STUDENT’S STRUGGLE IN SCIENCES AFFECTING QUALITY OF EDUCATION
JANET BRIGIDA A. CATIPON
The implementation of the K-12 Curriculum in 2012 has brought a great number of challenges on the part of the teachers and students. Top on the lists are the adaptation and the “spiralism” of the curriculum. Its adaptation was the biggest adjustment on thepart of teachers but more so to the students. The “spiralism” of the curriculum should be easy for the students in the sense that the concepts in all learning areas subdivided from simple to complex as they progress to higher level. On the contrary, there were so many struggles observed from the secondary students in public schools especially in the learning areas of mathematics and sciences.
This student’s struggle has been questioned by science teachers as most of them extend their utmost effort in conveying and teaching all the concepts in the most effective and strategic way. Students learning outcomes are very low and unsatisfactory. In effect, science teachers reflect on the possible roots of the problem and extend remediation to students only to be able to pass their subjects.
Science subjects (i.e., Chemistry and Physic) require higher order thinking skills during teaching and learning process. It has an expectation that secondary students have already mastered these skills during their lower grade level such as knowing how to apply these skills, analyze, synthesize and evaluate, understand abstract problems, know the patterns and orders in solving problems. Likewise, they must practice frequent rehearsals in attacking mathematical problems. Yet, the fact is most of the students do not know how to apply the basic mathematical skills in performing and solving problems on the mathematical concepts of these subjects. This is a proof that they could not transfer their knowledge and skills successfully in the fields of Chemistry and Physics. Over the years since the implementation of the curriculum, results of evaluations in these subjects are somehow unsatisfactory. It is a question, why students able to pass lower mathematics and science? Secondary science teachers thought that this has something to do with student’s retentive memory. Students might not have long-term memory, only shortterm or rote memory. They must have learned how to perform mathematics during their lower grade level but whatever skills they have learned have not been mastered and carried as they went on to higher grade levels. In effect, they struggle on their present learning situation.
Moreover, it has been an observation that most of the students do not self-reflect on their struggling on their science subject. They seem not bothered with their low grades and do not have the habit on making an effort to review their lessons. As proof, they just guessed during major examinations as these are all standardized multiple choice-type of tests. All standardized test papers given i public schools come from the Deped Division. Multiple choice-type of tests are objective in nature. This type of test is good and practical especially when this will be under time pressure. Another proof of students guessing during major examinations is, most frequent absentees report to school during major examination period. They still have answers to all multiple-choice items in the tests. Word problems in Chemistry and Physics are visible in the test but students do not solve them as they have choices. As a result, science teachers conclude that students do not solve and perform higher order thinking analysis anymore.
In this regard, It is a suggestion therefore that there must be a course of actions by the education department, not only the schools and the teachers, to resolve this issue about the students. Curriculum planners may also shave an option to whether there is a need of revising the curriculum in terms of its content and assessment standards in science and mathematics areas that conforms to student’s capacity. As all educators and curriculum planners aware of the fact that K-12 curriculum has been implemented aiming that the Philippine education system be globally competitive, to achieve high quality of education and therefore, will produce well-skilled graduates especially in the fields of science and technology. How can all these objectives may able to achieve when science educators are dealing with struggling students. Where is the quality of education when students do not perform well in the subjects most importantly in sciences and mathematics? Teachers cannot just pass students if this is the case amid of the fact that there should be mass promotion if possible.
The author is SST II at Macabebe High School