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Thursday, September 15, 2005

All about seminar-workshops

This morning, as usual, before going to my office, I passed by the faculty lounge to have a brief chat with my friends. I chanced upon reading a news article from Philippine Star that says our students did poorly with regard to Science and Math by international standards. Students in Manila did fairly better than their counterparts in the provinces. Once again, this poor showing in these semingly important subjects was attributed to the lack of good teachers as one of the culprits. Several solutions are being thought of to address the issue. I read that one of the solutions is sending these teachers to seminars and workshops to upgrade their skills.

Now, I have just attended a seminar-workshop on drug counseling at a hotel along Taft Avenue several weeks ago. As is always the case, I have been disappointed with some of the participants. Of all the people I can sit with, I was unfortunate to share the table with two middle aged ladies who did not care what was going on during the lecture part. They kept on talking and talking about mundane things. I was so pissed I wanted to shout, SHUT UP will you? These were teachers from public schools who, I am sure had been sent there using tax payers money. I know because that was one of the topics of their discussion. I did not mean to eavesdrop but I can't help hearing what they were talking about. They wouldn't even whisper. This is not the first time I had experienced teachers of this kind. I once attended a seminar on the Liabilities of Teachers and was disappointed to share seats with people who would not give a damn about their seatmates and talk in their natural voices making you lose an entire thought of what the speaker is saying. "What did you eat? The fish was a little undercook, wasn't it?" I wonder how these teachers react to talkative students?

What is my point? The point is, if we would like to upgrade the ability of teachers, we cannot do it via two day seminar-workshops but by a thorough training program, which, of course, would be a little expensive. But who cares, its our children's welfare at stake. It is about time we start spending wisely.

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Blogger Bloggers United said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous sachiko said...

you have spam commenters?

dito rolls, public teachers are secured for life. some of them chose teaching because of once you're in,you are there till retirement. but lately,things are changing..there are talks to base the pay and promotions thru performance and effectiveness,just like the system most private schools have.and they have a kind of rehabilitation center for unruly,uneffective,problem teachers.

12:18 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

delete all these spam commenters.

if i may express my observation, these
people sent by government to attend seminars are only after the certificates for evalution purposes.

Yong iba diyan, di umaattend talaga, sa intro lang at bigayan ng certificates.

kaya sa mga worshops, mga riders ang iba sa group effort.

11:28 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

ako nga pala si batjay united. ngyehehe.

sarap ngang sapakin yung mga nagpupunta sa training tapos di naman nakikinig. it defeats the purpose of why they are there. tama si cat, yung iba nga just after the certificates.

naalala ko tuloy yung mga customers namin sa asia-pacific. sasabihin sa mga boss nila, 1 week training sa singapore pero pupunta lang sila sa amin ng mga 2 days tapos yung extra 3 days nasa thailand.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous vonjobi said...

i don't know that a training program would be enough. the problem is really with our educational system. some teachers were taught by teachers who had no business becoming teachers.

this is probably because of the recruitment problem: you won't get good teachers if you can't pay them well. and so we have teachers like the ones you wrote about--they talk a lot but can't be bothered to listen.

finally, the government can't or won't invest in education. the private sector initiatives give me some hope, but... hay naku...

9:06 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

malapit na kong maningil sa ads ninyo ha.

Sachiko That makes sense doesn't it? Paying according to ability. From what i heard from my parents, Japanese people have a high regard for teachers. Senseis tawag sa kanila, right?

Cathy Totoo ka. Yung iba attend the seminars jsut to get the certificates. Sino naman ang binola nila nun kaya?

Batjay Mas marami pang lakwatsa kesa sa totoong seminar no? hehe

Bonjovi Don't despair. With how bad business is, maraming pumupunta sa education ngayon. It's more stable kasi. Kaya lang, yun nga, sa private sector sila pumupunta kadalasan. Or worse, papunta ng States or elsewhere. hay naku nga.

4:21 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

hindi lang naman mga teachers ang gumagawa niyan. mga professionals din na iba, gawa din yan.

kaya nga ako naging komikera dahil sa mga seminar workshops na yan. Pag ako spiker, lumilibot ako. Pinatatayo ko sila, inhale, exhale, may pagkakataon pang may stand-up comedy pa ako.

