Sunday, July 23, 2006

Who is number 1 - part 2

Surprisingly, I am still receiving comments for a post I made in May, 2005 about a poll made during that time on who is number 1? referring to the top schools in the country today. I will save you the time and say that UP landed on the top spot.

One of the reasons for that post is to say that it would be too easy for a university to land at the top. Should there be a competition on who is the best, which would mean that it is the universtty to go to, all a university or a college has to do is to select its students well. Open it only to the best students through a very rigid entrance examination and should there be students who manage to get in prove not up to par, to weed them out immediately. That ought to do it. That is what UP does. And rightfully so as most of its students are scholars whose education is being paid for by the State. I guess it is imperative that the State takes care of its investment. However, should this be the case with students who are willing to pay an exhorbitant fee for education? Should schools drop them out should their capacity to learn fall short? Maybe, maybe not. Good students do not need very good teachers. They can learn on their own. It is the weak ones that need the best teachers. Those who can motivate them well to perform to their utmost capacity. The good students need good teachers who will challenge them. These teachers may not necessarily be the same kind.

It is unfortunate that education in the country is not accessible to all. It has become expensive that many intelligent individuals could not go to the university of their choice, if ever they can afford to go to college. ONe of my recent commenters lamented that even if he/she passed the UPCAT, he/she decided not to go as daily expenses would be a problem. Since the commenter comes from Isabela, I would assume that included board and lodging. In my response, I said that "if there is a will, there is a way" If he/she is bent on getting a good eduication, he/she can get it anywhere provided he/she is willing to go the extra mile. Reading on your own, keeping abreast on the current trends, etc. and most especially, studying the lessons well. Later on, you can look for scholarships here and abroad. It's just knowing where to look and in this age of computers, it is not really that hard.

Actually,in the end, it does not matter what university or what course one took. It will all boil down to what lessons were learned and how these are being used. Case in point, many politicians or even businessmen, (as politicians have been used as an example quite too often that they are now trite) graduated from the best universities but they got eaten up by their greed and causing us a lot of miseries today. To paraphrase the Bible, "What does it benefit a man to own all the riches in the world and yet, lose his soul?" The ultimate question for me is, "Are you happy or not?"

What it boils down to is that polls on who is number 1 is totally a waste of time. Why? I would suppose that the most valuable thing this information can give is for students to know what school to go to. However, the best schools are not open to everyone. It is only open to those who are already bright and who has the capability to engage in an expensive enterprise. And to think that education is one of the tickets for progress...


cent said...

Good thoughts, Sir Rolly. Let me add that, without contest, (cliche) the number 1 school is still outside the classroom, and (another cliche) the best teacher is still experience.

Yeah, it's not much about the institution we land in, but more of what we pick up and how we make use of the things that we experience along the way.

rolly said...

Cent Amen!

VICKY said...

I agree with what you said a hundred percent. Education is the best investment and the best thing we can ever encourage and support our children to do. It is something that no one can every take away from us anywhere we go all over the world. It's not the school that matters too but it's up to the individual. (although being a U.P. graduate helps a lot!)In Australia the government has a study now pay later plan called HECS- and paying later will also depend on the income you receive from work. Example- if your annual salary is less than $36,000 a year, you are excempt from paying your HECS. I wish there was a similar scheme in the Phils- or is there?

rolly said...

Vicky I think we do. Some schools have student assistance packages. UP has a standardized tuition scheme whereby the tuition fee is dictated by the income of the parents besides the regular scholarship programs.

auee said...

Tito Rolly, I agree with most of what you posted.

Hindi komo UP ka or Ateneo ka you are bound for success (which is also relative). Pero sa Pinas, I experienced first hand that the "brand name" counts a lot to get your foot thru that door. I started working during my last semester in UP Los Banos. I applied in a small software house in Makati & got the job after doing a very simple math exam. At kung magiging honest ako, alam ko na kaya ako natanggap kahit undergrad pa ako ay dahil UP ako & bias sila sa iba.

