Living in The Philippines > Education in the Philippines

Education in the Philippines (revisited)

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In another recent thread, BudM commented thus:

--- Quote from: BudM on April 14, 2018, 05:16:26 PM ---  I am glad my kid is not going to school in the US and that is one of the main reasons I never got married and had a kid in the US.  I did want to be responsible for bringing a kid in to the kind of crap that goes on now.

--- End quote ---

Some time ago, Coleman started a thread under this topic about education in the Phils.  It drew about 10 comments, most not painting a rosy picture of education in the Phils.

On another forum, someone made a comment about kids today feeling entitled and being generally worthless. Another poster came back with:

Lately, seeing those teens from the Parkland, FL school where the shootings occurred, has given me some hope. They speak so well and eloquently, not saying 'like' or 'ahhh' every other word. Even under all the stress they suffered, and at public speaking events, they seem to be holding it together. Whether you agree with their message or not, you have to admit these kids are no worthless sluggards. I hope the future is with kids like that.

The comment caught my attention because it reflects exactly what I had been thinking watching the same reports out of Parkland.  Perhaps just an anomaly and the rest of the kids in the US will never amount to anything.

I have lived in Canada, the US and the Phils.  My experience with education in the Phils is very limited. The son of my ex went to school in Tuguegarao and came with us when we moved to Quezon City, where he started high school.  He struggled with that.  His experience there confirmed what I already suspected.  He knew almost nothing.  I asked my girl how he could have passed every year. She explained that making a cash donation to the school would ensure a pass to the next grade.

One reason I have had for not returning to live in the PI since our son was born was concern for his education and his future.  Not only am I concerned about the overall quality of education, I am even more concerned about opportunity and the end of the process.  But this is where I really have little knowledge.  Just some guesswork.

It appears to me that lots and lots of kids in the PI attain university degrees.  But I also see a lot of those grads struggling to find employment, much less employment at what I would call "US-style" wages of say $5,000 a month or so (which is not exactly big bucks in the US today).  Yes, I see some who work in Makati offices earning very handsome amounts, but, as near as I can figure, those are people who have "connections" or are part of the PI elite.  Maybe I am wrong, but it does not appear that an ordinary Filipino (or FilAm) kid can go to school, earn top marks, and have any assurance of getting a job paying US-style wages.  They can work, if at all, for about P20,000 a month (if that), or seek to go abroad.

As for going abroad, perhaps some here can tell me, what are the chances of a FilAm kid, raised and educated in the Phils, of going abroad to the US or other western country, having their credentials recognized, and gaining employment at the same level they would have had they been born and raised in that western country?

So it is that perception of things that has prevented me from seriously considering a move back to the PI until our son completes high school.  But, as I say, it's a perception and I could be dead wrong.  Our kid appears to be fairly bright and I want him to have the best opportunities possible.  If we lived in the PI, I suppose I have sufficient resources that he could live out his days there and not have to work, but that's hardly what I want for him - to live off daddy for life. 

I'll also observe that the schooling my son has received here in Canada thus far is decidedly advanced from what I received here long years ago.  His math skills (in grade 8 at age 13) are now where mine were in grade 11.  His knowledge of geography is broad.  Recently the school superintended showed up at his school with flash cards of world flags.  Our son was able to immediately identify 162 out of 195 country flags.  I was never able to do that.  He knows world politics.  We recently returned from a road trip to Los Angeles.  We covered over 3,000 miles.  He knew something of every place we went.  In WA, we went to a restaurant that claimed to serve the best steaks in WA, or the world, or whatever.  I made the comment to our son that the steaks served were so good that President Trump was likely a regular customer.  He replied that that was unlikely, because WA is a democratic state, just like Oregon and California we would be visiting next.  He could tell me how Americans voted in most states.  I must confess to not being able to come close to matching that knowledge.  And my point here is not that our kid is some superstar; he is not.  Just an ordinary kid.  But he is receiving a good education, which includes teachings about the world.  Is the calibre of education in the Phils on a par today? 

Obviously some, like BudM, have given this vexing matter serious consideration.  I would welcome comments from those who are raising and educating kids in the Phils as to what they foresee for those kids.  If there are some who have raised kids there to adulthood, how have those kids fared?

Well, our wives are products of that same school system, I think my wife and the many other wives and other Filipinos I have met along the way, have turned out just fine, of course some have not but many who did not, also did not attend/finish school. 

As for those educated in the U.S. and other countries, I have met a lot of people during my lifetime, who has not, some turned out okay and others turned out not so great, they all went to the same school system, so I think there is a lot more to the shaping of a person than just the schools people attend.