In-between serious topics, nay tsismis ako ng artista, gobyerno.

At sa huli kong pwede, nay production number ang grupo. Kesehodang maging mga palingkera sila noh.

9:34 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Cathy Totoo rin yan. Minsan kasi nasa speaker na rin kung magaling siyang magmotivate. Mas kenkoy speaker, mas maraming nakikinig. Sige nga't kung maisipan mong umuwi dito e hahanapan kita ng topic. hehehe

8:46 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

off topic,

in case u did not open your e-mail yet, tenks for allowing me to publish your article about your daughter in my Journey of the Soul unbder family values and parenting.

9:22 AM  
Blogger transience said...

i applaud the little steps the academe takes to harness the potential of teachers. however, rolly, you're right. if change is in order, the higher-ups must push for intensive training as well as a thorough examination of the system itself.

8:30 AM  
Blogger eruannie said...

tito rolly, maganda ito pang PTN

11:12 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Transience Unfortunately, intensive training would entail huge sums of money and we know that education suffers from the budget allocation most often.

Eruannie Pwede but I don't want to monopolize the board. Especially when it is me who is managing it. :-) PAg wala na lang akong mai-post siguro. Thanks.

12:31 PM  
Blogger joyce said...

I share your sentiments, Sir. I guess some would attend seminars (and would even create one at that!) just for the sake of getting credits for promotion or an item...tsk, tsk. Ibigay na lang nila sana yung opportunity dun sa gusto talagang matuto, dun sa may huwisyo.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous bayi said...

These insensitive teachers need a lesson in EQ to better understand the needs of others. The problem is, they would probably talk so much in the EQ lesson that they fail to learn anything about EQ!

8:18 PM  
Blogger Mec said...


people keep lamenting about the poorer quality of education and students... but few have actually done something for the teachers...

they have got to be re-trained and re-taught

they have got to be re-disciplined and re-committed

they have got to be rehabilitated in a way that what's really wrong gets addressed

only then can we dare hope for our children!

1:06 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Joyce Oo nga e. Kainis no?

Bayi True. If only they would listen.

Mec When will the government learn? I hope it's not a long time coming.

9:11 AM  
Blogger watson said...

Hello Tito Rolly!

You have a nice blog here. Check this out.

Bwehehehe. Yep, more often than not, these attendees go for the sake of having something else to do other than be in the office, and get freebies. How we make such sessions fruitful is still an issue because it's in the attitude of the attendees

5:05 PM  
Anonymous bayi said...


the point you wish to make is obvious and i can't agree more with you.

i know that in many government evaluation systems, they consider not just your performance but also the number and types of courses you have attended before a promotion. hence, there are perpetually those annoying "participants" who take the opportunity to get a couple of days away from work, enjoy the wonderful food served by the hotels, chatter with their friends and "help" the taxpayers spend their money. In this sense, sending these people to attend seminars alone won't help.

Firstly, there must be a hunger in the participants to want more knowledge and skills to better themselves so that they can help others. This creates a conducive mind to absorb new knowledge and skills.

Secondly, consider a workshop where some of the activities and teaching methods are interactive and where the participants are required to do "something", rather than just listen. Participation and involvement promotes better understanding and remembering of the new skills acquired. The participants get some "experience", having done it before, even if the activity was on a micro scale or even if the activity had been simulated.

Thirdly, were the participants chosen on merit and requirement or was the choice random or based on seniority?

Fourthly, are the participants required to give feedback on the seminar/workshop attended. The feedback form should be quite comprehensive, offering comments about the speaker(s), the new ideas learnt and how they intend to apply these ideas. The person scrutinizing the feedback should check with the participants one month later to see if any of the ideas learnt have been implemented.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous bayi said...


i would suggest you delete your spam comments. once they know they don'y get free advertising, they will probably stop. otherwise they may keep coming.

2:12 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Watson Natakot ako sa umpisa mo. Akala ko spammer ka na rin. E ang hirap mag delete ng spam. Inaaral ko pa. Balik lang ng balik yung dalwang spammers ko.

Oo nga. Minsan masarap umatend ng ganyang seminar. Tutal libre naman. Hindi ka na nagtatrabaho, lakwatsa galore ka pa.

