If you ask me a year ago if I’ll ever consider putting my kids in a public school, my answer would definitely be “NO”. Back then, the only thing I knew about public school is what we usually hear in the news:
it’s over-populated and there’s not enough classrooms, books and teachers.
In Manila, most public schools near our place had to implement 3 shifts with the first one starting as early as 5 am. And even with 3 shifts, the rooms are still crowded with 50-60 students per class. I’m guessing only the kids who are really determine to learn, or those with parents that are actively supervising theirs kids, are actually learning something.
And then, I learned about SSES or Special Science Elementary School
Started in 2007, the Special Science Elementary School is a project of the Department of Education which aims to provide Mathematics and Science-enriched curriculum to gifted and talented learners. The goal is to provide a venue where learners can develop their aptitude and skills. Schools which are part of the project are equipped with Science, Math and English textbooks, laboratory rooms, science apparatuses and equipment, ICT-based learning resources and supplementary materials. Students also join camps (science, English and math), investigatory projects, competitions and networking with other science-oriented schools.
I think there are over 200 public schools that are now implementing the SSES project. This is a good thing especially since there are so many talented and smart kids that can’t afford to attend a private science-oriented school. If you’re curious about the qualification and how your kids can be part of this program, you can check out this presentation.
But even without the SSES program, my husband and I have actually decided to send the kids in a public school when we moved here in Cavite. From Hubby’s experience, public elementary schools in Cavite especially the “Central Schools” as they call them (the main elementary schools of each municipalities), are very good and well-tended. And after doing this for a year, I have to admit that I’ve grown to appreciate the public educational system.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the system is perfect. There are a lot of flaws and limitation in the our educational system and this school is no exemption. But still, if you look past what is lacking and actively fill that part up as a parent, it really is not bad. I think the best part for us is the kids exposure to a bigger world, literally. I love how they are both so enthusiastic about school and all their activities. Even though they have a much longer instructional hours that others, both of them show no sign of getting tired of school. They even made me promise not to make them change school even if we move houses again.