In the Philippines today the length of Primary and Secondary schools is being debated whether to add another two more years in the usual six years primary and four years secondary, making secondary also six years for a total of twelve years in preparation to college education. School principals and teachers alike are divided. Paying parents in the privates schools are resistant while even non-paying parents in the public schools raise their brows on the plan of the government. Many sectors question the program for that would mean paying more and staying longer in school.
Parents want their kids to finish school right away so that their children can help them alleviate their poverty. So what’s the use of adding years in the 100-year long educational system when Filipino graduates all over the world are competitive. Below is a proposal based from a study the writer conducted on the Language and Literature program of Foamy National High School Laguna, Philippines on the possible solution to help the lack of students preparation and exposure to Literature before they go to tertiary or higher education sans the issue of adding number of years in the secondary school.
After scanning the environment of the students, teachers and the materials available in Foamy National High School in Laguna Philippines they both used when they had the English 4, the proponent saw the needs to prepare the fresh graduates from the Foamy National High School by giving a preparatory crash course program in Literature to prepare them for the demands and rigors of college Literature courses. The fourth-year high school students did not have enough exposure in learning Literature because the book they used entitled Moving Ahead in English published in which was framed on integrative approach hence, mastery of the four macro skills was emphasized throughout the year. The lessons they had in Literature was a mixed of World Literature, Asian Literature and Philippine Literature given after each lesson. Their exposure on Literature was not based on a solid foundation because the focus was more on language and not on Literature.
Out of seven lessons, one was only given to Literature with questions focusing on the moral or didactic lessons. The students themselves looked at Literature as springboard lessons to language lessons without value for it as an art form. The two teachers themselves assigned in teaching the fourth year were passionate teachers teaching the language lessons but they become less energetic when they reach the Literature lessons because students did not read. One teacher was BSE major in English graduate from Union College of Sta. Cruz, Laguna and the other was unit earner in Education with a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy. Both seldom attend seminars on the recent trends and issues in teaching Literature because of the scarcity of financial support from the school. Hence, their knowledge and strategies were based from their old undergraduate schema.
With these problems, the proponent indeed saw the needs of preparing the students through a crash course program in Literature with the following reasons:
1. inform students about the basics of Literature they never had in high school;
2. discuss literature, not as a springboard of language lessons, but as it is as an art;
3. Prepare students to the demands of Literature courses in College.
4. Immerse students on the recent trends, strategies and issues in learning Literature.