OPINION: What we learn in school

Tin Bartolome

Posted at Feb 18 2017 12:56 AM

The schools we attend have a great impact on our lives not only because of the length of time we stay in each one, but more importantly, how we are influenced by each institution’s environment, philosophy, tradition and values —what is “caught and not taught." 

Like beacons, these learning institutions shine bright like the noonday sun. There are those that may not be as bright but are able to guide others as well, some are merely flickers, but they do serve their purpose—and alas, there are those that merely reflect light because they have none of their own.

The same is true for the students: some enhance their alma mater’s light, while others merely reflect it. Of course, a few give their school a bad name! It is such a relief though that because of the sheer number of students belonging to different batches, held in check (or kicked out), these “bad eggs” are not able to bring down the entire school.

After all, what people do after they graduate is a decision they make themselves. Schools can only hope that they have inculcated correct values in the students they nurture. This is why having so many students in one section becomes difficult—just like having too many children (some of whom we can no longer attend to).

I have not actually embarked on a study of whether “exclusive school” alumni are less prone to graft and corruption because of the supposed influence of their schools—especially those required to take Theology. Then again, there is the family factor—because no matter how good a school is in integrating values with daily lessons, there will always be the family these students come home to.

Another important influence are fraternities—brotherhoods that supposedly help individuals in their struggles while in school and also provide opportunities once they graduate. Fraternity brothers stand by each other and would defend one another at all cost. They also provide positions that are big money makers. So, whether it is in school or at home, the lessons that are “caught, not taught” are often unclear.

So perhaps, the next time public figures—whether elected or appointed—are accused of graft and corruption, listening to what they say and more importantly, what they are not saying will help us see them for what they are. It is also important to consider their connections with one another so that we are able to see what is often not as obvious. 

After all, they may have gone to schools that require students to take lessons in ethics and teachers to integrate values in their lesson plans—but what is caught and not taught is often more powerful—and we can determine whether they bring honor to their alma mater, merely reflect its glory—or are simply the bad eggs that can give their schools a bad name!

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.