The Department of Education and Undersecretary Franklin Sunga are Recipients of Da Daily Donkey Award!
- "Those are alleged errors,'' DepEd Undersecretary Franklin Sunga said in reaction to the full-page ad put out by Go in The Inquirer's Monday issue listing down the hundreds of errors he found in English and Pilipino textbooks.
A-Kid: Common sense is not so common after all. Mr. Sunga, an academician such as Antonio Calipjo Go wouldn't put himself out in the open for libel suits (and via a full-page ad in one of the country's popular newspapers) if he didn't know what he was talking about.
- Sunga said that he did not find the terms "titi'' (penis) and "titatita'' (pimp) used in the ``Hiyas sa Pagbasa,'' a textbook for Grade 5 students, vulgar. "The way they were used wasn't vulgar. If at all, they were designed to boost the skills of the students,'' he said in an interview by phone. He said there was no reason to correct the textbook.
A-Kid: Yeah, right! Defend the author and publisher of "Hiyas sa Pagbasa" for miserably failing to come up with words more appropriate to feed the minds of our young Grade V students.
- Go, academic supervisor of Marian School of Quezon City who blew the whistle on other error-filled textbooks in the past, said the use of the terms, among others, was "abominable.'' He said that despite the errors, the DepEd had ordered 69,409 copies.
A-Kid: Reminds me of some posts I've read a few days and a few months ago, i.e., End textbook cartel,’ DepEd vets, tutors ask Lapus; DepEd belies allegations of defective textbooks; and DepEd intensifies textbook procurement reforms. Tsk.
- Sunga said the department could not verify the alleged errors detected by Go in English textbooks for Grades 1 to 6 students in public elementary schools since Go did not mention "specific references.'' "I want to see how they are used,'' he said.
A-Kid: Man! Come on! Are you serious? You can do better than that! Your department approved those error-filled textbooks in the first place! Your department should have copies of each book approved to feed the minds of the future leaders of our country! For @#%^ sake, skim all of them! The man (Go) already did his part in pointing out the errors! Could it be that, maybe, just maybe, now is the time to do your job?
- All the current English textbooks for public elementary and high school students would be replaced by new ones now being evaluated by the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines, according to Sunga. "I hope so,'' he said when asked if the DepEd would circulate the new English textbooks after the completion of the bidding process by the end of the month.
A-Kid: Dapat lang, ser!
- Sunga said he welcomed Go's proposal to form an independent board of experts to validate his "corrections'' to the errors, and expressed willingness to meet with him. "His suggestion will be seriously considered. We welcome meeting with him at a time and place of his choice so we can thresh out the problem,'' he said.
A-Kid: If it has not yet come to your attention, Mr. Sunga, let me just point it out that Mr. Go and the media have left you and your department no other choice!
- Go proposed in the ad that volunteers from the academe, clergy, civil society, business and industry conduct a "free and open review'' of all public school textbooks without the threat of being sued by the publishers.
- "What's important is that the corrections will be validated. I just can't turn the corrections over to the DepEd,'' he said in a phone interview. "If you're making money from these books, you might as well correct them."
- Antonio Calipjo Go had one hell of an ad in this newspaper the other day. Go is the guy who has been indefatigably (his enemies say relentlessly) pointing out the mistakes and inaccuracies that teem in what pass for elementary and high school textbooks in the Philippines. A crusade that has gotten him not a load of praises from grateful countrymen but a load of bull -- and libel suits -- from irate textbook suppliers.
- I did know about, and applauded, Go’s crusade. But until he published that ad, I didn’t realize the mind-boggling extent of the wrong he was trying to right, or the mistakes he was trying to correct. Young minds are the most impressionable of all, fallow ground for vice and virtue, enlightenment and benightedness.
- Some of the classic displays of waywardness:
- “Many Filipino men and women have brains.” That should go with an exclamation point.
- “You should always address the envelope.”
- “Kiosk: A structure open at one or more sides and used as a bandstand.”
