|Teddy has to go to school with little Johnny|
I was in my daughter's school last Friday when I came across a story more frightening than The Omen, The Exorcist or Anne Curtis' singing. I was told the Aquino administration is dead set on adding 2 more years to high school.
From all appearances, there's probably a greater chance of Aquino growing more hair than his changing his mind about this. Sadly, only beautiful women can say no to Aquino. His cabinet members and the entire nation must follow his bidding, or else thou shalt be impeached, fired or humiliated during public speeches. Our only comfort is in making fun of his sparsely adorned scalp. Hooray for Philippine democracy.
My brothers, sister and I each only completed 16 years of school but I remember my mom had to pay blood and sweat for every single year. She sold everything from sandwiches to magic beans to send us to school. If she could ride a unicycle she would have if someone paid her to do it.
I only have one kid in school now but every time I get the monthly school statement of accounts, my vision starts to dim, I go partially deaf, and I start speaking gibberish. My fellow parents and I call this the tuition fee syndrome.
It's not just the cost of sending kids to school that's the issue though. They've adjusted the recommended ages for the grade levels too. If kids should ideally be 5 years old when they graduate from Kinder 2, that means Kinder 1 kids should be 4 years old. Kids optionally sent to Nursery class for socialization and skills preparation have to be 3 years old. Toddler classes then will have to accept 1 to 2 year olds.
My youngest will be three years old in a couple of months and he can't talk, thinks everything is edible, still drops little odor-filled pellet surprises when he forgets what the potty is for and thinks he's the Batman. If my kid had to take an entrance exam now for admission in his current state, I know I'd be the first to cry.
Even if admission tests and requirements are scaled down so young kids can pass, parents will still have to pack milk bottles, diapers, baby wipes and teddy bears along with the usual cookies and juice for their kids. That's just another way of saying small kids aren't ready.
Aquino says the Philippines is one of the few countries with just 4 years of high school. We need to add 2 more years to improve the quality of education. Don't we have highly respected Filipino nurses, doctors, educators, chefs and engineers thriving in foreign environments abroad? Aren't these people the products of four year high school programs? It's not in the number of years. It's in the quality of education and in the way we teach kids how to deal with the realities of life.
Are you ready for school little boy? Only if they teach me my ABCs in the Batcave. To the Batcave!