Thankful ako dun because that's where I started & that company has been very good to me - financially & emotionally as well. I worked there for 4 years & I saw it grow from 20 staff to 300!

Anyway I digress...

BUT! Sa tingin ko din ang dahilan kaya naging mas experienced & reliable akong empleyado (& sa tingin ko naman valued employee) ay dahil sa skills & tenacity ko. Kumbaga kung ang tao ay tamad & walang pangarap, walang abilidad na made-develop -- they will go nowhere. So tama ka, if there's a will, there's a way. The only difference is, good opportunities arrive at different times. At kung yung postie mo nga sabi nakapasa sya ng UPCAT pero mahirap i-maintain ang UP education, totoo yun -- sayang.

I left UP in 1998 & by that time, bawat stude yata may cellphone na, most of my org-mates have cars. UP was slowly becoming elitist & student life was becoming more expensive to maintain. At kahit subsidized ang tuition fee, para maing full scholar ka dapat di kumakain ng maayos ang pamilya mo to be eligible -- meron ba nun? It was an unrealistic criteria. Just another example, tuition namin in late 90's were already 200+Php compared to PUP & other state U's which were only at 20Php!!!

Sorry kung mahaba ito. At mukhang spaghetti na post ko... dami ko kasing gustong sabihin pero sige tahimik na ko. Basta tama ka hehe

Poppycock said...

hi tito rols,

you know my daughter was broken hearted when she didn't make it to UP, so she ended up in de la salle which is where her dad, ate and uncles all went and she is presently on 3rd year of an excellent lit program where she is very happy and shining. happy ending :) aren't your kids there also?

BatJay said...

i've always thought that students whose education is being paid for by the state should serve the state for the first two years after they graduate.

this should be mandatory.

...and they should be placed in all the departments of government - education, health, police, construction.

...and they should be assigned to the remote parts of the country where their talents will be most needed.

it will lessen corruption and make government more responsive to the needs of the people.

rolly said...

auee Tama, minsan ang success is relative. It depends on how many relatives you know who can pull you up. Minsan din, if most of the guys in the administration in a firm is from a certain school, medyo bentahe ka na if you come from that school. But still, let that not disappoint anyone. Patience is a virtue and again, iF there's a will, there's a way. If you want something really bad, work for it. YAn ang mga panuntunan ko sa buhay.

Yes, sinabi ko rin yun sa una kong post. UP has more moneyed students than there are scholars na ata simply because yng mga me pera have all the resources para makapag aral ng husto.

misisp yes, they all studied/studying in La Salle Zobel. My eldest is graduating soon in DLSU while my second child is a scholar at CSB taking up multi-media.

Batjay Magaganda ang mga panukala mo. Ang nakikita ko lang na problema is usually, ang mga scholars natin na sa wala talaga nanggaling financially, would hesitate in doing that as their priority would seem to earn a living for their family. Pero yes, tama ka. Scholars of the State should work mandatorily for the State to further our progress.

cbs said...

i had been away from the phil. academe for so long that this school-ranking issue seems new to me. when i was there the only poll i encountered was of law schools and their criteria, i think, is 1) passing rate at the bar and 2) % share of fresh passers in the employment market.

i think polling of schools is just a part of our continuing fixation with the "best-list": top 100 songs of all time, or 50 best players in pba history - although there is some sense, or even justification, to it if the criteria has tie-up with social mobility. does the school conduct valuable scientific research? what is its contribution to national arts? are literary workshops held consistently? how strong is the faculty?

if u.p. garnered the top place simply because it has the most arduous admission and curriculum, then i will consider it as just another school of the same rank and stature as, say, central luzon state university.

bugsybee said...

Hello Tito Rolly! Wow, I am late for this post (trouble with my computer again makes it hard to go blog-hopping). Anyway, ay you know me, education's my favorite topic.

