I watch Eat Bulaga in the past because of their Bulagaan (University) portion where their hosts get to sing answers to general knowledge questions. Today, I watch the show because of the Pinoy Henyo game. I find it funny and interesting when game contestants shout out ‘Oo, hind, puede’ to questions that would lead the guesser to the right answer.
A few weeks ago, the contestants were varsity players from different universities in Manila. I find it disturbing that a number of the contestants do not know where certain places are. Argentina was thought to be in Europe. Alaska was also in Europe and France was in North America. While many of the players accurately guessed the answer and gave the correct prompts, it is dismal that there were University student contestants who do not know where Argentina, France and Alaska are located! Where were these students when geography was taught? I know, they might have been practicing their game but a revisit to the level of knowledge university students should be done. I am also aware that I could not generalize the three players to the whole population of college students but I think it’s time that we should extend the number of years a Filipino student should enroll in primary and secondary education before he or she enters college.
I have been teaching for many years in the tertiary level and yes, I had brilliant as well as poor students. However, I am quite sure that they could have accurately guessed where France, Argentina and Alaska are found. But it is also my observation that there are students who are ill equipped to enter college. I believe one’s high school education plays an important role in the preparedness of students to enroll in tertiary education. The longer you prepare students, the better they will fare in college. This would entail more classrooms, more books and hiring of more teachers which will all equate to more budget for the public sector. I don’t believe that our government don’t have enough money to spare for education. It should be the first in the list for budget allocation and not the other way around. If it means scrimping on other government expenditures, then it should be done. I am a supporter of the belief that education is a proven tool for social mobilization.
When all is said and done, I hope that in the future- we don’t come across college students who think Alaska is in Europe.