Monday, October 19, 2020

#PisayGiveUsABreak trends as both Philippine Science High School students and teachers complain about the system


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Why do you ignore me DOST? I am the beast you created.

Home stopped feeling like home and started feeling like the constant droning wave of work and reqs we comply and drown in— please, students and teachers NEED A BREAK

Fasten your seatbelts and struggle to become a scholar or educator of Philippine Science High School. Their system hopes to continue the flow of quality education amidst the pandemic..

These are the students' and teachers' stories IN THEIR OWN WORDS and what they are feeling right now. They are burnt out, tired, breaking down, and/or behind on requirements. They are freely and openly sharing what they feel. They are letting the system know.

#PisayGiveUsABreak is the buzzword.

You know it's bad when even the personification of pisay is saying  #PisayGiveUsABreak.

It's amazing how students have been so vocal about their struggles yet they still turn a blind eye.

Congrats Pisay, you have completely broke good and responsible students into shells and robots made to churn out requirements without digesting any substantial information.

Apparently #PisayGiveUsABreak is systemwide. Doesn't this kind of unity itself already say a lot about the shit they're dealing with lol. You rarely see 16 freaking campuses rallying behind a single hashtag.


BTW, this includes teachers, too. I cannot imagine the amount of requirements they have to check and the long long long essays that they have to read. We shouldn't put all the blame to the teachers—this is about the system and how it overworks everyone. 

I bet some are gonna say, "Don't vent out your complains in soc med platforms and say it directly to us" 

But this is systemwide, so even though I am not suffering, I know others are. So please #PisayGiveUsABreak

Everyone using #PisayGiveUsABreak has their own story. I'm happy to say that students also know how to direct their concerns to the proper channels. But since nothing is happening, maybe it's time to publicize the calls. #AcademicEaseNow

Students and Teachers: We are tired and want rest

Pisay: Oh no! anyway,....

Honestly. They already had too many surveys, official communications, f*ck, they had a whole month to trial this exact system.

Most of the feedback regarding workload was negative. Yet not much has changed.

They need the system to listen.


It's only been little over a month since the school year started, but most students are already EXHAUSTED. The teachers are, too. They've been communicating with the people in charge about this for a long time, but nothing ever happens. The only solution is #PisayGiveUsABreak

It's important to remember that teachers also struggle with this remote learning set-up. Can you imagine being a teacher and having to check output from 100 or so students? And worrying about the ones who are unable to do so? See this is why we all need a break.

#PisayGiveUsABreak exists not because one or two batches of students happened to be weak-willed or anxious.

Students have always wanted a break. Students, teachers, even parents. If Pisay is so keen on making them learn how to appreciate learning even in quarantine, then why can't it learn that its methods of overloading its faculty and student body with requirements is ineffective and creates a toxic environment for mental health?

#PisayGiveUsABreak isn't anything new. It is the culmination of years and years of unfair treatment by a relentless system that needs serious reforms. Everyone knew deep inside that the Pisay culture of overloading with tight schedules is toxic and taxing on mental health. It's a shame it took a pandemic for us to realize that that same toxicity in school can be forced upon us in our very homes.

Everyone understands you run a tight show, but these are human lives that you are affecting. These students, teachers, and families are people who need rest and time to be themselves and take care of themselves.

"The cream of the crop" is supposed to be a celebration and highlight of the best of what humanity can achieve, not a glorified program for creating work robots.

It's about time we start looking at the root cause of this problem.

Would someone like to file a formal letter for Pisay to set up something for students to look into this? It would be good if it can be signed by students.

The entire student body has been struggling with reqload even before distance learning. Now, we are struggling more than ever. Pisay has to realize how greatly flawed the system is and how detrimental it is to the mental health of the students and educators.

Not just pisay students and educators but also support system (person/s) who have to step up (in).

"It's kind of sad that "pisay culture" is competing on who can stay up the longest to complete reqs, who can go the most days without sleep, who can drink the most coffee to the point where some people have caffeine addictions,,, it's so... unhealthy!

It's so harmful to students bodies like they boast about taking care of themselves but how can they when some of them are so scared to have mental health days (in irl classes), when they're not given breaks (for OL classes at least?)" - @unholytrnity

#PisayGiveUsABreak  is a lifestyle, a reason to breathe, and an escape from this cruel world filled with thieves. It’s art, the first gift you open on Christmas, a heavenly matter, a hug from a loved one, everything you’ve ever wanted, and everything you need.

