Higher Ed Teaching Corruption As A Way Of Life

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I am aware of several disturbing academic practices at a local public university that bear directly upon a serious problem in the Philippines, namely, corruption. In a recently completed math class in algebra, the instructor missed about half the class meetings, resulting in the topic "solve for the unknown variable" never coming up. In a chemistry class, the teacher offered to improve a student's grade if the student were to offer a gift, in this case a kit for building molecular models, to the instructor. In yet another class, the instructor assigned as a project (this was not optional, but rather mandatory) "to download an award-winning movie" to give to the teacher. This is, of course, an illegal act. In all cases the students were terrified to make a complaint.This university does have a remedy of sorts for such things, a so-called Redress Mechanism. But complaints cannot be anonymous, leaving the student in the precarious position of whistle blower. House Bill 5715, the whistle blowers protection bill, which also calls for harsh punishment for falsely accusing someone of corruption, passed the house, but failed in the senate, as far as I know. Is this a pervasive problem? It seems to me that exposing students to such things only teaches that such things are ok.

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The obvious solution are for the parents to transfer their children to another university. Let the market work.

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It also happens in certain private universities known as, "Diploma Mills."

Some spoiled kids enroll at certain universities as a way to scam their parents. The parents remit tuition money to the university. The student withdraws from half his classes before the deadline. He keeps the money for fun activities. Parents are no wiser except they wonder why their child took 8 years to graduate.

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  The education system leaves a lot to be desired. In earlier posts on education, I wrote about "Backers". The lowest grade student with the best backer gets a pass and a job. The backers get a life long pension from these students.

  We have a problem here with the teachers being absent frequently with no subs. We have classes scheduled up to 8:30 PM but with breaks from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM with empty classrooms that could be used if scheduled properly. It seems that the administration got their positions from a backer, not from academic achievement.

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We have a problem here with the teachers being absent frequently with no subs. We have classes scheduled up to 8:30 PM but with breaks from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM with empty classrooms that could be used if scheduled properly.

Is this a public or private school?

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  The education system leaves a lot to be desired. In earlier posts on education, I wrote about "Backers". The lowest grade student with the best backer gets a pass and a job. The backers get a life long pension from these students.

  We have a problem here with the teachers being absent frequently with no subs. We have classes scheduled up to 8:30 PM but with breaks from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM with empty classrooms that could be used if scheduled properly. It seems that the administration got their positions from a backer, not from academic achievement.

Where is your posting? I'd like to read it, but a search here came up with nothing. Is President Aquino aware of this activity? This seems an obvious place to curb corruption, as university graduates are likely to find themselves in positions of power someday. Or, is this simply none of our business?

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We have a problem here with the teachers being absent frequently with no subs. We have classes scheduled up to 8:30 PM but with breaks from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM with empty classrooms that could be used if scheduled properly.

Is this a public or private school?

 

This happens in both Riverside and UNOR, private schools. Last week, I had to pay for a taxi to bring them home because by the time they were let out from school, the Ceres was not running. They got home at 11:00 PM They leave at 6:30 AM and get home at 9:30 PM 3 days a week but have long breaks like yesterday, nothing from 11:30 AM until 3:00 PM. They sit in empty classrooms with no teachers. Today, one has classes starting at 12 noon then tomorrow nothing from 9:30 until 2:00.

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That's sad. There seems to be a "take the easier way out" mentality prevalent in SOME parts of the Philippines. Sometimes I get the feeling that for a lot of Filipinos in the Philippines, university isn't really seen as a means to pursue further knowledge but rather, a means to earn money/improve status/get the hell out of dodge. Back when the "Desperate Housewives" controversy errupted (a character referenced buying a diploma from the Philippines), it was both embarrassing and infuriating. Embarrassing because that statement is rooted in truth for some, and infuriating because some Pinoys here in the US know that some people do "buy" their diplomas, but Filipino pride won't let them look past the ding to Filipinos. It's like, don't sweep it under the rug, dudes. Forget saving face; if you bury your head in the sand to ignore some truths, then hello, what face have you got to show to the world anyway after it's been snacked on by the insects called corruption?

A memory stands out in my head from a time when we visited Cebu when I was about 13 or 14. My lola's then-maid wasn't that much older than my cousins and me. She was a lovely lass from a neighbouring town in Samar where my lola was from. Levi shyly asked me to teach her some English in exchange for cooking lessons. I gave her photocopies of my dad's old Bisaya-English workbooks and some homework. Between her chores and into the night, Levi would study like her life depended on it. She turned in her homework every day. She also saved whatever money she didn't send her parents. Her goal was to go to night school to get her HS diploma. "Kay gusto gyud ko mag-maistra para akong mahimong anak dili mag-maid/I really want to become a teacher so that my future kids won't end up as maids." The next year we visited Cebu, Levi was enrolled in night school :) On her day off, other maids in the village invited her to go to the disco at Royal Concourse. She declined, saying that she wanted to study for a test because her last report card averaged to a 1.9 and she needed a 1.5 to maintain her small scholarship. One of my cousins overheard and was like, "Ay sus, bigayi nalang gud na imong maistra. Hatagi barob ug Chips Ahoy. Naa koy extrang pakite." (Dude, just bribe your teacher. Give her Chips Ahoy. I have an extra pack.) Her response? "Aw, sige lang maam. Panigkamutan lang gyud nako. Kinahanlan makasabut gyud ko sa liksion kay aron inig ka maistra nako, ma-explicar nako ug tarong sa akong mga istudyante." (Oh, it's okay, ma'am. I will just work hard. I need to understand the lessons so that when I become a teacher, I can explain the concepts well to my students." No short cuts, no easy way. For people like Levi, she tries to earn her own way because she does not have the safety net of rich parents to support her or back her. Her parents were illiterate, so she understood the value of knowledge, not just an education. I share this long and boring story to kind of show you that although there is a culture of corruption and taking the easier way, there are individuals like my dear Levi who rise above it. Oh, and guess what? She is now a high school teacher! Though her school does not officially have a special education program, she takes all the special needs kids because she has a way of explaining things in a way that is accessible to them. Back when I served in Teach For America and was assigned to teach Special Education, I turned to her for some help :)

I salute levi and say well done
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