I agree with you 100% about a good student not really needing a good teacher.

But sorry, I have to disagree about the part that says in the end, it does not matter what school you went to. I used to think that, too ... almost like it's the logical conclusion of "a good student does not really need a good teacher" but my experience in recent years have changed my stand. I have grown more and more disenchanted with the current practice in big, "good" corporations. THEY RARELY GIVE GOOD STUDENTS FROM THE PROVINCES A CHANCE. (Sorry for the caps, Tito Rolly ... I just want to emphasize how angry I am about this.) When my students - and feedback from their employers have confirmed that they're really good - applied with the big ones, they saw how hiring personnel discriminated against those who did not come from the BIG 3: UP, Ateneo and DLSU. Some ads even say "those who do not come from these schools need not apply". UNFAIR! Isn't this very, very disappointing? It just makes me sooo angry. I console my students with, well, at least you know what kind of stuff (and staff) these companies are made of. I certainly wouldn't want to work with a company that discriminates against other Filipinos.
P.S. You'd be surprise to know which companies these are. ... Please excuse my long comment.

rolly said...

cbs In fairness, there is a point with these polls if used properly. Like, bench marking of some sort to come up with a more quality curriculum. However, a lot of people just miss the point and regard these polls as a way of knowing which school is best, and that is where I disagree. As I said, it is too easy to land in the number 1 slot if a school or university wanted to.

Incidentally, I don't think a lot of change has occured from the way the polls have been conducted and from where they their basis.

bugsy No need to apologize for the long comment. Anybody is welcome to post a comment, no matter how long, in my blog. The only limitation is that the comment should be relevant.

As regards your stand about companies only hiring from schools from the "top" schools, I have been aware of that for a long time now. Even my nephew had been a victim of this malpractice. He was asked where he graduated and he was told not to bother. Isn't that callous enough? Now, my nephew is doing good in another company. So, you see, yes, I am aware of that, (check out my response to auee in this thread). so, when I said, " the end, it does not matter what university or what course one took. It will all boil down to what lessons were learned and how these are being used," I was not referring to the acquisition of jobs but rather 1. how it ought to be, and 2. how one should live his/her life.

bugsybee said...

I'm sorry about that- I failed to point out that I wanted bring out the other aspect, too.

Yes, of course, I agree that, in the end, it's how you live your life.

rolly said...

Bugsy Again, apology not needed when no offense has been taken. It may also be due probably on my fault for not being clear.

ting-aling said...

Tito Rolly, pet peeves ko talaga ang mga taong nagmamayabang na UP Graduates sila (con todo emphasis sa aksiyon nila na they are smarter than you are..). I mean, don't get me wrong. A lot of my relatives graduated from UP, Ateneo, La Salle, UST at saka hindi rin naman lahat eh mayabang. Meron akong kilalang UP Diliman graduate na nag fa-five-six ngayon dahil wala siyang trabaho. Umiikot sa Angono para maningil ng kanyang pautang.

Meron ding summa cum na nag MA na sa States pati pero ni hindi matanggap-tanggap sa States ng trabaho at umuwi na lang ng Pilipinas dahil nag-expire na nga ang student visa niya.

At meron ding dahil mayaman, sa UP nga nag-aral at nakakuha na rin ng magandang trabaho dahil sa influence ng tatay.

Meron naman akong kakilala na kaya lang nakapasok ng Ateneo eh dahil tinulungan, pero lumabas din, kasi hindi niya ma-maintain ang requirements niya.

Ah, parang nawawala ako sa topic..wish ko lang, sana lahat tayo mag-umpisa sa iisang level lang ang see how we all perform.

rolly said...

ting Ako din pet peeve ko mayabang. At hindi lang naman mga taga UP, Ateneo o La Salle merong mayabang. Kahit saan. Kahit sa opisina. O kahit sa kalsada. Ang sinasabi ko na lang sa sarili ko, "wag magyabang kung walang k!"