HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATION IN THE DIVISION OF RIZAL
War has a ruthless way of destroying records, time, an insidious one of blotting out memories. What, therefore, was originally planned to be a history of education in Rizal has turned out to be no more than a sketch salvaged from scanty materials and gleaned from the memories of retired teachers’ kind enough to fill in the blanks of a prodding questionnaire.
Public education appeared to be of immediate concern to the United States government. As early as 1899, the military authorities reopened schools in Rizal towns they had occupied. The Spanish System of Instruction was continued with the teaching of English added, American Soldiers served as teachers temporarily.
On January 21, 1901, the Second Philippine Commission passed Act No. 74, otherwise known as Education Act of 1901, which created the Department of Public Instruction. This is also the provision for the establishment of free public schools with English as the medium of instruction. It also authorized the establishment of private schools.
As the Americans trained Filipinos in democratic self – government, efforts were made to provide them with education. The educational aims of America were as follows: (1) to train Filipino for citizenship in a democracy, (2) to propagate the English Language in the Philippines, and (3) to impart the influence of American Culture (Zaide 1961)
On October 1, 1901, Rizal with Laguna formed one of the eighteen divisions in the country. Frederick T. Clark was superintendent for this Rizal-Laguna Division with headquarters in Sta. Ana while B. G. Bleasdale served at Pasig as his deputy for Rizal alone. As of September 1, 1902, Mr. Bleasdale reported that there were 11 female and 30 male native teachers and 29 American teachers. They were aided by aspirants as student’s teachers, who had shown in Morong Normal on April, 1902.
School session was for no less than five hours daily fora least nine months a year. The primary course was for three years and the intermediate for three years also. There were day schools and night schools, the latter for children 14 years old or older. The Pasig Secondary School was established on October 1, 1902, by the aid of the Provincial Board on payment of 15 pesos, local currency, monthly, for rent of one room in a private house, 30 by 30, for school room. The pupils came from towns other than Pasig. Those who were attending night school numbered 28 at the start but grew to 45 in November, 66 in December, and 88 in January and February, 1903.
There was an urgent need for teachers as more schools were established. To meet the demand, the school authorities gathered bright, intelligent young men and women and organized them into a teacher’s class. After only a few months of English Instruction many of them commenced teaching. The American teachers provided them daily instruction after classes in the afternoon for an hour or so which kept them in advanced of their pupils in learning. For more formal training, vocation normal institute were held for five and a half weeks. The first Normal Institute was held in Morong in the summer of 1902. There were 143 pupils and 11 American Instructors. The next year’s institute was held at Pasig in May. All paid native teachers were required to attend the institute on penalty of forfeiture of vacation salary.
The financial support of schools came from insular, provincial, and municipal governments. The insular government paid the cost of supervision, English instruction, and school supplies. The municipal government provided for salaries of Filipino teachers and outlay for buildings and furniture. The provincial government took care of the provincial high schools (except salaries of American and Filipino insular teachers) and extended aid to municipalities. Insular Filipino teachers received from 360.00 pesos to 1,200.00 pesos per annum; municipal teachers had an average salary of about 240.00 a year.
On August 1, 1904, Rizal now a distinct division with Mr. Bleasdale as superintendent had 21 American teachers and 115 Filipino teachers and a school population of 7, 594 in 60 day and 11 night schools. Malabon was the largest district in the Division with its 1,450 school population and fifth largest district in the whole country. In three years, 1901 to 1904, the number of Filipino teachers trebled; so did the enrolment, although there was some drop in population in the following year.
Rizaleños were convinced of the value of education and caught the spirit engendered by the enthusiasm of the soldiers and enrolled in these slipshod schools. When the civil government was formed, the army turned over the business of education to the civil authorities. (Naval and Aquino)
The school superintendents from 1901 to 1922 were all Americans. The first Filipino superintendent for Rizal was Mr. Leodegario Victorino. Mr. Benito Pangilinan was the superintendent when the Pacific War broke out; and Mr. Vicente Garcia was the war time and liberation superintendent.
Teachers regularly attended vacation institutes. In 1907, 187 teachers attended the training at Pasig conducted by 5 American and 7 Filipino instructors. In the following year, 100 Rizal teachers went to Manila for the institute. In the 1912-13 institutes at Pasig, the enrolment was 144. In charge were 4 American and 8 Filipino teachers. It would be noted that the Americans were gradually giving way to the Filipino educators both in the classroom and in the field of supervision. This trend culminated in the assignment of Filipinos as supervisors in 1913—Mr. Florentino Cayco in Malabon, Mr. Martin Aragon in Pasay Mr. Serapio Cruz in Antipolo, Mr. Alejandro Santos in Pasig, Mr. Joaquin Alcantara in Morong, Mr. Angel Laquindanum as academic supervisor in 1917 could be the first Filipino to occupy such position.