#PisayGiveUsABreak is a reminder that everyone is in different situtations; im asking for this break for the sake of my sanity but others could be asking for it for their physical health, finanical issues, personal problems, etc. so be considerate.

They had official inputs through surveys and the proper channels. They had, on multiple occasions, people venting and stressing about online schooling for as long as they could remember. 

And they honestly don't know what's gonna work anymore. 

TBH, it's not like the school cares about the students. Look, they just renamed Undas Break as Health Break in one school. Online Learning is f*cked, but the schools that don't take account the struggles of the students, that's even more f*cked.

They act like the students gonna adapt to online learning in a year, while they got used to face to face learning for the most of their life. It just sounds ignorant.

Honestly, they aren't even asking for much. Heck, they even think just asking for 1 week of break after 6 weeks of stress isn't gonna cut it for a lot of people. Yet they still don't listen. Students and teachers are tired of it. We have to speak up now.

I acknowledge that they did try to make online schooling as close to face-to-face as much as they could, but that's where the problem lies. There's so much changes needed if we want to adapt here successfully yet there haven't been any for a month and a half now.



Here's why they're asking for it here and now:

"Change is long overdue.

Pisay scholars have struggled with requirement loads and work-life balance long before distance learning was implemented.

Now, it has come to a head.

The workload is roughly three times as heavy as the regular one is, and we've complained about that for ages now.

Imagine having a system that bases productivity on a rigid schedule and then encourages students to "work at your own pace".

Etiquette be damned, this is a load of bullshit.

30 minutes to work on a lesson that takes a week to discuss? Bullshit.

We're not robots. I can't believe we have to keep saying this shit. 

We're humans too. Our teachers are humans too. They love having to check 300 modules a week just as much as we love having to answer 30 modules in a timeframe spanning a grand total of 18 hours (minus breaks.)

It's so taxing, mentally and physically, to have to spend that much time a week on that much mind-numbing information and then having to regurgitate all of it back in a half-assed, 20 minute response in an assessment.

There's no learning happening here. It's all blind answering, checking the internet for answers, hoping to get it right, and then just collapsing from fatigue in a pool of your own blood, sweat, and tears afterwards.

It's taken the soul out of learning. I entered this school with the hope of kindling the spark in me, hoping that my inquisitive mind is satiated by engaging learning and an environment conducive to nurturing the very best of the country into the fields of science.

I was proven wrong in the space of a year.

The workload caught up to me quickly and I was eventually so held up that I very nearly flunked my way out.

But here we are, three years later, and we're still struggling?

Clearly something's gone awry in the system.

It's been broken for quite a while.

And that's why we're asking for it now.

"But why here, duck? Why do you demand change on the platform where the officials don't listen?"

Because we always have demanded change from people in positions of authority. In the appropriate channels.

Even before the implementation of remote learning, we've been answering slews of surveys: teacher rating surveys, activity surveys, workload surveys.

Fuck, before the school year had even started we we're already being pressed for time during the bridging program, which was designed to put this exact system to the test in real-world scenarios.

We had surveys for that too, with overwhelmingly negative feedback about the pacing and workload.

And yet, nothing has changed for the better.

Hopefully it's just me, but I really don't feel as if the student body's voice matters at all to the admins, which is strange considering we're the ones on the ground gathering data.

Imagine a tech company trialling new technology and then keeping it on their future releases despite negative reviews on it.

And the fact that we as a system deal in data-driven approaches makes it worse. 

This cycle of { have problem -> tell admins -> get nothing -> speak out -> you're suddenly disrespectful } has to stop.

It's toxic and does nothing to solve the problem in the first place.

But since we have a larger voice and impact on social media, we as a community have taken our frustrations over here in the form of venting, both privately and publicly, to whoever can hear us, in the hopes of finding just one chance to impact the real world outside the screen.

That's why #PisayGiveUsABreak was started in the first place. 

It's a way to summarize our frustrations as a group to anyone willing to listen. It's a short snippet of the what to this thread's why.

Again, etiquette be damned. We're tired of asking for change politely and quietly without getting results.

We need change now.

We forgot to mention: teachers are equally deserving of a break. it really feels as if the workload on either side is borderline inhumane." 


The possibility of an academic break was actually brought up during a batch meeting with the higher ups last wednesday, and this was honestly disappointing, to say the least.

