ASEAN IN­TE­GRA­TION: WHAT IT BROUGHT TO PH ED­U­CA­TION

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

ROSE ANN S. SUNGA

“One Vi­sion, One Iden­tity, One Com­mu­nity.” This is the of­fi­cial motto of As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) which serves the very pur­pose of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. As com­pared to other re­gional or­ga­ni­za­tions, ASEAN also en­vi­sions unity in pro­mot­ing peace, wel­fare and de­vel­op­ment among coun­tries.

The Philip­pines is one of the found­ing fathers of ASEAN to­gether with Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and In­done­sia. Five decades after its es­tab­lish­ment in 1967, it ex­panded to 10-mem­ber states which now in­clude Viet­nam, Myan­mar, Brunei Darus­salam, Laos and Cam­bo­dia. From the time that these coun­tries agreed to sign a dec­la­ra­tion, grad­ual in­te­gra­tion in the re­gion started for the achieve­ment of joint eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural de­vel­op­ment.

Over the years, Philip­pines have faced op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges to cope up with the in­te­gra­tion. Al­though Philip­pines is eco­nom­i­cally per­form­ing well in the re­gion, one of the ma­jor un­der­tak­ings that the coun­try is fac­ing right now is the for­ma­tion of ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity (AEC) 2015 for a bor­der­less eco­nomic com­mu­nity by 2030. For the suc­ceed­ing years, com­pe­ti­tion will be tougher across South­east Asia. ASEAN will be a re­gion with free flow of goods and ser­vices, la­bor and in­vest­ments. On this note, Philip­pines hold a cru­cial po­si­tion of pro­duc­ing the best es­pe­cially in terms of hu­man re­sources for get­ting the ad­van­tage in the mar­ket. The coun­try must pre­pare and gear ev­ery Filipinos with all the pos­si­ble knowl­edge, skills, com­pe­ten­cies and re­sources for them to com­pete glob­ally.

Now, the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor is shoul­der­ing the big­gest re­spon­si­bil­ity to meet the re­quire­ments of ASEAN in­te­gra­tion. The pres­sure had thrust Philip­pines’s ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem to strate­gic moves in­clud­ing the in­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of K-12 Pro­gram wherein ad­di­tional years were added on the Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Cur­ricu­lum. Cur­ricu­lum and cur­ricu­lum stan­dards are be­ing en­hanced to meet the in­ter­na­tional norms and to strengthen the coun­try’s qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion. In­ter­est-based tracks and in­dus­try-academe part­ner­ships were of­fered for Se­nior High School for em­ploy­a­bil­ity. Aca­demic cal­en­dar is shifted for syn­chro­niza­tion. Ad­di­tional teach­ers are be­ing hired. Teach­ers are tak­ing up fur­ther stud­ies for new trends of in­struc­tion. New fa­cil­i­ties are be­ing built and other school needs/con­cerns are be­ing taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

There is no per­fect plan or per­fect im­ple­men­ta­tion. The gov­ern­ment is still ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ma­jor lapses. Philip­pines truly have a long way to go to pol­ish ev­ery­thing. But de­spite of this, the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor is clearly giv­ing its best to achieve the de­sired out­come for the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment. If ev­ery­thing goes well at the end, no mat­ter what chal­lenges that had been car­ried out, a bet­ter life for the Filipinos will al­ways be a sweet suc­cess. — oOo—

The au­thor is SST II at Telac­san Na­tional High School

RUBY R. MANALAS­TAS

Chil­dren tend to pick up on what they see whether good or bad. They’ll try find­ing ideal per­son to fol­low and im­i­tate. And as they be­come stu­dents, they are ex­posed to dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ment and peo­ple. This is why be­ing a teacher and a role model for the stu­dents is very im­por­tant. The things we do and the words we say plays a sig­nif­i­cant part in teach­ing the chil­dren. This is not far from Chris­tian­ity. How­ever, this also doesn’t mean we are to try to act re­li­gious and put up a dif­fer­ent im­age in front of oth­ers, but we are to im­i­tate and model Christ. And since teacher-stu­dent re­la­tion­ship is mostly an ev­ery­day con­nec­tion, how then can we, as teach­ers, model Christ es­pe­cially in the class­room?

First, as a teacher we must love the stu­dents be­cause God is Love and we want to show Christ to our stu­dents, we must also love them as God loves us even if they are the one that’s driv­ing the teach­ers crazy mak­ing them feel pissed most of the time. And it’s not enough to just say we love them in­stead we need to show them that we love them be­cause ac­tions speaks louder than words.

Sec­ondly, as a teacher we must care more about our stu­dents than our poli­cies be­cause we are here to help our stu­dents grow and be ma­tured. But most of the times we get so en­trenched in our poli­cies that we miss the point that in­stead of help­ing out the stu­dents to grow we make them feel un­der in our poli­cies. In these cases, we must pray for wis­dom and re­mem­ber that the growth and ma­tu­rity of our stu­dents is our main goal. Stu­dents are dif­fer­ent in terms of ma­tu­rity and na­ture and try to bear in mind that they are also a hu­man be­ing that is need to be val­ued and cared the most.

Thirdly, as a teacher we must let His truth per­me­ate be­cause God’s truth should be such a part of us that we can’t help speak them in our daily con­ver­sa­tion and les­sons. And let those of us in pub­lic schools thinks this doesn’t ap­ply, re­al­ize that God’s truth is univer­sal that our stu­dents needs to hear that truth be­cause Faith comes from hear­ing and hear­ing the Word of God.

Fourthly, as a teacher we must model Christ like liv­ing be­cause our lives should por­tray Christ and our con­duct should be an ex­am­ple. Our spirit and we should be ev­i­denc­ing His fruit of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Pa­tience, Gen­tle­ness, Good­ness, Faith, Meek­ness, and Self-con­trol. To prac­tice and in or­der to have these fruit of the Holy Spirit, as a teacher that wanted to model Christ we must make a daily habit of read­ing the Word of God to know Christ more and be like Him.

Lastly, as a teacher we must be hum­ble at all times be­cause ser­vant lead­er­ship is a pow­er­ful ex­am­ple of Christ and will draw stu­dents to Him. When we can set aside our pride, ad­mit our mis­takes, and not be eas­ily of­fended our stu­dents will see a very real dif­fer­ence. Hu­mil­ity is a virtue and Je­sus Christ is the con­crete ex­am­ple that we must fol­low. — oOo—

The au­thor is Teacher III at Sto.To­mas High School

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