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Archive for the Category "Education in the Philippines"

The tuition payment debacle and the admin girl who can’t subtract Feb 16

February 15, 2016

I have known for a few days now that my daughter’s final tuition payment had to be paid.  So, today I went over to make the payment. Before leaving the house I checked the card and it has an annotation that states that we still owed 530 pesos.  The first thing I did was drop my daughter off at her classroom and get the security pass, inside my daughter’s student handbook, from her teacher.  I walk over to the office, which is located in another building. I hand over the handbook
(so they can make a notation that I paid), the tuition card (that they use to track payments…remember this!) and I wait. The girl opens a wooden box on her desk and pulls out another card identical to the one I handed her. She sees a discrepancy and proceeds to do math. Apparently, her card said the balance was over 800 pesos.

So, I commented to the girl that her number was wrong and that the correct number should indeed be 530 pesos.  Now, I had no idea which card was right, but Jenn, my children’s mother, told me the number was definitely right and that she had confirmed it the last time she made a payment. The girl proceeds to do some more math so, I waited. I stood there and watched as she is tapped away at the calculator furiously. She comes back to me and says her card is right. I use my phone and text Jenn to tell her to call me.  You see, normally, Jenn is the one to deal with all this. Anyway, of course, Jenn doesn’t call me right away.

While I am waiting for her to call, the admin girl talks to another admin girl who starts doing the math. Once she completes her calculations the balance due jumped to over 1500 pesos. By this point I am ready to strangle people.  Finally, Jenn calls and I hand my phone to the admin girl and now they are all talking in Tagalog while I waited. Apparently, someone screwed up some subtraction a few months back. Now, anyone with half a brain would start wonder why no discrepancy was discovered in the months since the error was made.

So, I am waiting and waiting and I ask why this is not being done on a computer.  They could easily print out a record and sign it before handing it over to the person making the tuition payment. The girl looks at me and then turns to a third girl and looks back at me and says…AND I QUOTE…

Sir, we don’t have software.

I point at her computer, which was three feet from the window I was standing at, and say,

I can see you have Excel open on your computer.

She gives me that blank stare that they have made so famous here.  Then I said to her,

Are you kidding? I can make the file for you in an hour that would autocalculate everything for you.

I get another blank stare in response.

When all was said in done I ended up handing over the 1000 pesos I brought with me and will have to pay another 500+ later today. I told Jenn to do it. These
dips and Jenn conspired to screw this up, they can fix it.  That was my attitude.

Meanwhile, I was left with no change and nothing but 1000 peso bills because I expected to get 470 pesos change. So, now I have to go back out later and break a 1000 peso bill.

UPDATE: It is now almost midnight and Jenn never went to the school. So, tomorrow I have to break her balls to make sure she heads over there to split a few heads and settle the account.

Yet ANOTHER reason to dislike the education system in the Philippines Jul 14

2:30 PM

Chalk up ANOTHER strike against the Filipino education system in my little book.

I went downstairs to get some more water and I see the 16 year old, Maricel, with what look like notes from school. Today is a Saturday so I was a little surprised to see her studying and so I asked if it was homework she was working on. She tells me it’s not homework.

I asked her if she was studying. She tells me she’s not studying.

So, I asked her what she was doing. She tells me that she is grading tests.


Don’t get me wrong. Students grade other students’ tests in the United States as well.  The difference is WE DO IT IN CLASS AND  IN FRONT OF THE TEACHER! Then the teacher checks them over after. The whole process is done as a review type of a thing. The teacher will go over each answer after the test giving a brief explanation of each one. The teacher will also answer any questions that students might have.

BUT WE NEVER TOOK HOME A STACK OF TESTS TO GRADE!!!  Maricel is down there with a stack of about 10 or so test papers.

So, I asked,

“If you are doing the teacher’s job of grading tests does that mean you are teaching the class too?”

My daughter Nicole

The education system here is just getting to be way too much for me. I hadn’t posted this like I wanted to but my daughter, Nicole, has recently started school after a 2 year hiatus. We originally started Nikki in a Montessori nursery school when she was just 2 and a half years old. We knew that was a bit young but we weren’t interested in her academic performance at the time. Her mother, Jenn, and I were more interested in giving her a chance to interact with other kids and to help her develop some independence from mommy and daddy.

At any rate, Nikki started school again two or three weeks ago and I got angry because without testing her they just put her into Kindergarten II based on her age. I wanted her in first grade because she is a smart kid who is way ahead of the rest of her class. She comes home everyday with assignments to write the letter A or the letter C a few times. Nicole knows the entire alphabet and has been able to write each letter, and her name, for quite some time now. She is also very good at counting. So now she is stuck doing things she already learned and I am worried she will get bored.


Filipino Math Dec 31

I just got home from an interesting adventure.  My friend John messages me on Yahoo earlier and asks me to go to store with him to buy an egg pie for New Years Eve. He know I am home alone tonight because Jenn is being a retard as usual and went to her mother’s. I am not complaining because I never really saw anything special about New Years in the Philippines and so I was content to have a nice quiet (except for the noise outside) night alone.

He tells me how his wife told him an egg pie costs no more than 500 pesos. Sensing this was a bit high he asks her to explain why she thinks it is so high. She tells him when she buys it by the slice it costs between 12-17 pesos per slice. So he splits the difference and does some math.

15 x 8 = 120          17 x 8 = 136          20 x 8 = 160

OK, so there is no way this will cost anywhere near 500 and he tells her that. Of course she realizes her error and says,

“Well, maybe it costs 27 pesos per slice.”

So once again John does some quick math because he’s still dubious.

27 x 8 = 216          30 x 8 = 240

Obviously, we’re still coming in way under 500 pesos here. We’re not even at half of 500 here. But he laughs and shakes his head as you have to do when living with a Filipina and makes his way to my house since I live closer to the gate and the jeepneys.

We are on the jeepney laughing and joking about his wife’s math skills and we arrive at Goldilocks (bakery chain store in the Philippines) and we go inside and we see the price is 200.  Let’s keep that a secret because when he got home he told her it costs 600 for the pie. LOL LOL LOL

At any rate after wrangling with the rocket scientist behind the counter to make sure he puts the right thing in the box we go up to the counter to pay and had to repeat to the guy what’s in the box like 3 times. Even the security guard is saying, “Egg pie!’ to the cashier. LOL LOL LOL

So the cashier is counting John’s change and is counting dropping 10 peso coins in John’s hand one at a time after already handing him a 500 peso and a 50 peso bill.


I just had to laugh. The guy couldn’t figure out what came next and kept pausing as he is counting. It was the funniest thing considering what John and I were just talking about in regards to John’s wife. So with in an hour we had 2 Filipinos who couldn’t do simple math nor count.

So we get outside and we are joking about the rocket scientist cashier and he spots this vendor selling sparklers. He knows the price so as  a test to see if she’d charge him the “foreigner tax” he asks how much they are and of course she has to pause and think about the price.

Finally she blurts out that they are 4 boxes of 5 sparklers for 10 pesos. Then she adds on that the bundle of 10 boxes is 30 pesos. I just looked and smiled because that means to buy them as a package of 10 is going to cost more than it would to buy them as single boxes. HOW STUPID IS THAT? Usually, if you buy a bulk package you get a discount right?  So here she’s not only not giving us a discount for buying in bulk but she’s actually charging an extra 5 pesos because if you buy them as 4 boxes for 10 pesos then 10 boxes should only cost 25 pesos not 30.

Now we are laughing again because 3 separate Filipinos inside of an hour can not do simple math.