The Irony in Lifelong Learning Programs
Who among us are born with silver spoon in their mouths? Or do you belong to a well-off family who can afford the most expensive tuition fees of the most popular schools? If you are, then consider yourself super-blessed because I know you can just point your finger to the course or discipline that interests your eye and not your heart in any schools in the country or even anywhere in the world. Getting education is perhaps just like a commodity to you but for most people in the world the chance to learn is almost zero because their main concern is to earn the cost of the next meal on their tables. According to World Bank, 17% of people in the developing world live in poverty in 2011 at $1.25 dollars a day which is around 1,422.56 in Korean won or 55.46 in Philippine peso as of this date. 1,422.56 Korean won can buy a cone of your favorite ice cream and maybe two or three packs of noodles for 55.46 Philippine peso. In relation to this, how would we expect for people living under the poverty line to engage in lifelong learning?
During my time in school, teaching was the easiest and perceived as the undervalued course to take in college and hearing criticisms like “bakit teacher lang ang kukunin mo?” was normal and the usual answer would be “kasi may kakilala si mader sa Division Office or ninong ko ang Mayor kaya mabilis ako makapasok”. Lifelong learning programs weren’t visible in the town where I came from so learning after high school was continued in college. After graduating in education, taking and passing the licensure examination for teachers would be next and then off they teach.
Can anyone remember if teachers in the 1980s had to comply with continuing education requirement? Section 3 Article IV of the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers states that, “Every teacher shall participate in the Continuing Professional Education(CPE) program of the Professional Regulation Commission, and shall pursue such other studies as will improve his efficiency, enhance the prestige of the profession, and strengthen his competence, virtues, and productivity in order to be nationally and internationally competitive.” It is also known as the Philippines Professionalization Act of 1994 or RA 7836 so it means that prior to 1994, CPE requirement wasn’t present, right?
When CPE requirement has been around for 20 years (1994-2015), has it been properly monitored? Do all teachers comply to this diligently? How about teachers from remote barangays? How do they comply with this requirement? In the Philippines, I believe that public teachers are re-assigned in various posts especially in rural areas with novice teachers start in the remotest part of the town. In this case, how could novice teachers learn from experienced ones? I think it goes back to teachers working in solitary when a novice teacher is assigned in the remotest school. We could be lucky if the novice teacher has developed self-motivation to learn further through. Personal characteristics of a teacher are paramount factors to engagement in lifelong learning and of them is willingness and motivation to learn. (Whyte, 1078), (Lauridsen and Whyte, 1980). The irony according to Dirk Van Damme(2014) the result conducted by International Adult Literacy Survey(IALS) is that adult education reinforced the gap between the people with education and people without education. More highly literate people participated as compared to those who have lower literacy. What does it mean?
Just in time, a friend I met coincidentally while in the grocery store and later had coffee with last week sent a message to my inbox today. (Name hidden for privacy reason.)
I can say that she’s a highly literate kind of person as a licensed teacher and has a masters degree. She then enrolled in a university for further studies and graduated last year. And I really admire her enthusiasm to continue learning despite her achievements. Could it be that the observation of the International Adult Literacy Survey(IALS) has truth in it? Be the judge and reflect on what a famous person has to say above – Albert Einstein(March 14, 1879 – March 14, 2015) Happy 136th Birthday, Sir. 🙂
(oni, S. (2012). Lifelong learning – Education and training. FIG Working Week 2012, Rome, Italy.
Van Damme, D.(2014).Does lifelong learning perpetuate inequalities in educational opportunities? http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.kr/2014/11/does-lifelong-learning-perpetuate.html