Monday, September 25, 2017

When the School Leadership Falls Victims of 'Edifice Complex' Syndrome

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes
DepEd Quezon, Region IV-A  (CALABARZON)

For quite a long time, more than two decades already, it has been experienced and observed that much focus have been directed and given to institutional projects otherwise known as ground improvements (landscaping) or beautification projects of all sorts among our schools.  So much investment without careful planning is spent in these project without considering its continuing maintenance cost or sustainability and returns on investment.  Teachers too are not prevented or excused from shelling their monetary share in the process. 

Delaire Elementary School  in Pennsauken, NJ, USA
At the outset, it isn't surprising to see our schools look like a mini-park or resembles a resort!  I am particularly afraid that many of us particularly school leaders have been infected with the so called 'edifice complex' syndrome or sickness. Unfortunately, we might be setting aside some of the most important things unintentionally. Sad to say, some authorities whose main function is curriculum and instructional supervision are encouraging, tolerating even making it as indicator of how good or better the school, its stakeholders and the school leadership is.

Surprisingly, schools in other countries particularly those which are topnotch when it comes to education like Japan and Finland or even the United States, a super power country have simpler school landscapes, even interiors as compared to the Philippines.

SO SIMPLE: A typical Japanese rural school.
With this, it is thought that it would be better to look back at our priorities.  What is really needed by our pupils and students.  How do these interventions going and is going to affect teaching-learning process and so the performance of our learners and quality of education in a larger perspective?

Probably, engineers and architects tasked to construct our school buildings should already consider and include specific landscape and designs for our schools to follow and maintain so that not much financial resources are spent for it.  In a third world economy and in a country where less than 5% of the GDP is allotted to education, it is a great relief.  

Financial resource commonly generated by the stakeholders can then be allotted to most important and much needed things, i.e., instructional materials which are the immediate source and instrument that will help raise educational performance and academic standards of our schools.  More so, on other ways that will strengthen and improve basic education performance indicators.

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