This may not seem like a shock to us, but the issue of overloading isn't exclusive to Pisay. Schools all around the world (except finland) follow this schedule heavy production based system of requirements and projects and grades and what not. 

It's time we let the system know that this methods are not healthy and productive for both students and teachers. We need to change the system.

I think its time we actually talk about the root issue so we can properly rid the world of student mental health problems

The entire concept of this education system with an emphasis on obedience, schedules, and requirements stems from the Industrial era values of production and management. Clearly, as generations progressively grow more free-spirited, creative, and critical, this isn't quite as efficient anymore, on learning or on mental health.

Even before quarantine, the insane amounts of workloads incentivizes kids just to finish what they can to pass without even learning. It inadvertently promotes academic dishonesty and laziness and complacency because of how fast paced and hectic the system is.

I can draw all the similarities I want between our current education system and how capitalism works and how they both promote immorality and "you gotta do what you gotta do to survive" attitudes, but I'd be here all day.

What I'm trying to say is, as the premium High School in our country, is it not Pisay's job to innovate education and discover more efficient and HEALTHY ways to tackle teaching?

Instead of doing that, all Pisay does is double down own that heavily flawed system with even more difficult topics. 

And I get thst perhaps actual working scientists have hectic schedules and hardass concepts or what not, but these people specialize in a field. We have to learn like a dozen different things from a  dozen different subjects per week.

What I'm saying is, if somehow as the student body we have enough power to convince a system to give us rest, then maybe we have even the slightest chance of asking it to change its approach to education in hopes to revolutionize it all around the world.

This might just be my delusional clown ass talking, but there is a huge amount of dissenting students out there who just choose to suck it up because they fear the system that keeps them in place.

With our numbers and with the volume of our voices, I believe we can make a change.

Education doesnt have to be so requirement based and production based. I dread the idea that we can only motivate students to study using a punishment/reward system (grades are downright psychologically manipulative IMO)

The world needs to realize that kids can be curious. Students can want to learn without being force fed a hundred different ideas all at once. We arent robots accepting commands and a huge amount of data. We're human. We have our own human wants and needs.

And as such education should be catered to our human nature. It shouldnt necessarily be limited by gears and clockwork. We have the capacity to be curious. We have the ability to want to learn. Thats what education should be fueled by. Not by the numbers.

If you don't believe me, i suggest doing a bit of light research on how Finland'a education system works. They have like 1 test for the entirety I think, and thats just senior high finals. Yet they produce the most academically adept scholars who get the highest scores on national tests. 

Furthermore, their education has a focus on finding one's self and community learning. They also have the best student mental health record in the world. 

They have like a 9-2-ish i think school hours and yet they still manage to learn jurt as much as anyone else.

Imagine, less requirements, more time, equal amount and quality of education. I truly believe its possible for us to be like that. Education doesnt have to be about grades or numbers, it should be something so inherent to human nature. It should be the product of curiosity, not necessity. 

Am i saying we demand dradtic change to be like finland? No. But what i am saying is we have the numbers and PRESTIGE to set a precedent.

Quarantine learning has proven to us undeniably how toxic the system can be. We've just spent so long denying it because the system made us students think it was our fault for being weak. 

We need to be more aware of what we can do as students. Education can be better. And it can if it starts now. We need to use our voices and our numbers to see to it that it changes for the good of all students present or future. 

Student mental health is only so overlooked because we've spent so ─║ong just sucking it up because we thought ourselves just being weak and inferior. It's time we look at the root cause: the flawed system.

It's time we talk about it and raise our voices. 

Education can be better. Let change and progress start now. Let our outrage be the first sign that things can be better if we're heard out.

*CTTO: Credit to all the owners of all images and posts gathered from Twitter

I would love to give credit to you all, but the urgency beats the acknowledgements. But since some have requested it, here goes

@cosmichillarays, @devveyya, @sonataagustin, @jbinx, @renmariiii, @arulyth, @helloitswafy, @seschichan, @msklarin, @marqx-t0rres, @XanStran952, @cluoedo, @_duckgoose_, @ezCorthannJo, @moonwryte, @punyeataa, @IyaTheExplorer, @3donutsform3, @aerone22, @everyoneelsethatwemissed

These were all accumulated to help raise their voices against the oppressive system

#PisayGiveUsABreak is your voice

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