Bayi Amen to everything you said. Hopefully, people will learn that we mean serious business in seminars.

I'm trying to delete them now. My comment box says they're deleted but I have yet to see them gone from my blog.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tama ka. We must start spending wisely if we really want to move forward.

Walang quick fix with the current situation of our educational system.


6:13 AM  
Anonymous bugsybee said...

Tito Rolly, if I may add my "dalawang sentimos" - I think some teachers are like this because they think that seminars are a waste of time. Yet they must attend "because it is required", because - like in the school where I used to work - no certificates for workshops or seminars, lower performance ratings which are used for promotions. If you ask me, they should give these teachers some quiz or competence exam every so often so they'll appreciate seminars and workshops better.
The last time I attended a workshop in Manila, these are some of the things I discovered: (1) Others came to have their attendance checked and left right after they had logged in, (2) Others stayed but like your two teachers, talked all throughout the sessions; (3) Others slept; (4) Others made a running comment - negative comments at that - about the speaker ("Oo, alam ko na 'yan" or about his/her diction or fashion sense) and (5) a young man even had an iPod plugged on to his ears throughout the entire seminar. Up to now, I can't make up my mind as to which of the above irritated me the most.

1:22 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Tukayo Wala talagang quick fix sa lahat ng nangyayari sa ating bansa. We all have to pay the price. Kailangan, tulung-tulong.

Bugsy You're two cents' worth is a treasure. Yes, the number of certificates earned in seminars attended usually count as a basis for promotion. Never mind what kind of seminar it was or whether or not you learned something from it. Giving a test? hmmm, that's a good idea. However, wouldn't this be similar to those who have to "echo" the seminar? The thing is, these attendees rely on the kits or hand-outs given by the speaker and from there, work on their own pre-conceived ideas. Mabuti sana kung tama, no?

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Morisot said...

You know there was a survey of 45 countries. It was more of an academic test. The Philippines ranked 42.

To me.. theres no such thing as a bad student, only bad teachers. And I think the only thing that can save the pile of mess this country is in is through a really good education.

Great blog I must say. :)

11:01 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Morisot Thanks for reading and commenting. Re "only bad teachers" hmmm, maybe that is a generalization. There are laaazzzzyyy students that no matter what motivation you can come up with, they just won't participate. Education is always a two way street. Both participants should give their all in order for it to be successful. But yes, teachers should find different ways to make a student tick.

Aren't you a blogger yet?

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Morisot said...

I agree totally about the lazy thing. The only reason why students get lazy is because they're just not interested about the subject matter. And well, for me a really good teacher can tweak that.

Thats my opinion anyway. Yeah, I am a blogger but I its embarrasing I havent updated in a gazillion years.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous bugsybee said...

Tito Rolly, the quiz would not be like the "echo" (oh, how I blew my top when I was told I would be sent to an accounting update in Baguio but that I had to "echo" the seminar). The quiz would test if the teacher was really listening - I was thinking of the organizer itself giving the test and sending the results directly to the administrators (para walang daya!). The "echo" is an exercise in futility. There are certain exchanges in the seminar between the speaker and the participants which are impossible to capture and yet you learn a lot from these exchanges. What the speaker delivers is easy to report about because this is usually already structured or organized and very often, they give handouts. But the open forum that follows would be difficult to report about and yet there are important points to be learned there. Also, how can you expect a non-expert to echo the topics taken up? What is the professional integrity of a participant who is not an expert? I think that "echoing" is a poor attempt to justify a school's refusal to spend for seminars/workshops for teachers.

12:28 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Morisot Yes, a good teacher would know how to motivate his/her students. It's no easy task considering the set-up we have in our educational system.

So, why wouldn't you share your blogspace? I tried going to it the first time and ended up with a deadend. I, too, have not written anything since this last entry. sigh!

Bugsy Precisely! What would come out of those "echo" seminars?It's not like, "you've seen one, you've seen all" kind of a thing. And besides, what if the one to give the echo is that who wasn't listening. You may end up even more confused or you didn't get to learn anything as the one doing the echo is limited to his/her own understanding and biases.

9:44 AM  

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