Monday, July 2, 2012

My Two Cents on K-12 and Public Schooling

Switching to the K-12 will surely increase the quantity of schooling but not necessarily the quality. This has always been my concern about it. Perhaps we should focus more on modernization and access to technology and the internet instead of adding years of more of the same.

Peter Norvig talks about the 100,000-student classroom at TED

The internet is already changing the way we communicate and learn and eventually will become more accepted as a necessary part of education, perhaps more than the traditional classroom setting. Nowadays, one small tablet can store up to thousands of books and lecturers from all over the world can teach those a thousand miles away.

The problem is that schooling is monopolized by the State and there are no incentives for the schools to innovate or provide a better service. To introduce more competition, I favor school choice perhaps through school vouchers or charter schools. Anything at all to transition from the monopolized system.

Of course, it's more complex than that especially here in the Philippines. Many children in the provinces have to hike for miles through mountains and jungles just to get to a school. These areas will surely benefit from modernization and access to internet. There's really a lot of study that needs to be done about this but surely adding a few years of more of the same won't make schooling in these areas necessarily better quality.

The government should also abolish tariffs and taxes on laptops, tablets, and eBook readers. All this does is prevent competitive prices. They should also further deregulate the ISP industry and allow for easier entry to the market for new players (see also Why the Internet is Slow in the Philippines). Minimizing red tapes and taxes in this industry will allow for players to expand access to more areas.

There should also be no burdens on private charity schools. Requirements, redundant permits, fees, taxes, and red tapes increase the costs of those in the private sector who want to provide free or affordable schooling. Maybe we can give tax exemptions and other incentives to those in the private sector and even foreign investors who will start charity schools.

I just really don't understand how adding a few years to schooling will change anything if it's more of the same anyway. I'm sure there's a lot of other factors in this K-12 system that I am not aware of yet and I'm sure this was thoughtfully studied and researched but whether it will improve the quality of education is yet to be seen. 

I personally believe that choices, competition, modernization, and reliable access to the internet are the things that will provide better quality education.

Just my two cents.
5 Harryleaks: My Two Cents on K-12 and Public Schooling Switching to the K-12 will surely increase the quantity of schooling but not necessarily the qualit...

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