The Fault in Our Study
Chapter 1 (Condensed)
GMRC is not going good.
Note: This is a condensed version of the chapter. Excluded from the text were the notions that would lead into being an anti-social.
In the previous piece, the Indolence of the Filipinos in the 21st century, it has been pointed out that there has been misgivings even in the way of educating the people. The situation, unlike 100 years ago, has gone worse and turned to be more difficult to solve. Indolence has distorted the intent and the effect of education to the populace. The previous piece exposes the lack of effort between the educators and the students. This piece will attempt to extract and explain the other factors that attributed to the degradation of education and the minds of the succeeding generations.
Indolence is regarded as an individual behavior. What part of education is influencing the individual’s behavior? This has to be addressed first if change in philosophy and behavior were clamored. Among the subjects being taught, there is one that greatly influences the individual’s core values and behavior. This subject has a description named “Good Manners and Right Conduct.” This subject attempts to introduce the individual to the values accepted in society. These were values meticulously picked in order to align the individual with the rules that govern society and the values that the society adheres, so that the individual can maintain harmonious relations with other people in the society that he is supposed to assimilate to.
In Las Islas Filipinas (Note: Spanish equivalent of the Philippine Island), Christianism is the dominant religion, therefore Christian values were incorporated to the acceptd values in society. Most textbooks on this subject have these primary objectives: (1) To raise awareness about giving importance and practice into imbuing desirable values into the individual’s way of life, (2) to have the right knowledge, capabilities, and values that help them into becoming responsible citizens, and (3) to have the proper values relating others, the self, and God.
[Two paragraphs about society’s conformism and manipulation to the individual were omitted]
What was being administered by this subject to the student’s mind? Honesty, Industriousness, Obedience, Courtesy, Cleanliness, Thriftiness, God-fearing. These were determined through a selection using moral and ethical reasoning. However, the definition of these values were being forced to the students’ mind through memorization and not through reasons, and the examples that were shown in order to be emulated were ideal situations. The spectrum of morality and ethics were never explored on each of the values being taught, neither the limitations or the justifications. The moral and ethical consciousness behind those values derived were reduced into a single binary: whether the individual applied those values or not. The ethical and moral justifications that should be made were replaced with whether the action fitted the description memorized or not.
An fitting example would be a question whether the individual obeying a command that will harm the individual’s well-being or infringe other values (e.g.: being asked to commit a sin) would be regarded as obedience or grave misconduct. [Further elaboration were omitted.]
With that naivete being encouraged, the individual will fall prey to the society’s double standards, especially when the individual chases to be accepted by having those endorsed values of society. Behind society’s curtain, humans were in fact selfish beings ready to distort definitions into their benefit, and without a backbone of moral and ethical consciousness, the individual can easily be manipulated.
Loyalty can become an obsession, Confidence can become arrogance. Optimism can become inability to accept the harsh realities. Being indecisive can be reduced into being neutral. Loyalty can be used to justify tragedies. Honesty can become frankness. Respect for elder can turn into becoming mindless puppets. Obedience can become docility. Selflessness can be used to satisfy the cravings of one’s family.
Society itself has a fault behind the hardships being experienced by people. People were made to believe that they must seek God’s help because they were raised to believe that they can’t help themselves, hence the powerlessness that prevents people from overcoming problems that they can easily resolve. Many people were claiming to represent God or know God in order to achieve personal gains. Pakikisama became condoning the ills of society. Utang na loob is used to curry illicit favors.
Society itself must be subjected to change. The practiced values were not absolute. People can change society for the better if they were not so submissive to it in the first place. Like on how people teach man how to fish instead of giving him fish, this subject should help students into developing their moral and ethical fiber instead so that they can deduce for themselves what is deemed right and what is deemed wrong. Their critical thinking should be developed by then.