decline of the schools rankings in the Top University list. Supposedly, it was to address the problems of graduates who go out in the world with little practical knowledge of what to do in their industries.

Our batch, among many others in the earlier batches have always believed that taking away more of the original core units would be detrimental to the character of graduates Ateneo produces. And more so, detrimental to their personal enlightenment as a man for others.

There is a contention that it is that curriculum that takes as apart from the others, and as some would label elistist. It is sad that once we go out in the real word, knowing this much from all those units distinguishes us from many others, to be that. Which is a sad fact because most other graduates had to take some subjects and pass it for the mere fact of passing them. We never wanted to be elitist, but the way classical education is spread amongst Filipinos seem to unbalanced.

I posted:

I wonder then if in the future, where more technical skills and industry specific skills are needed, classical education is relegated a mere option for personal enrichment.

If the Philippine educational system aims for 'more than the usual' as the Gordon ad would put it, I think it should be a focus of CHED to add competitive advantage to the Filipino worker by giving him something more.

Logic for instance (or Philosophy 101 for others), is something alot of people need here, but is a subject that comes across as mere requirement to graduate.

CHED or DECS must not breed a culture of mediocrity among graduates.

I've always thought that though the Jesuit educational system may not be the best for everyone, a healthy dose of the Arts, Philosophy, and History - Humanities would be the most ideal way of preparing people appreciate life and understand it. Making students study for the sole purpose of landing good paying jobs takes away the essense of education. What's the percentage of high school students in the Philippines who read books beyond what is required of them? Education should be about the conqest over limits, be about expanding one's horizons, not just for the mere purpose of it, but for the making others experience the same, and therefore enriching other's lives. Education is never-ending, and as such, one is not bound by your textbooks.

Everyone should have the experience of opening their minds. Not just the elite. That's a problem here in the Philippines. Even technical courses should be taught in a way of a purpose-driven endeavor, and not a mere skill enhancement exercise. One reason why I like Richard Feynman... but that's a different story all together... Point is, if the government of Juan de la Cruz wants it's people to rise up and be a proud people once again, then they should NOT breed graduates whose sole purpose is to work, work, work.

Rather, the Government should create graduates ready to lead meaningful, colorful lives. Humanities and everything else it covers, teaches that.

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posted by Jdavies @ 6/26/2004,


At 11/08/2005 07:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Blogger, I saw a page listed in a profile at www.SchoolBuddies.com. that talked about Vietnam veterans and somehow it sent me here. I'll check out your site while I'm here. Have a good day. See ya.. Dave.


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The Author


Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.

About This Blog

This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.


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