Embedding culture in education system

By Erlinda J. Fronda

When speaking of the educational system of Philippines, cultural values play an indispensable role.
Being a Filipino, I can clearly say that our oriental nature is composed from various elements, Aeta, Indonesian, Malayan, Hinduism, Arabian and the Chinese. We have an innate tendency to perceive thoughts, objects, events and people as sacred. This sentiment is embedded in our educational system too. The students, parents, educational leaders and the stakeholders work and live with the mission and the vision of the Philippines’ Department of Education to give importance to the foundation day of the school and other associated activities and give respect to the government official’s decisions for the education sector.
The cultural values of Philippines include fatalism, non-rationalism, animism evident not only in practices but are also reflected in learning modules, books, education system and observed in mainstream Philippine folklore.

Filipino reading selections, (which are even translated into English) focus primarily on cultural values spread across industry, hospitality, filial devotion and Christianity. Social acceptance is an aim for every Filipino learner and therefore, in the curriculum, the department of education encourages collaborative learning which reflects the Filipino cultural value called “Bayanihan” or cooperative endeavor. And thus, the students gain confidence as they work with one another, gain trust as they succeed in school activities together and understand themselves better as they become more open and exposed to different personalities and perceptions of their fellow learner.
Dealing with students is inseparable in all contexts of Filipino educational system which has always find a way to apply euphemism to be able to facilitate smooth interpersonal relations and to sense among the fellowmen’s desires and feelings. Conducting transparent dialogue to all involved, introducing a change gradually to orient people, train them and facilitate their implementation is a practice of the land.

Such is the technical assistance and the professional way to show the values of ‘Pakikisama’ or dealing. Ethically, Philippines embrace the go-between” and “hiya” or sense of shame to maintain and restore smooth interpersonal relations. Therefore, each individual, as parcel of the institution maintains his reputation to uplift the system they are a part of. This helps the education system attain developmental goals which is to liberate the mind yet restore the unique Filipino cultural values.

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