Sunday, January 20, 2008

Yearning to be Educated

When my words are not enough, these powerful images
from Sidney Snoeck speaks.....for the purpose of this post,
I had to caption some of them :D


Open content i.e., attribution-share alike license under Creative Commons licenses may very well be a way to usher in public school education's wide open future in Asia

While the rest of the world talks about digital information, this is how most of educational tools look like for impoverished public school children in the Philippines.

I am thankful for a bit of slack time as I spend the last of my holidays in PI. I had time to make the round of friends. I also have enough time on the net to surf Pinoy blogs particularly those created in Singapore. For the most part, I did some research on Creative Commons as I am truly interested to maximize this opportunity to benefit the public school system in the Philippines. I stumbled upon an interesting blog entry putting words to my exact same thoughts on revolutionizing the Philippine textbook industry. He calls his project Libro para sa Bawat Batang Pilipino. You can read about it here. The blog author, who I have yet to meet, also wrote about the Philippines' active role as a a member of the global commons.

I am all for developing a local collaboration promoting alternative licensing, free and open source software, open education, and free culture. The Internet has no doubt revolutionized information in astounding ways. Cyberspace heralded the information age and propagated human expressions in unprecedented heights-- music, video, photographs, blogs, online journals, books, presentations, documents, artistic, literary, educational, technical, and scientific creations. With Creative Commons, there is hope to bridge the great divide when it comes to sharing of ideas and information. Down with the cartel if we can only work together.

It tears me apart to think that while the rest of the world is making headway to ensure their young people are able to utilize the benefits of the new global media, our impoverished school children in the Philippines share taterred text books year after year after year, in a seeming perpetual state of backwardness. Quite ironically, I think we have equally bright and talented kids but they need a lot of intervention.


Greg Moreno
allows us a glimpse of the situation here:


"Every start of the school year, our adviser hands out textbooks for the entire class. She would call our names one by one and instruct us to pick a number of books from a pile. Since we were always called alphabetically and my surname starts with M, I keep an anxious look at the diminishing pile, wondering if there are still Science or Math books left. I didn’t mind if I don’t have English or History books. I only want Science and Math.

I wouldn’t mind having all the books, of course. But even if I want to, that is not possible. In a public school, the number of students grow every year but the number of books do not. Some students will have books for Math, English, and History only while others will only have Science and Filipino. I don’t recall a time when all of us received books for all the subjects. It was even rare that a student had the complete set."

Some of us were once like one of them


Can you imagine how it is for me as my surname starts with V? :) I would often get the least number of the most dilapidated textbooks, missing a cover here, or a page there. Looking back, I feel blessed thought that such deprivation had made me hanker for what I suspect I was missing and created within me a passion for learning. I remember how I would borrow from public libraries, stay an extra time after school to borrow readings from my teacher, whatever i could get. Books became my Secret Garden and opened me up to possibilities that I otherwise would not have come across as life was difficult. It is also true that these stock of knowledge have served me in good stead though life's many storms. Really.

Those of us lucky enough to cross the line so to speak, I thought we are duty-bound to share what we have discovered and to facilitate its transfer. So, if I can be help, sign me up !


23 comments:

Sidney said...

Thanks for this post. I wasn't aware of the Creative Commons. Very interesting topic.

It is very sad to see that bright kids are robbed from education (which by the way is a basic human right).

Libro para sa bawat batang Pilipino is a worthy cause. Let's hope he succeeds.

restless_river said...

hi Sidney :) though you were not aware of CC, you have been unselfishly sharing your creative work to impact and benefit others. That kind of openness and sharing inspired Creative Commons featuring ways a content owner may opt to impart his work as he pleases.Thanks to you.

Sidney said...

My pleasure ! Those children deserve better schools and better books!

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