View Full Version : Error-filled Books

06-09-2009, 10:27 PM
With the opening of school this month, the problem of “sick” books has cropped up again. In a recent article in the Inquirer, Antonio Calipjo-Go, academic supervisor of Marian School of Quezon City, who has been crusading against error-filled books in the last 12 years, pointed out some errors in five textbooks used in public elementary schools. The errors involve facts, concepts, logic, grammar and usage. People reading these error-filled books would initially burst out laughing, but later it would make them cry over the mis-education of their children that would result from the reading of these “sick” books.

Here are some recent examples included in Go’s article in the Inquirer of June 2, 2009:
“Heidi’s family went on vacation to the province of Paoay.”
“Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the novels “The Treasure Island” and “The Kidnapper.”
“Is what this man say true?” asked the judge.
“When an enemy comes, the porcupine releases some spines from its body…. The people of Palawan call this animal durian.”
“Title: The horse’s feet” (Used three times)
“The dog rolled on the floor so fast and fell on the ground. There he laid yelling louder than ever. The dog yelled on top of his voice.”
“Listen to your teacher reads the following poem.”

The Department of Education has said that since 2005 the submissions of book publishers have undergone stringent content evaluation in four areas: completeness of learning competencies, accuracy and pedagogical soundness, appropriateness of material to the target users and language and book design. But it seems not much progress has been attained in purging the textbooks of error. According to Go, a 208-page textbook, “English for You and Me, Grade 6,” was found to contain more than 500 errors, or about 2.5 errors per page. That simply is unacceptable! This is a glaring truth that the Department of Education is simply wasting the taxpayers money!

Given the error-filled books, together with a short elementary curriculum (10 years vs 12 years for most Asian countries), a lack of qualified teachers and a perennial classroom shortage, it is no wonder that the quality of basic education has declined over the past 20-30 years.

The textbook editing and review process will have to be reexamined and revised. In the first place, only acknowledged experts in a field of study should be allowed to write textbooks. People may have strings of PhD’s, EdD’s, MA’s and MS’s after their names but that does not necessarily mean that they will be able to write good, factually and grammatically correct textbooks.