FACING THE EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES OF THE 21ST CENTURY
EDMOND O. YUMANG
The theory of evolution has shown that the survival or extinction of a species is linked to its ability to adapt to its changing environment. Absent this capability, the species stands to become overwhelmed by the stressors of the environment, ultimately leading to its stagnation, regression or its demise.
When applied to our educational system, the technological breakthroughs brought about by the advances of the 21st century resulted to massive upheavals in the way information are retrieved, processed and forwarded to our students. The norm in this technological age is not the lack of educational materials but that of massive information overload. An internet search engine will provide hundreds of millions of hits for any given topic which may be factual or mere conjectures.
However, what has been hailed as a means by which knowledge could be at the fingertip of each and every student has become a double edged sword because of the very real threat that it may cause harm to the young minds of our children. This requires that our educational system evolve and adapt for it to be truly responsive to the fast changing times. For instance, there is the difficulty in shielding children from the effects of pornographic and other inappropriate materials found in the World Wide Web. Internet search engines may not adequately filter websites that deal on sexuality, violence, occult and other crimes. Thus, it is the gargantuan task of any teacher to filter out the most relevant and appropriate of this voluminous information for the students to use in their classroom instructions.
Notwithstanding the growing challenges that our educational system faces, our hardworking, patient and determined teaching force continues to deliver quality education to our children, oftentimes over and beyond their call of duty. Despite the advances of the 21st century, our teachers will continue to evolve and adapt and will always remain indispensable in the education of our children.
The author is Teacher III at Santos Ventura National High School-SHS