Silliman Might Soon be Silliman Then...

Friday, January 8, 2010
It is but a cliché when I hear of the naked truth that learning isn't simply confined in the four walls of a classroom and yet it is ironic how some people, still, do not get the whole point of it. It's sad to learn that this is happening in the campus by the sea, Silliman University, with credits to its bigwigs.

Psychology, the science (and/or study) of human behavior, strongly established in me that theory added with theory per se is an experience that's half-baked. Because of this, I feel bad that Silliman University ridiculously failed in this aspect. For two years now, a moratorium on field trips existed, suspending academic field exposures outside the province. Unfortunately, that doesn't exclude any subject at all. According to the moratorium, today's economic problem in the country and in almost every country aside is the main culprit. What can be a more lame and disgusting reason for this? I can't seem to think of any. The real score is plain and simple! For decades now, the Philippines has been experiencing the "financial or economic constraint" that they were referring to FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! This is definitely not just a recent issue because the moment the world economic crisis occurred, the Philippines was in its already terrible shape - probably the reason why there's little to no effect to the majority at all.

An exposure trip, for instance, has just been denied by our "beloved" Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and her colleagues (or clerks perhaps?). The trip's aim is to expose students to the actual fields or the real world out there especially that the students will get to decide for themselves on what path to take later on. These are places that we will find nowhere in this small city of Dumaguete. Without the exposure, the students will just depend on what theory feeds them without really getting a taste of how it is really like in the real setting. It's just like learning the essentials of swimming without getting a single dip at the pool.

It's just sad that the quality of education is compromised because of the so-called "financial issues." What's more insulting is the fact that the field trip that the VPAA just denied permission was not even compulsory but instead was just highly recommended. If the parents of the students are capable of spending for the field trip, I don't see any good reason to deprive the students the privilege that the students in Manila are endowed with. Yes, it's also an issue of competitiveness that, apparently, the university falls short of when it comes to the aspect of real and quality exposure which is vital in the learning process. While it may be true that some components of the university have gained recognition for their superb and/or outstanding performance, it is equally important that other programs be enhanced for a higher chance of being among the cream of the crop as well.

Silliman University is still the same old Silliman, I believe, but I'm afraid that if this "austerity measure" continues, the quality of education might go down, even way below the acceptable level and the school will just end up looking back at what it was back then. Education is an investment not a cost.


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