Governor E. Rodriguez Jr., Division Superintendent Benito Pangilinan and Mr. Exequiel Villacarte initiated scouting in the province of Rizal as far back as 1920, although the formal organization of the BSP council took place on September 1939.
Rizal Council was chartered by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in June 1947 and had scouting jurisdiction over the 27 municipalities and the Rizal City (now Pasay City) comprising the province of Pasay and Caloocan were later granted charters to operate as independent councils by the BSP in the later fifties. Among the district achievements of the Rizal Council was the erection of its headquarters from the personal funds of its first president. Don Fortunato Concepcion on a lot he himself donated as a fitting tribute for the welfare of the youths in the province of Rizal. The council maintains its headquarters at Plaza Col. Flores, Pasig, City and Metro Manila.
In the field of education Rizal province keeps pace with the general progress and advancement. In 1940, during the term of Governor Eulogio S. Rodriguez, Jr. and Mr. Vicente Garcia as schools division superintendent Rizal ranks among the provinces having the largest number of public and private schools and colleges. The bureau of education listed this province as one of the leading school divisions. That the educational system in Rizal is maintained on a high standard of administration and efficiency is due to the employment of better qualified teachers, existence of good type school buildings, adequate supervision of the children’s health, elimination of unnecessary subject’s inclusion and adaption of some vocational and cultural courses and conservation and preservation of Filipino ideals.
The greatest calamity that public education suffered came from the Pacific War. Many school buildings were destroyed or put to military use by the Japanese. The whole system of public instruction was disrupted, for children were kept at home and many teachers did not wish to serve the new government. The Japanese, of course tried to modify the school course to suits there ends. They introduced Niponggo as the Americans had introduced English years back.
After the liberation, the succinct annual report of Superintendent Vicente Garcia for 1945-1946, states that schools were officially reopened at different times beginning March 14, 1945. Most school buildings were either totally or heavily destroyed. Las Pinas, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, San Mateo, Taytay, Marikina, and particularly Montalban (now Rodriguez), Antipolo and Teresa suffered most from the distruction of school plant and equipment. Makeshift shelters were used to accommodate classes while schools were being rehabilitated. The US Army donated materials amounting to Php 277.745.10. The PTA’s gave Php 43, 933.90 in the form of materials and labor.
Education in the province progressed in increasing tempo in rehabilitation of buildings and growth population and personnel. In the school year 1955-1956, just ten years from the reopening of classes, there was 91, 825 school children in 1, 354 primary and intermediate classes and 2,229 teachers and supervisors.
In 1961, when the Jones Law was passed, the Department of Instruction became one of the administrative departments under the control and supervision of the Vice Governor General. When Executive Order No. 94 was issued upon the reorganization of the national government in 1974, the Department of Public Instruction was renamed the Department of Education headed by the Secretary of Education.
In 1975, Rizal Province was left with 14 towns due to the incorporation of different progressive towns in Metro Manila, thus, this year was the beginning of new journey to education under the leadership of its superintendent Mr. Filologo O. Pante.
Housed on the second floor of the right wing of the newly renovated Provincial Capital Building, the Division Office has tentatively set up the Publication Section in the school year 1962 – 1963. Dispatch of communication, instruction and requests have been solved as well as printing of curriculum materials which later gained support and maintenance by the Provincial Board, Publication Center helped minimize the book shortage.
The generosity of Provincial and Municipal officials who were intensely enthusiastic in improving educational standards and keenly sympathetic to the needs and problems of the teachers and students in the field has led to the construction of school buildings. Likewise, appropriations from national, provincial and municipal funds and donations from Parent – Teacher Association along with the other civic organization made possible acquisition of school sites, purchase of equipment and improvement of school facilities.
The Division of Rizal has adopted various means to upgrade instructional standards and help school officials do a better job of administration and supervision. School units were reduced in size to lessen the number of classes supervised by a principal or head teacher and to make possible the organization of smaller classes under a teacher and to make possible the organization of smaller classes under a teacher so that he can extend individualized instruction or group instruction according to pupils abilities and needs from 1961 – 1964 there have been 31 additional school units and seven new school districts created. The Division has followed the prescribed curriculum which is the 2-2 plan.
With the reduction in size of school districts by splitting them in two for closer supervision and administration, there has been a corresponding increased in the number of district supervisors from 9 to 26 for the past five years.
Through the untiring efforts of school officials, the supply of books and other materials replenished with donations from ASIA Foundation. The library facilities in all schools in the Division especially in big elementary schools received the big attention wherever and whenever possible, twenty (20) to thirty (30) minutes is included in the class program.
