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Back to School, Azkalitos, and DLP

June 6 marked the opening of school year 2011 to 2012. Once again, we focus our attention on education. We hear the same litany of decades-old issues: lack of classrooms, substandard quality of instruction, lack of teachers, low salaries, increased tuition fees and miscellaneous charges, etc.

But the most basic issue, especially among our economically challenged sector, is getting into school. And here allow me to share yet another football story.

“Give me at least two players. No, I’ll send over my coach to scout from among your players,” Letran’s Athletic Director Fr. Victor Calvo, O.P. told my brother Fr. Pablo Carpio, Assistant Parish Priest of Buhi, during their alumni homecoming in UST last January.

As it turned out, instead of two only, five of our Azkalitos as we call them were selected for the Letran Manila High School Football Varsity. They will be joining another player to make a total of six Azkalitos. As players, they will enjoy free tuition and fees, free board and lodging, and other benefits. They are: Sentenaryo San Antonio, Dhynee Jay San Pascual, Christian Orly Horlador, Lester Laguitan, Joshua Espinar, and Huey Piao.

Our other players now in college in Manila with football scholarships include Nikko Ricafrente, Nino Azanes, Jeffrey Orada, and Sergio Umali in Lyceum College; Tommy Iraula in College of St. Benilde, and Ramon Denyl Borigas, Jr. in UST.

Indeed, football is not only a great sport, but it can be one’s vehicle to education and future job. My older brother Nonnoy Carpio “footballed” his way through college in UST. He later became the goalkeeper of our National Team. Thereafter, he coached the UST football varsity. And now, he works as a Development Officer with the Asian Football Confederation headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Next to getting into school is making sure of quality education. The government’s program is K+12, which is the reform of basic education by simply adding two more years. But quantity has never been the solution to quality. Verily, more of the same rotten system! Dagdag sa pahirap.

Here, I am compelled to root yet again for DLP or the Dynamic Learning Program that my sister Dr. Marivic Carpio-Bernido and her husband Dr. Chris Bernido developed in their CVIF high school in Jagna, Bohol.

DLP is a 70-80% activity-based and no-homework program with parallel classes where teachers never teach, but simply facilitate independent learning by each student. By design, DLP should work in any school regardless of socio-economic conditions like extreme shortage in human and material resources in rural areas or access to high technology and high quality resources in urban areas.