Math in the Philippines

This site was geared up to deal with the challenge that Philippines get in mathematics education. From the different point of view, the quality of Maths education in the Philippines is uncertain. Filipino students’ performance in international and national mathematics assessment studies is below par compared with neighboring countries.

Math Education here in the Philippines as shown by Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (T.I.M.S.S.) 2003 (Full PDF Report) statistics was not that good, the Philippines ranked 41st out of 45 countries in Mathematics. Likewise; in the 2003 National Achievement Test, the average grade is 44% for elementary and 36% for secondary level.

According to the report Published in 2012 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), of Annex 3 (Page 61). Problems and Challenges in Mathematics Education: The Philippines Context with the collaboration of Merle C. Tan a number of reasons have been observed to account for this situation:

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i. The ten year basic education program is blamed for the overloaded curriculum. Topics and skills covered over 12 years in other countries are introduced to students in ten years only. Mastery of content is sacrificed over wide coverage. In addition, the same curriculum is used across the country despite the large dropout rates which means that the curriculum does not address the needs of students from different communities. This explains why the scientific literacy and numeracy level of Filipino students is low based on a UP NISMED study.

ii. There is a shortage of qualified math teachers especially at the elementary level where teachers are trained to be generalists.

iii. Also, the most experienced math teachers in the best public and private schools have left or are leaving the country. Moreover, those who have specialization in math in secondary schools chose to change career path; they take graduate courses in research or administration and supervision.

iv. Math classrooms are still teacher-centered. To finish the budget of work for a particular period and because of large classes, teachers tend to be transmissive in their approach to teaching rather than allowing students to engage in meaningful and challenging practical work activities.

v. Teachers are dependent on textbooks but are not able to detect misconceptions. While research results say that children learn better when taught using their mother tongue, Mathematics is taught in English even in Grade 1. Difficulty in understanding concepts has been traced to difficulty in understanding the English, a language foreign to many students in different communities.

From this scenario, we have observed that learning Vedic Math can help alleviate the situation:

Now is the time to change and reform for the improvement of the Math education in the Philippines and attain the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Targets by the Deparment of Education (DepEd) and that is Education For All (EFA); the commitment to bring all learners to school by 2015.

Why Vedic Math?

Many Filipino students consider Math Subjects as very difficult. Most of the students have difficulty with basic Math operations. Mathematics is unlikable to many because it involves use of mental skills. Even teachers or adults have difficulty in Math calculations they even calculate more than a minute when in fact they should calculate it with great speed compared to their students.

From these problems, learning Vedic Math can help improve the situation:

A system derived from Vedic principles, by Swami Bharati Krishna Tirthaji in the early decades of the 20th century.  Bharati Krishna wrote sixteen books but these were lost. When he confirmed the loss in 1958, Bharati Krishna wrote a book entitled “Vedic Mathematics”.

Vedic Mathematics is based on sixteen formulae (or Sutras) and some sub-formulae (sub-Sutras). These Sutras are given in word form.

Derived from the Sanskrit word “veda” which means knowledge, it is primarily a simple and easy-to-learn method of solving basic and even advanced mathematical problems.

Advantages of Vedic math include:

1. It provides one line, mental and super­fast methods along with quick cross checking systems. It is based on a patterned recognition which is new and completely different approach. High level of mathematical ability can be gained from an early stage. It can be learned easily, faster to use and less errors are obtained than conventional methods.

2. The system has an enormous learning significance because the Sutras have techniques that are done in simple ways yet the results are achieved fast.

3. In this system, for any problem, there is always one general technique applicable to all cases and also a number of special patterned problems. The element of choice and flexibility at each stage keeps the mind dynamic and alert to increase clarity of thought and intuition and in that way a holistic improvement of the human brain automatically takes place.

4. It allows for constant expression of a student's creativity, and is found to be easier to learn. Has the natural potential to solve the psychological problem of Mathematics – anxiety because of its special features.

5. It alters a tiresome subject into a playful and enjoyable one which students can learn with smiles on their faces.

Keeping the above observations in view, our goal is to help and improve the Math education here in the Philippines by Vedic Math systems’ methods and procedures.