- “He seemed to be waiting for someone, not a blood relation, much less a bad blood.”
- “It is very dangerous to face a bull that has been played with.”
- “Here’s for you!” the guard said while hitting Basilio. (I guess that’s a transliteration of “Eto’ng sa 'yo!”)
- “People are not made to float like a bird.”
- “Galileo invented a magnifying telescope.”
- “He became the primetaker of his family’s land.”
- “The lakes widdled down.”
- “The hen walked coquetly.”
- “It makes him squirmish.”
- “The potato pursued a disapproving lip.”
- Those Eraptions are almost forgivable. What are not are these:
- From English Book I: Jose Garcia Villa wrote “The Woman Who Had Two Navels.”
- You don’t know who did, you shouldn’t have passed high school.
- From English Book VI: “Fort Santiago was the fortress used by Rajah Soliman as his protection against the Spaniards.”
- Go says that these are an infinitesimal part of the errors, mistakes, inaccuracies, lacunae and inanities that riot in our textbooks. His own pet peeve is the inclusion of “titi,” defined as the male organ, and “titatita,” defined as pimp, in a Grade V “Hiyas sa Pagbasa” textbook. Though I myself have a high tolerance for these things, I am at pains to see how those words could possibly represent pearls of reading, not to speak of wisdom.
- Is the theory to improve reading skills by supplying pupils with words that are closest to their cultural environment? Indeed, is the theory to give pupils an understanding that language is not static and that new words are constantly entering the vocabulary? If so, then I can suggest better words than “titi” or “titatita” to give pupils a better grasp of their milieu, while improving their reading capabilities.
Examples: “‘Boto’ (not the Visayan or Bicol variety!): English: vote: The cheapest commodity in the Philippines.” “‘Filipino/Filipina: The number one export of the Philippines.” “‘Peke: English: fake: Filipino nurses, the Filipino president, the 12th Filipino senator in the new Senate.”
- Or maybe you can retain “titi” and “titatita” and give them new meanings.
Thus: “Titi”: English: Prick: See also congressman.” “Titatita”: Eng. Pimp: See also number one promoter of overseas work.” And so on.
- Less facetiously, Go truly deserves praise for the zeal with which he is advancing his cause, which almost unbelievably seems almost a lonely one. It’s not hard to see why his pleas for the recall and/or correction of the textbooks have fallen on deaf ears at the Department of Education. The late Raul Roco told me when he was still education secretary that during his early months in office the department's parking lot was filled with Mercedes-Benzes. They were owned by people who either had contracts or were seeking contracts with the department for printing and/or supplying textbooks.
- Textbooks are big money. Filipino authors may be impoverished, which include the authors of the textbooks themselves, but the people who sell textbooks to the education department are not. Cheaper for their suppliers to get public officials to forget the three R’s than to hire people who cost more than three G’s to correct them. Or since some of them are near-uncorrectable, to go by Go’s revelations, write new ones in their place.
- Go has every reason to give up on the Dep Ed and plead his case instead before the public. His cause is better served stoking the wrath of the parents of the kids than pricking the conscience of the king, or queen, to whom the Dep of Ed officials report. Malacañang won’t be bothered by benighted textbooks either: It wants only a population that can obtain enough learnings to work abroad and benefit the glorious nation of Gloria. Or a population that is sufficiently kept in the dark the better to be divided and conquered. Ignorance is bliss -- for tyrants.
- Not for the tyrannized. As abundantly taught in show-and-tell lessons about fakeness, reigns of error all too easily turn into reigns of terror.
This is the DepEd's second Da Daily Donkey Award! Aba! Di 'to paramihan! This is not the Oscars!
- Remember that our nation's first great leaders were also our first great scholars. - John F. Kennedy
- Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave. - Lord Brougham
- A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes. - Mahatma Gandhi
- Gumalaw-galaw naman kayo! Baka kayo ma-i-stroke! And I kid you not! - The AnitoKid