This is not the UAAP rivalry between the De La Salle Green Archers and the Ateneo Blue Eagles inside the playing court.  But top men from the two prominent schools have different takes on how to do the reforms on our basic education system and clash of ideas has been seen by the media.

Br. Armin Luistro FSC of the De La Salle Brothers and now the secretary of Department of Education under President Aquino defended his plan of adding 2 more years to basic education making it 12 years of education from its present of 10 years.  He said that it aims to keep up with the international standard of 12-year basic education which the Philippines now lags behind.  Further, the former president of De La Salle University – Manila has ordered DepEd to have a general review and overhaul of the basic education curriculum which is expected to be finish in two years.

This plan of Sec. Luistro has been assailed by Jesuit priest Beinvenido Nebres SJ who worked as the head of former President Arroyo’s Presidential Task Force on Education. Nebres SJ said that what is badly needed to be addressed by the department right now is to address the school backlog.  Nebres SJ explained:

“Quite frankly, while you can look at the curriculum, at the end of the day, what counts is what happens in the classroom…If you have a classroom filled with 80 kids for 40, you can do whatever is in the curriculum and not much will happen…the heart of the problem is not so much changing the curriculum.  The heart of the problem is to make it possible for the teacher to teach well.”

But the archer shot down the eagle’s opinion saying,

“Why?  Is it not possible to do both?  They always say it’s either one or the other but this is a good time to bring the components together.  Whatever changes we want to do, this is the best time to do it.  Rather than put old win into wine skins, we will start with new wine skins.”

It will be recalled that during the brief moment when Pres. Aquino and former Pres. Arroyo took a short travel together inside the presidential car for the Inauguration, the latter said to have endorsed to the new president the recommendations that Fr. Nebres SJ on the issues surrounding our basic education in the Philippines.

Off to you guys.  To whom are you betting on what to do with reforming our basic education, Br. Luistro’s “doing both” or Fr. Nebres’ working first on school backlog?

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