Audio visual materials and facilities were recognized resources of learning as utilized by teachers for the improvement of teaching- learning process. Some of the commonly used are the bulletin boards, flannel board, electric boards, posters, graphs, maps, globes, transistor radios, phonograph, piano, disc and film recorder.
To upgrade instruction and to promote teachers’ professional and cultural growth, the Division has always included in – service education in its program for school officials and teachers. Making use of paper evolved in the Rizal – PNC project in 1962 – 1963 entitled “Practicum in Administration and Supervision.”
In the school year 1963 – 1964, the school succeeded in making people understood that community education does not only imply the building of uniform fences, constructing respectable toilets, setting up reading centers, holding barrio festivities through sponsored contest but it goes beyond the evolvement of the intrinsic character in the inner lives of the people.
Morong Folk School has been operating since the summer of 1961 to help the out – of – school youths.It was discovered that ninety-five percent (95%) of the students who enrolled had left school because of poverty and five percent (5%) left for lack of interest. A graet number have continued in the regular high school while others have found unemployed, the reason why Morong Folk School has been institutionalized.
The school year 1963 – 1964 was the second year of Sto. Niño Elementary School in Health Education – Initiated by the UNICEF and the WHO with the cooperation of the Division, the pilot projects embraced the four phases of the school health program, namely: health instruction, health services, healthful school living and healthful community living.
Binangonan Elementary School has two science rooms, one for Grade V and one for Grade VI. These complete with science apparatuses and equipment including locally – prepared ones. They have adequate laboratory tables and chairs, lavatories, shelves for specimens, bulletin boards for structuring unit lesson and stock of reference books.
San Juan Elementary School used varied techniques to improve English instruction. Audio visual devices like the radio, the tape recorder, and the film projects were availed of to make learning more effective and meaningful.
The Morong High School has pioneered in education in the division. It served as Experimental – Demonstrational Community Rural high School under the NEC – ICA Type A Technical Assistance Program which lasted from 1957 – 1961.With focus on strengthening Science and Mathematics, the Morong High School organized the Special Science Class for gifted students. The faculty included the Peace Corps Volunteers assigned in the division: Thomas Hopkins, Richard Tomsie, Julian Tylor, where term terminated in school year 1963 – 1964
With pardonable prize it can be said that Athletic in the Division of Rizal is at its best. The bountiful harvests in the STAA Meet in 1964 has received a big boost from the Rizal Provincial Board, headed by Governor Isidro Rodriguez Sr. who has seen personally as well as officially the athletes were well – trained and well equipped.
Some of the school buildings erected were the Estrella – type buildings in the Municipality of Makati; Caruncho – type of school buildings constructed in the Municiapality of Pasig and the Rodriguez – Type of school buildings was the trend in he construction in the province in the 60’s.
Education in Rizal has all the signs of a progressive going concern with beautiful school plants and considerable provincial aid. It has been fortunate in having the active support of a truly education – conscious provincial executive, Governor Isidro S. Rodriguez Sr.
As Rizal consistently maintains its image as an ideal haven for investors, the provincial government also emphasizes quality education for its citizens in its bid to provide a well- educated, highly information-oriented and extremely capable work force ready to take the challenges of the new millennium. This is why the provincial government, under the tenure of its hardworking-yet-approachable Governor Casimiro M. Ynares Jr has allotted onehalf of its annual budget for this purpose.
Since Hon.Ynares’ assumption as governor in 1992, the provincial government has allotted Php 600 million for the repair and construction of elementary and high school buildings, while Php 5 million was allotted for the acquisition of computers and similar paraphernalia. Moreover, Php 15 million was allotted for four-year college scholarship for poor but deserving students, from the 14 local government units in the province, under the Rizal College Scholarship Program.
The province has also realized the establishment of Rizal National Science High School in Binangonan to complement the development plan, to transform Rizal into an alternative learning center of the country. The effort has paid off excellently. Today, the province of Rizal enjoys an astonishingly high literacy rate of 98.60% – higher than the national average.
In 1994, Dr. Roxane A. Salem was the superintendent when the Guronasyon Foundation came into existence. It was Hon. Gilberto A. Duavit, a former congressman from Binangonan Rizal initiated it to build a strong foundation that will assist local educators and school managers to give recognition for their exemplary performances.
Ang GURONASYON Foundation, Inc. ay naglalayong mapalaganap at mapataas ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa tulong ng mga punong-guro at guro na siyang nagiging daan ng pagkatuto ng mga kabataan gayundin ng pag-unlad ng kanilang moral at pakikipag-ugnayang sosyal.
Naniniwala rin ang ahensya sa kakayahan ng mga guro na mabigyan ng pagpapahalaga ng mga kabataan ang kanilang kabukasan, magkaroon ng takot sa Diyos, maging makabayan, makakalikasan at maghari ang pag-ibig sa puso at sa kapwa.