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More on the NCAE

My statement on the NCAE landed on the letter to the editor page of the Inquirer here, last Friday, April 13.

I watched a show in ANC hosted by Tina Monzon-Palma tackling the same matter the other day. Carol Anoos, a recent high school graduate from Quirino HS, also a member of KABATAAN Partylist, was one of the guests in the show. Carol boycotted the exam because she did not believe it would have served its purported objectives.

Along with Carol is a DepEd undersecretary, a TESDA consultant, and a guidance councilor from Ateneo.

I shall answer some points raised by DepEd in the discussion which tried to justify their implementation NCAE. It is important to discredit these wrong notions once and for all for it is persistently being peddled by the DepEd and because many are actually falling for their arguments.

1. The NCAE will help the students in evaluating their skills and finding the right career path for them. Maybe help them choose a college course.

This might be a popular belief, more like a common sense thing, but this is not true.

If they wanted to help the students choose a course or a career path, they should have implemented the exam June or July of last year. That was the time the students were choosing the courses they would take. They would have already made a choice when the exam took place, much more during the release of the results. It didn't help with nothing.

The NCAE doesn't aim to help you find a course or a career for that matter. It is aimed to screen students who want to enter college. See the difference? The first wants you all to go to college and help you with it. The NCAE, in the word of Sec. Lapuz, "wants you to appreciate other alternatives to a college diploma."

Its a national entrance exam to college, much like the NCEE during martial law. Only, it's covered will a lot of bullshit.

Let's assume that they really did have the intention of examining the students' skills and academic tendencies to help them with their career path. The NCAE would, still, have not achieved such purpose. Why? Because you have an unbelievably low quality of education.

For example, if you want to evaluate what fruit juice would do to your body, you would have to drink an ample amount of fruit juice and observe what happens. You wouldn't drink water or poison, or wouldn't take a teaspoon of fruit juice.

You wouldn't be able to evaluate career skills of a student if in the first place, basic learning competencies and requirements were not taught to the student.


2. No need to worry, the NCAE is optional. It is just a "guide."

This statement is clear sign of bullshit. This is a pilot test. In a few years, they want this test to be required and they will push for a law to make it so.


3. It's no problem if you fail. There is high market demand for tech-voc anyways. This is actually the point of all this: to show students that they should go voc-tech.

There you go. That's what they really want. To push students to go voc-tech. What's wrong with that?

Let me tell you first where the idea came from. It's a 1998 Philippine Education Sector Study, from the ADB, IMF-WB has its own recommendation, saying that our "globalization" role is to provide "semi-skilled" labor.

What's wrong, is that, again, the DepEd is blindly following these recommendations. Voc-tech: call centers, transcriptionists, etc., are indeed wanted it the market TODAY. But what about a few years from now? 5 years? 10 years? 20? What if a new foreign recommendation comes out 2008?

These sunshine industries are just temporary, short-term jobs, that are 'uso,' for now. What if investors decided to suddenly pull out for whatever reason?

Employment in the long term would necessitate national industry development, that is self-sustained, stable and progressive. This would necessitate an education that is of reasonable quality, has strong nationalist characteristics, and scientific. Far from the education that the DepEd is pushing for with its recent NCAE.

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What? Still hooked by that job mismatch thing? The mismatch is here: DepEd Sec. Jesli Lapuz is not an educator. He is a businessman and a politician. He should be booted out of that office before he makes more trouble.