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Crisis in Values

One of the philosophies behind the K+12 Philippine Education Reform is UNESCO’s claim that education should respond to the crisis in values that afflicts the world today. Education has to seriously deal with issues of morality and spirituality. Educators and educational institutions have a crucial role in the formation of the youth and eventually of the leaders of governments and nations. In the Philippines, in particular, we badly need government leaders and workers with strong foundation and personal integrity to fight temptations of bribery, of graft and corruption. Such temptations are gigantic – dazzling and glittering as gold, persistent and unrelenting as the devil – that whoever is confronted by it would fall and crumble down, if all that one developed in school was only how to become an efficient accountant or a brilliant lawyer or a competent engineer or a proficient teacher. Intelligence and competence are not tantamount to honesty and personal integrity.   

In a workshop of educators and administrators of the region regarding K+12, one issue that was brought up was the existing evaluation system – performance of students and faculty, and track record of colleges and universities. Student evaluation is primarily based on their competence and preparedness to pursue a career in line with their course, the level of their skills and cognitive abilities, the scores they receive in academic examinations and board examinations. Faculty performance is based on promptness and quality of syllabus, examination questions, and their involvement in community outreach and research. Accreditation and recognition of colleges and universities are based on quality of instruction, appropriateness of academic programs, sufficiency of facilities, and passing rate in board examinations. As a results students, faculty, colleges and universities benchmark their targets and outputs against the criteria set in the existing evaluation systems. Unfortunately, there are no concrete indicators on how to assess the level of integrity, honesty and truthfulness of students, faculty and administrators. Admittedly, it is rather difficult to assess and measure integrity, honesty or uprightness. But unless these factors are not incorporated in the evaluation system of colleges and universities, schools just have to wait for incidents of cheating, theft, immoral act, or sexual harassment among their faculty and students in order to discern that particular individuals have to be sent out of the institution or have to undergo special formative programs.