By Prof. Tomas T. Talledo
Truly education goes beyond schooling for the total number of hours a person stays in the classroom is shorter when compared with her entire lifespan. To live a meaningful life, education aims the becoming of a person. The person shapes herself into a beautiful project through education. The hubris of classroom teachers is in thinking that they are really significant, if not determinant in student’s life. Yet how come the teachers of Marcos were unnamed; the teachers of Duterte are unheard about; and who were the teachers of those who commit crimes against humanity? However, teachers of the famous and successful such as the Pope or of President Obama were sought after by the media to feature? Is this not spurious attention on a balance scale?!
The academic E.D. Hirsh tells of “school transmitted” values like civic consciousness, the sense of being a citizen of a polity, that school system’s values consciously conveys distinct from those conveyed by narrow entities such as family, church, peers. It is in this sense that schools are often exaggeratedly viewed as responsible in the transmission of values.
But currently, we catch values, skills and knowledge from various agencies of society itself. Thus again, education is broader than schooling: i.e. “we don’t allow schooling to interfere with our education,” seasoned activists remind us always.
If classroom teachers are by vocation not educators — as they behave like moviehouse clerks, fish technologists, unimaginative grammarians, frustrated beauty pageant candidates — they more likely lack solid philosophy of education. They don’t or can’t appreciate existential questions: “Who are we in this lifeworld?” “What’s our purpose in being here and now?” “What’s the meaning of being (evolved or created as) human in society?” May heaven have mercy on us as they now occupy high positions in our academe.
Philosophy of education refers to that human energies that are fully “life giving”.
Upon hearing that Sec. of Education Leonor Briones was tested positive of virus infection this news suddenly become the “Aha!” the Gestalt moment of those who are into teaching ang learning profession. It suddenly appears now that everyone’s chance of survival rumble at random with what class sessions remain in the school calendar.
Secretary Briones will now undergo her personal journey, her period of genuine education while in confinement, clarifying for herself what is most basic after all: for the school bureacracy finishing its work calendar or the ineffable revaluation of human life? Ah, the choice she will make marks her philosophy of education.
So, what for are the remaining months of the academic calendar in a government school? Shall its energies be devoted to catch up with the ASEAN Quality Assurance? To climb higher in the ladder of international ranking among research institutions? To aggressively wrestle and finally win as recipient of the highest PBB amongst other government institutions?
I am, however, convinced that our educational institutions convert itself into collectivities of self reflection within the remaining academic calendar. A spark of education finally happens in schools. To be the Symposium of human life’s ultimate sense. To become the human community of learning and teaching of commonality, of communion, of communism in order to survive the current Scourge./www.panaytoday.net
Prof. Talledo is a faculty of the Department of Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) Miag-ao Campus.