It has been the accepted belief that the way to the improvement of the “quality of the population” hinges largely on education.1 Consequently, it is agreed that the development of the human resources of a nation is the ultimate determinant of the country’s growth and development. Specifically, the country’s ability to develop the knowledge and know how of its people in order to make them productive contributors to the nations economy, determines to a large extent the “character and pace of its socio-economic development”2. Furthermore, it is increasingly acknowledged that higher education is a “driver of economic growth”, supposedly, even allowing developing countries to leap frog on their pursuit for economic development.3 Scope of the Essay
For this reason, this essay will look into the education policy issues in the Philippines, focusing on tertiary education, which will directly relate to the socio-economic development of the country. Although, the paper will not cover fully the comprehensive issues relating to the sector of tertiary education in the Philippines, the essay will present the vital key issues concerning the following: a) globalization, b) quality and efficiency and c) relevance. Specifically, the aim of the essay is to address the following questions: 1.
What are the implications of globalization in the tertiary education particularly along the issues of competitiveness, ‘brain drain’, flight of skilled labor and other related concerns? 2. What are the reasons for the continued deterioration of the quality and efficiency of tertiary education in the Philippines? and; 3. How relevant (or irrelevant) is the system of tertiary education in the Philippines?
Significance of the Essay and Methodology
Ultimately, the over-arching aim of the essay is to examine the state of tertiary education in the Philippines concerning the three important issues (globalization, quality and efficiency, and relevance), with the end view to explore potential areas where policy measures could be focused In order for tertiary education to become an effective tool and means in improving the socio- economic conditions of the country. Whenever applicable and appropriate, related issues outside the education sector will also be discussed and presented in order to have a more thorough understanding of the factors and conditions affecting tertiary education in the Philippines. Likewise, to support the discussion comparative data and facts about education outside the Philippines will also be presented. As a culmination of each section, the essay will explore possible policies, which could be adopted to address these pressing issues. A conclusion will be presented at the end of the essay. Historical Background
Education in the Philippines from the Spanish colonization to the American and Japanese occupation has been tainted with inequality, injustice and exploitation. Education was first introduced by the Spaniards principally to facilitate the Christianization of the islands. Later on tertiary schools were established. However, these schools were economically restrictive so that only the landed families and the elite could afford tertiary education.4 On the other hand, under the American occupation, public education was institutionalized and became widely accessible to the Filipinos, especially the poor. During the early years of American colonization, (after the Philippine Revolution against Spain) education was employed to fully subjugate and pacify the Filipinos. The minds of the people were captured through education, and as such, education, over the years, became a powerful colonial (policy) instrument.5 For this reason, the nationalist Claro M. Recto, declared that the root cause of Filipino colonial mentality is the American educational system.6 After World War II, there was rapid expansion in the primary and secondary education in the Philippines, and by 1950’s tertiary education quickly expanded...
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