The Lady and Her Five Suitors

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The short story is about the reality of the process of death of Filipino idealism in the administration of public schools. It shows the difficulties of sustaining one’s interest and motivation in improving the standards of education in the country. It highlights the visitation of the officers who act as assessors of the efficiency ratings of the teachers and the schools. The setting is in the provinces where the bureaucracy in the education system is very evident. The importance of obtaining a high efficiency rating by the school, its faculty and students has compromised the principles of most of its administrators. It not only affects the efficiency of the schools and their faculty but it also contributes to the decline in the actual performance of students. The story also shows how the activity can be turned into an opportunity to punish insubordination by assigning the most problematic and difficult tasks to the most “not-liked” teachers and students. The story also exposes the Filipino’s mentality towards competition. Sometimes one’s pursuit for personal and professional growth can be mistaken a threat to another man’s job or authority. More likely, it would be interpreted as “showing-off”. Unfortunately, the conflict between different interests not only affects those involved but usually extends to all the faculty, which in turn causes polarization in the workplace. A visitation announced a month in advance defeats the purpose for such an activity, as was clearly shown in the story. It gives the school administrators the opportunity to prepare and hide the infirmities of their respective schools. The results are usually not reflective of the true status and situation of the schools because only the good things are highlighted while the bad things are hidden. Sometimes overnight makeovers are resorted to so that there will be the appearance of compliance with the educational standards. The whole activity boils down to making an impression and satisfying a...
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