The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or the R.A. 10533 has been controversial since its implementation. A lot of negative and positive comments emerged, both praising the law and demonizing it. But alongside its implantation is the creation of different strands. Students, in this law, have to choose what tack they want to pursue depending on their skills and on the career they want in the future. We have the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand, the Humanities and Social Sciences strand, the Accountancy, Business, and Management, and the General Academic Strand to name a few. Educational institutions have to choose what strand to offer based from their capability as a school such as their financial capability, their faculty, their facilities, and their center of expertise.
However, lately, there has been heated debate about the noblest, most needed strand to take. This is because there were young individuals dehumanizing HUMSS strand saying it was ‘basic’, than taking other ‘tough’ strand such as STEM.
Many people, of course, rejected this notion. Yet it is just equally disheartening to know that some students are actually making up this illogical generalization.
First, we cannot compare each from the other. Each field possesses its own skills, capabilities, talents, profession, and roles in our country. We cannot compare each other because it is as if we are telling everybody that an accountant is more important than a teacher, or a scientist is more important than a cook. Every person plays a particular role in our nation, and without that person, our society would be incomplete, would be dysfunctional.
Second, setting up strands in our education is not envisioned to create division. The creators of this curriculum does not dream of students fighting each other and telling who is more important, more needed than others. I believe that the more we see our differences, the more that we have to unite. Unity comes from knowing that we cannot build our nation alone, that we cannot do all the tasks, and that we are not a do-all man. Unity comes from knowing that no progress will come out self-glorification, self-absorption. Unity will come from discovering that divisions are just a line that we create in our minds; therefore, we can easily erase it.
As teachers, it is our job to educate our students what each strand means to them, and what roles will they be playing when they leave the safety premises of the school. We have to help them discover the person they would be in the future, the person who chooses that strand not because of its salary but because that career will help him or her grow holistically. We have to enlighten them that these strands are not some faction groups that need to fight against each other, but these strands are families they have to grow with.