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Isagani R. Cruz
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Isagani R. Cruz

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In June 2016, Senior High School (SHS) will be compulsory for all Filipino students leaving Grade 10. Before we praise, condemn, welcome, or fear it, we should be sure to understand what exactly SHS is.
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Isagani R. Cruz

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Pope Francis has been very vocal about the fallacy of trickle-down theories in economics. The theoretical movement of wealth from top to bottom has clearly not happened in the Philippines (nor anywhere else), where the rich have become richer and the poor have remained poor.
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Last week, I gave the hypothetical example of a college teacher who does not agree with some portions of a prescribed textbook. Does the teacher have the academic freedom not to prescribe that textbook?
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Last week, I cited the case of Mercado et al vs. AMA Computer College (G.R. No. 183572), where the Supreme Court included “how lessons shall be taught” in the academic freedom of an institution. That seemed to imply that the academic freedom of the institution would prevail in case there is a conflict between the institution and the individual teacher.
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The highlight of 2014 for me was my donation to De La Salle University (DLSU) of books, articles, trophies, and other items I accumulated for more than half a century. At the formal turnover last Dec. 18, I delivered a speech in Filipino and English. I reprint below excerpts from the English portion.
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When I am asked to address young students, I always have only one message for them: do not believe the older generation. (That includes me, of course, so you can appreciate the self-contradiction.)
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There is a body in the Department of Education called the Instructional Materials Council Secretariat (IMCS). According to its website, it “provides technical assistance to the Instructional Materials Council in the formulation and adoption of policies and guidelines, in the development, evaluation, and procurement of textbooks and other instructional materials.”
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WANTED: HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS. The Manila Times College of Subic is hiring teachers for the academic year starting June 2015. Teachers have to be on board by May 15. LET, digital literacy, and familiarity with the new K to 12 curriculum required. Housing available. Competitive salaries.
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Last Jan. 30, the South China Morning Post published an article on the ongoing “ideological campaign” of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi wants schools to stop using imported textbooks and teachers to stop teaching anything but the “political, legal and moral bottom line.” That means, as Education Minister Yuan Guiren spelled it out in a gathering on Jan. 29, Chinese students should study only Marxism and Chinese socialism.
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Last week, I gave this hypothetical case: Suppose the administrators of a Philippine school say that all classes should be online and a teacher insists on meeting students in a classroom on campus.
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A common misconception about academic freedom is that the Constitution grants the teacher the right to say anything s/he wants in the classroom.
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Here’s my Christmas gift to all my readers – an explication or analysis of the lyrics of “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit.”
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Merry Christmas Sir
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Former Philippine Undersecretary of Education ISAGANI R. CRUZ (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is the president of The Manila Times College and a Governor of the National Book Development Board.  He belongs to the Hall of Fame of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in Literature and is one of the 2010 Outstanding Filipinos (TOFIL).  He writes for Philippine Star, Pilipino Mirror, and China Daily.

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