Renato Constantino - the Miseducation of the Filipino

Topics: Philippines, Nationalism, English language Pages: 22 (8171 words) Published: March 8, 2011

Prof. Renato Constantino

Education is a vital weapon of a people striving for economic emancipation, political independence and cultural renaissance. We are such a people. Philippine education therefore must produce Filipinos who are aware of their country's problems, who understand the basic solution to these problems, and who care enough to have courage to work and sacrifice for their country's salvation. Nationalism in Education In recent years, in various sectors of our society, there have been nationalist stirrings which were crystallized and articulated by the late Claro M. Recto, There were jealous demands for the recognition of Philippine sovereignty on the Bases question. There were appeals for the correction of the iniquitous economic relations between the Philippines and the United States. For a time, Filipino businessmen and industrialists rallied around the banner of the FILIPINO FIRST policy, and various scholars and economists proposed economic emancipation as an intermediate goal for the nation. In the field of art, there have been signs of a new appreciation for our own culture. Indeed, there has been much nationalist activity in many areas of endeavor, but we have yet to hear of a well-organized campaign on the part of our educational leaders for nationalism in education. Although most of our educators are engaged in the lively debate on techniques and tools for the improved instructions, not one major educational leader has come out for a truly nationalist education. Of course some pedagogical experts have written on some aspects of nationalism in education. However, no comprehensive educational programme has been advanced as a corollary to the programmes for political and economic emancipation. This is a tragic situation because the nationalist movement is crippled at the outset by a citizenry that is ignorant of our basic ills and is apathetic to our national welfare. New Perspective Some of our economic and political leaders have gained a new perception of our relations with the United States as a result of their second look at Philippine-American relations since the turn

Michael Charleston B. Chua, Greatworks readings, DLSU-Manila


of the century. The reaction which has emerged as economic and political nationalism is an attempt on their part to revise the iniquities of the past and to complete the movement started by our revolutionary leaders of 1896. The majority of our educational leaders, however, still continue to trace their direct lineal descent to the first soldier-teachers of the American invasion army. They seem oblivious to the fact that the educational system and philosophy of which they are proud inheritors were valid only within the framework of American colonialism. The educational system introduced by the Americans had to correspond and was designed to correspond to the economic and political reality of American conquest. Capturing Minds The most effective means of subjugating a people is to capture their minds. Military victory does not necessarily signify conquest. As long as feelings of resistance remain iin the hearts of the vanquished, no conqueror is secure. This is best illustrated by the occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese militarists during the Second World War. Despite the terroristic regime imposed by the Japanese warlords, the Filipinos were never conquered. Hatred for the Japanese was engendered by their oppressive techniques which in turn were intensified by the stubborn resistance of the Filipino people. Japanese propagandists and psychological warfare experts, however, saw the necessity of winning the minds of the people. Had the Japanese stayed longer, Filipino children who were being schooled under the auspices of the new dispensation would have grown into strong pillars of the Greater East Asia CoProsperity Sphere. Their minds would have been conditioned to suit the policies of the Japanese imperialists. The...
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