Our educational system needs a revamp and fixing it by adding another year to college education is not the way to go.

Writing as a person who has taught college freshman courses, I can readily tell that the problem is not with college education but with the 10 years of basic education that should have prepared students for the rigors and demands of college education.

For example, language skills are best developed during formative years. Most of the mistakes that we observe in college student’s writing could not be credited as mere lapses since most are recurring and that students are apparently unconscious about their non-standard use of the language. And, given that I teach a cross-disciplinary field, I am also aware about their lack of mastery of other areas such as history and natural sciences. While I can only write about my experiences, I’m sure that colleagues from other areas would be able to share similar experiences.

Again, speaking from personal experience, the problem, I believe is in the quality of our basic education system. I have been blessed to receive above-average basic education and I have to admit that they’ve prepared me well enough to engage the demands of college education to the point of breezing through most of the GE courses prescribed by UP’s general education program.

We need reforms in basic education. We need to develop solid academic and scholarship fundamentals in students. We don’t need a bridge program that tries to remedy all the faulty knowledge and attitudes that would already have become part of the student’s consciousness through 10 years of basic education.

Forget about the Bologna process. Officials should first recognize the great differences in the educational systems and standards of European countries to ours before they start patterning our educational system to the Europeans. Mind you that there’s a great discrepancy between European and our university programs. Some topics that are reserved in our doctorate programs are just part of the lower undergrad courses in European universities.

So what’s with this “10+2+3 formula” (6 for elementary, 4 for high school, 2 for “pre-university” and 3 for specialization) that they’re reviewing in CHED? What will be involved in this 2 years of “pre-university.” So what will be involved in these 2 years? General education? Soft-skills? And wouldn’t this “pre-university” be just an acknowledgment of the failure of basic education? Unless of course, this pre-university focuses on more advance topics (which, if so, would again suffer from the students’ general lack of mastery of basic education).

If this new policy ever gets approved, it’d just be an ingenious solution to a problem that should have never existed.

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