When I was a kid, I had the privilege of a private school education, where teachers were paid well enough and the school had enough funds for grade level administrators to think of ways for us kids to appreciate science. I had the privilege of having science as the core of my education from elementary, right up to high school. I had my Ladybird textbooks on everything from dinosaurs to how washing machines work, I had my encyclopedias, and I was able to spend countless hours away from the playground poring over astronomy textbooks in the library, or fiddling with microscopes in the science laboratory. I had Dr. Beakman and Lester on TV. Science was fun.
To quote Richard Feynman, “I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something;” much of which, I owe to my elementary school science teachers.
But many Filipino schoolchildren don’t have that today, much less an assured education to speak of. We owe them science; we owe them the way we’re taught and the lessons we learned from our days behind the school desk.
Now, thanks to the Department of Education, those kids won’t have the joy of science at all. In a report by Asian Scientist, the DepEd has decided to drop Science from the basic curriculum of Grade 1 and 2 students, although the DepEd says that the subject has not been taught in public schools for the past 30 years.. Education Secretary Armin Luistro says that science will instead be integrated into other subjects; as a subject, Science will be taught when the child reaches Grade 3.
It’s fairly easy to be outraged at this matter, but based on the K-12 curriculum guide for science education, science is pretty much integrated into other subjects and subject matters until the third grade, where it becomes a subject on its own. I’m not so sure how the most elementary ideas of botany and zoology and even human anatomy can be connected to things like say, civics and culture. While I think that the DepEd is trying their best in improving the state of education given the extremely limited budget offered to them, I think that it’s a grave mistake for them to not offer Science for Grade 1 and 2 students, or at least postpone the subject matter until the third grade.