Name: Donna Belle R. Apoyon Degree Program and Year Level: BA (History) II Course: CD 101 (Philippine Society and Community Development) Reflection Paper #1 The Gift of a Colonial Education Instructions: Write a one-page reflection paper responding to the question “Having adopted most of the features of a colonial educational system, should one consider it a gift or not? Why?” As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to eliminating gender inequality, to reducing poverty, to creating a sustainable planet, to preventing needless deaths and illness, and to fostering peace. Those are the positive things that education can help solve the modern world problems but the real question is that what if this tool was inculcated to the people through colonialism. What would one must do? Just go with the flow and let the Americans change what you have perceived before as right and just or resist it and be critical of it? I for one can say that having adopted most of the features of a colonial education system is a curse. It is not a gift for it changed everything for the Filipinos back then and up until today. As Filipinos, we should be fully aware of the miseducation of the Philippines that has affected our upbringing and even the way we are raisingthe the next generation. After 333 years of Spanish rule that changed our religion to Roman Catholic, American imperialism took hold. After this came what Filipino historian Renato Constantino described as the great “miseducation” of the Filipino people. The U.S. introduced a public school system in the country and recruited multitude of American teachers who are later called the Thomasites to teach Filipino children about US culture, history, and politics. Priveleged gifted Filipinos were sent to college in the US. After their stay, those pensionados are obliged to go back and serve as civil servants, teachers, and engineers. Since childhood, we were educated to commend the US and conditioned to equate US with civilization, opportunity, and righteousness. Meanwhile, Filipino culture was given of little value. The US did this for colonial exploitation to the point it was exporting its agricultural products and natural resources that it could no longer feed its own inhabitants. Given this dire situation the role of the Filipinos in the decolonization process is minimal. Most of the things that are depicted in our media still reflect a colonized mentality. Hence, educational reform in the Philippines should happen. It is important to support this reform for we need to undo our miseducation. For instance, our history that was written by Americans is not the history that Filipinos should be taught. Filipino should be the main language taught in schools. This can be conntected to Barrameda’s statement that the sole emphasis on English has devalued the Philippine languages to the realm of popular media and casual conversation. This attitude implies the Philippine languages are not meant to be developed and intellectualized — another symptom of colonial mentality. This time we should make surethat real history shall prevail.