As far as my son, I have already decided what he will like to do.  No, just kidding.  When he finishes high school and is 18, then of course, he is an adult.  But, I am going to do my damnest in influencing him to join the US Military.  Hopefully, it does not go downhill more than it has and in 14 years, maybe make a halfway decent rebound.  If not, and he has to resort to something else, well, the Philippine Military is getting now some halfway decent wages for a Philippine economy.

I have lost almost all faith in colleges and universities.  I could not care less if he wants further education after high school.  I only have an AA, which I got 20 years after I finished high school.  It took me a few years since I was only going part-time and I had plenty of time to see what was going on and decided that the college and/or any further college education could take a flying leap.  And the reason for that was not because it was not doing anything for me as I already had the job I would have the rest of my employment.  It was because I realized that beyond high school institutions were becoming too political and panty azz.  Yeah, maybe I could have gotten more money somewhere along the way with further education but I was no longer concerned about that for what it would cost me.

And now elementary and high schools are going the same way.  So, my boy, is going to be forced by me, to stay here until he is old enough to take off.  I hope he does not want a college education here or the US.  Although, I would help him out with it, I do not agree with what they have become and that is the besides the spiraling costs contributed to the overpaid faculties causing them to be among other things, a money pit.

That is all I will say for now.  Except that as far as the schools are here, from what I have seen, there are good and bad.  I have a nephew and niece who had stayed with us while they were in high school.  In a big city high school.  I heard a lot about what goes on at it.  Gang mentality and all that crap and lack of teachers having control of the classroom and students.  Well, the nephew seems to have learned quite a bit but is lacking in understanding some English.  The niece seems to have spent too much time on the social horizon and although she picked up English alright, she lacks knowledge of Philippine history and a little other stuff.  Now, we have our Yaya's daughter who two years ago, was going to college down in the province.  She was half way through her first year and quit.  I still do not know what happened and have not tried to get it out of her.  She has just been working for us since mid 2016.  She went to high school in the province and is a very bright girl and if I was to get her and the other two (that went to PNHS) together, she would run circles around them.  And that is with English too.

This is really all for now.  And I am going to supplement my son's education here with good quality online courses and I already know of a young guy, who is on his way to being a teacher, who has volunteered to work as a tutor (on the side) for him in science if I want.

Lee, I am offering no comment about how Filipinos educated in the PI have turned out.  My wife has a very limited education because she was denied the opportunity for same.  She is intelligent, but uneducated.  Not her fault and, in my assessment, she turned out "just fine" despite some considerable adversity in growing up.  However, her income-earning capacity is modest.  But she will always have my resources to draw upon. 

The focus of my concern is for the financial future of kids raised and educated in the Phils.  That focus is not really so much on the suggestion that a PI education is inferior.  I can accept that some schools there turn out more erudite, socially adjusted, worldly and just plain smart kids than seen in western countries. We are raising our son in Canada.  By virtue of growing up and going to school here, if he completes a university education, works hard and does well, he will have a fair shot at earning an income in the range of USD5,000 per month while still in his twenties.  Many earn far more by age 30.  If he follows in my footsteps and becomes an attorney, he could easily be making $100,000/yr. by age 30.

My question is, were he to be raised and educated in the RP, would be have the same income-earning capacity and opportunity?  Could he reasonably expect to be earning USD5,000 per month in the Phils shortly after leaving school?  If not, could he easily go abroad, say to Canada, the U.S., or elsewhere, and earn in such an amount?  Would the fact that he was educated in the Phils reduce his chances when compared to the "locals", in Canada, the US, or some other western country?

I may be mistaken, in part because it's a long time since I lived in the Phils, but it strikes me that $5,000-a-month or better jobs are scarce in the Phils, unless, perhaps, one is in the elite class there or tapped into it, which many very educated and smart Filipinos do not seem to be.  I can name Filipinos I have met who are my superiors in education and intellect, but they earn a fraction of what I do.  Are they just some kind of anomaly?

So, leaving aside some of the vagaries of quality of education (I'll accept that some schools there turn out graduates that would score far higher on standardized tests than students from the US or anywhere else in the world), what assurances do PI graduates have of earning on a par with those who gain their credentials elsewhere?  As I said, I do not know.  I am curious to hear from some who have direct knowledge.

BudM, your post was made while I was still replying to Lee.

What you say makes sense.  I think the US military would be an excellent choice if you can cultivate some interest.


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