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Monday, August 31, 2015

The Philippine Revolution as a Conflict of Class

By:  Paolo Flores

 The Philippine revolution aside from ethnicity and gender, is a conflict of class.Most of the ilutstrados or the middle class denounced the Katipunan and sided their loyalty to Spain. Ilustrados are branding the Katipuneros as un-educated, and the revolt they started was an ill-timed and ill-prepared struggle. Later the Ilustrados embraced the Katipunan because it is winning its battles against the Spaniards.these ilustrados, though driven by nationalism like the masses, fought to preserve their social status and economic wealth. Their interests and agenda vastly differed from the objectives of the Katipuneros. Other ilustrados preferred to remain fence-sitters until the tide of the Revolution was clear. In a study of the municipal and provincial elite of Luzon during the Revolution, Milagros C. Guerrero concluded that well-to-do Filipinos as well as municipal and provincial officials refused to join the Revolution during 1897 and early 1898. There was even hesitancy even after they did join.

Many history books assert that class conflict was symbolized by the leadership struggle between Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. In contrast to the working class background of Bonifacio, Aguinaldo was an ilustrado and a former gobernadorcillo or town executive in his home province of Cavite. Aguinaldo’s ascendance to prominence as a result of his strategic victories in battles naturally brought him into conflict with Bonifacio over the leadership of the Revolution. In a sense, their bitter struggle reflected the falling out of the masses and the ilustrados during the Revolution.

It started as a result of the intramural between the two factions of the Katipunan in Cavite - the Magdiwang and Magdalo. Their conflict had deteriorated such that each one refused to assist the other in battles. Moreover, in one of the battles in Manila, the Caviteno forces even failed to provide assistance to the revolutionaries of Manila. Bonifacio as Supremo of the Katipunan was invited to Cavite to resolve the factional differences and thus ensure a united front against the Spaniards in the province. Once in Cavite, the ilustrados maneuvered to ease Bonifacio from the leadership. In the Tejeros Convention of March 22, 1897, they voted to supersede the Katipunan with a revolutionary government and an election of the officers of the new government was conducted. Aguinaldo was elected as President while Bonifacio lost in several elections for key posts before he finally won as Director of the Interior. But a Caviteno, Daniel Tirona, immediately questioned his lack of education and qualification for the post, and insisted that he be replaced instead by a Caviteno ilustrado lawyer, Jose del Rosario. Insulted and humiliated, Bonifacio as Supremo of the Revolution declared the election and the formation of the new government void. What followed was a black mark in the history of the Revolution.

Aguinaldo, upon the prodding of his fellow, ilustrados, ordered the arrest and trial of Bonifacio on the grounds of treason. A bogus trial found Bonifacio and his brother, Procopio, guilty, and they were sentenced to death. Aguinaldo gave his approval and the Bonifacio brothers were shot on May 10, 1897, at Mt. Tala, Cavite. In rationalizing the fate of Bonifacio, Aguinaldo and his men claimed Bonifacio was establishing his own government which would have subverted the revolutionary cause. His elimination was necessary to maintain unity under Aguinaldo’s leadership. Ironically, Bonifacio, the father of the Revolution, became a victim to the ambition and self-serving interests the ilustrados as personified by Aguinaldo.

(This is in response of Paolo Flores to the article published in entitled A question of heroes: Aguinaldo vs Bonifacio)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Towards Quality Educational Outcomes: What Aspiring and Incoming PSDS Should Know

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes

(This is the third and the concluding part of Towards Quality Educational Outcomes: Maximizing the Role and Functions of Public School District Supervisors and Towards Quality Educational Outcomes: A Look at Public School District Supervisors’ Roles)

The sign that district supervisors have already completely separated themselves from their usual perceive roles as administrators over school principals could be seen in the way district offices are now ran and maintained, relationships that exists between district supervisors and school heads particularly in most of the central schools where their offices are located and maintained courtesy of the said sponsoring host schools, treatment and support they receive from the rest of the school heads and most importantly how the curriculum is effectively implemented and monitored for quality learning outcomes.  

R.A. 9155 is clear about the public school districts roles and responsibilities apart from authority, accountability and responsibility:

  • Monitor, assess, supervise and evaluate the implementation of various curricula in basic education in both public and private schools/learning centers including early childhood education, special education and alternative learning system in the district or cluster thereof;
  • Provide professional and instructional advice and support to the school heads and teachers/facilitators of public and private elementary and secondary schools and learning centers including early childhood education,special education and alternative learning system in the district or cluster thereof and
  • Perform such other related functions as maybe assigned by proper authorities.

In addition to this, their job summary states that they are to assists the schools or learning centers in the district apart from the specific duties and responsibilities which are enumerated as follows:
  1. Analyzes and interprets education indicators
  2. Conducts action researches on academic and non-academic factors affecting learning progress and achievement
  3. Visits and monitors  schools for curricular supervision
  4. Provides technical assistance to school heads on matters of instructional supervision, when solicited
  5. Assists and serves as  resource person and facilitator in INSET
  6. Monitors implementation of ALS programs
  7. Evaluates performance of ALS district coordinators as delegated by SDS
  8. Assists school heads in self-management, school-based decision-making and to utilization and development of school resources when solicited
  9. Serves as learnngt area supervisor at DO, if assigned/designated
These things should be clear to all school heads who are aspiring to become a public school district supervisor because this is not for power hungry individuals, neither to current school principals whom because of power bloated their minds and their concept of principled and servant leadership.  It is for those who wants to contribute to the general objective of advancing quality education in all our schools.
While PSDS position is said to be the representation of the school division's superintendents office at the district or municipal level, it goes beyond, and the expected challenges ahead is only fitting to the position and the remuneration which are steps ahead.

Any aspiring PSDS therefore should not expect a higher or special treatment and privileges that he/she could have had experienced of  once held before as a school principal but only those that his position deserves.

Administratively speaking, he is among equals with the school heads though it should always be expected that the PSDS will always be the team captain capitalizing on common respect but not or never be a boss among them just like the pope who is among co-equals with the bishops. 

In the case of the pope, respect and leadership stems from his being the bishop of Rome, the former seat of St. Peter and on the case of the PSDS, their being the representatives of the schools division superintendents and 'alter ego.'

Newbies therefore should learn how to thread and know the water first before stumbling on various demands.  Like a community organizers of various people's organization (PO's), he will certainly start from scratch.  He should start as a community organizer, a missionary, friendly both and a leader commensurate to his post.

In most cases, the feeling of rejection couldn't be avoided but it is but natural.   But it is still tiny compared to most undocumented cases where PSDS in some city schools could not be accommodated by target host schools because of over crowding according to the principal.

With these, any aspiring PSDS and those being promoted to the said position should not only be the top-notched but those who really cares about his/her mission.  Otherwise, expect for more challenges for teachers and school heads now a days are different from those two-decades ago.

Given that, PSDS's job description is available online and accessible to all, any candidate or has been promoted and given the job will be working towards that goal.

(Mr. Gilbert M. Forbes had his Bachelors Degree and MA in Educational Management (CAR) from the Philippine Normal University- Southern Luzon and Manila Campus.  A former multi-grade teacher, campus paper adviser and trainer for 13 years, NEAP Trained Facilitator for K to 12 etc.  Currently, he is an elementary school principal two in one of the elementary schools in the division of Quezon.  He is also the Vice-President of the Quezon Elem. School Heads Association- QUESHA- PESPA Chapter)