Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Of rigorous "Humanisation" over mere "Vocationalisation": In support of General Education

Of rigorous "Humanisation" over mere "Vocationalisation": 
in support of General Education

(Or all after reducing units in "General Education" to 21 from 45
 in the University of the Philippines,
And the clamour to oppose its "change")

Well, at first, this person thinks it is "safe" to say that Philippine education nowadays is nothing but a mere preparation for the youth to became trainable for cheap labour.

With policies tailored to the demands of international job market, it seems that education has becoming a mere quality control that requires students to meet certain requirements not according to the youth's idealistic desires but those the demands of vested interests. In it these youths are becoming less human and more of a machine whose lives meant to obey and work for the order.

And with the issue on removing or decreasing units in General education all in the name of K12 and its subsequent vocationalisation is not limited in a premier national university like the University  of the Philippines. It is nationwide in scale that affects both state and in private tertiary level education, thanks to these compradore educators and "technocrats" whose view leaned towards globalisation, Atlanticism, and its intensification of Occidentosis against students and people in general.
It may sound unusual at first, given that most people think that the premier national university is known for its 45 unit program, gaining to have a reputation as one of the qualities every UP student carries with; however, with a present situation such as reducing to 21 units, affects not just education in general but the molding of a student in itself.

For as according to Gerardo Lanuza, he said:

"What defeated UP General Education are not the sound philosophical arguments nor pedagogical concerns! What killed UP Diliman GE is the sheer overwhelming number of those who want to scale it down so they can be specialists! Max Weber laments these “last humans” in this long civilizational development" that the scaling down of GE will produce: "narrow specialists without mind, pleasure-seekers without heart..."

And like similar situations like calendar shifts, deregulation, commercialisation, and tying education to the labour market as dictated by neoliberal and Atlanticist interests, reducing or even removing "General Education" makes education itself far from creating a future wherein character is developed with intellect.
But instead reduces them into cogwheels the system benefits from it. For sure would notice that in a student who supposed to reason in the name of academic freedom and progressive instruction are rather end spoon fed and contented to a cycle wherein they are reciting from their textbooks and not expressing out of their thoughts during a discourse or a debate. And one would also even notice that some if not few have the thoughts to make research "as if telling a story" what more of putting practise especially in courses that requires good foundations as such.

However, in spite of its benefits such as acquiring a student a broader view of  its environment and social relationships, having an order whose policies tailored according to globalisation and Atlanticism sees a curriculum that humanises as unnecessary for a college student but instead invoke an utilitarian idea such as vocationalisation or opting those at an early age to take school or simply stop schooling and "take a trade", content in low wages and month long contracts. Sorry to say so but in living in a semifeudal-semicolonial order, isn't it that true enough? To become cogwheels in a dilapidated "machine" manned by corrupted technocrats and officials alike?

After all, its apologists favouring that goddamn change agree that having "General Education" in college level is irrelevant be it because of K12 or because students has to focus on its "major subjects"; and 302 professors voted in favour of reucing its units as those of 43 who chose to uphold the original 45-unit GE. The latter knows that besides providing a humanistic foundation, having a 45-unit "General Education" means a rigorous molding of a student to someone who, in spite of having a science course, is also able to understand fully the society and its people, to be human at first and its profession second.

Also to think that in spite all the bullshit that has affected Philippine education (not just UP but the enture commercialised, colonialised education in general), may all be reminded that education is not just a product to be graded based on its exportability as supervisors looking for the quality product within the quality control room. The question in this post is not on being able to graduate and work immediately but on the quality everyone get from what they pay to the institution to become better citizens in the future.

But at the end of the day, one would think or ask that everyone had their youthful years spent just to be taught on "how to work" without having better foundations and be graduated as spineless citizens? Say "yes" when needed even when what you meant is "no", or remain silent and ask another question out of escaping from that inconvenient "it"; but work and work alone does not really gain understanding on what one is working for, for not all work, no matter how it is "highly paid" does not translate to fun. For sure everyone knows that they are not puppets in a play if not characters who has roles to partake and lines to say. And although true that subjects like Humanities, History, Filipino, even Logic and Reasoning extends years in school, General Education is an important in the educational system for it gives a better understanding of the structure of the society as a whole and not just the technicalities of it. It is important for it gives soul to education.

And education in every sense without soul is like a boat in a dry land.

Anyway, most does not care about it, they just "move on"; only to realise that they are less of a human and more of a beast of burden. Soon it will be more neoliberal "reforms" affecting Philippine education. If all countries follow the trimestral model the Philippines may follow suit. If all countries does paying students with loans with high interest rates the Philippines will also follow suit.

And no wonder why protests happen no matter how "justifiable" or even "beneficial" a goddamned policy is.